Notes: Simmons calls skinny post; Bengals do expected with RFA tenders

Posted Mar 5, 2014

UPDATED: 8:30 p.m.

If the NFL wants to add some spice to the kicking game, Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons suggests the league could narrow the distance between the goal posts.

With the NFL pushing the idea of either eliminating the extra point or making it a 43-yard kick, Simmons thinks pushing in the uprights by two feet on both sides would make things less automatic.

“If the league wants to modify (the PAT), I would be OK with that. I’m not for eliminating it,” Simmons said Wednesday. “Field goals and PATs, especially PATs, have become kind of automatic. PATs have a 99.4 percent chance of making it.

“I’d be for one of two things. Moving it back or do what (the NCAA) did several years ago when they felt kickers were becoming too good and they narrowed the uprights.”

In 1991, the college goal posts went from 23 feet, 4 inches to the NFL’s 18 feet, 6 inches, the league’s standard since its inception in 1920.

“You’d lose some PATs here and there, but the field-goal percentage would definitely go down,” Simmons said.

EXPECTED TENDERS: As expected Wednesday, the Bengals sent what is believed to be the low tender of an estimated $1.4 million to all three of their restricted free agents so that they have the right to match an offer sheet from another club. Since wide receivers Andrew Hawkins and Dane Sanzenbacher and linebacker Vincent Rey are all undrafted, the Bengals would receive no compensation if they choose not to match.

Rey, one of the special teams captains, is coming off a career year from scrimmage filling in for injured nickel linebackers Emmanuel Lamur and Taylor Mays. He chalked up 42 tackles and an interception for a touchdown and while starting three games for injured middle linebacker Rey Maualuga he became the first Bengal ever to record an interception and three sacks in the same game in Baltimore Nov. 10.

Hawkins started the season on the injured reserve-recall list and ended up averaging 16.6 yards on 12 catches out of the slot after his breakout season of 51 receptions in 2012. He also got back in time to make four tackles on special teams as a gunner on punt coverage. His speed figures to make him a frequent contributor in new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson's playbook.

Sanzenbacher was inactive for four of the last five games as well as the wild card game. Even though he had just six catches for 61 yards, they value his sure-handedness. He made a huge seven-yard catch on first-and-10 at the Lions 44 with seven seconds left to set up an eight-yard pass to running back Giovani Bernard that translated into Mike Nugent’s winning 54-yard field goal at the gun in Detroit on Oct. 20.




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