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Graham predicts Bullock sticks around


Shayne Graham says his old work-out partner, Randy Bullock (above) is going to stick as the Bengals kicker.

Shayne Graham has sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to let him know he wants to retire as a Bengal. The aspiring special teams coach has also delivered a prediction about the Bengals current kicker.

And Randy Bullock just happens to be one of Graham's old work-out partners.

"He's mentally strong. I think he's going to be able to bounce back from it," said Graham Tuesday of Bullock's Christmas Eve walk-off miss in Houston. "I feel like he's going to end up being here for a while."

Graham returned to Paul Brown Stadium Tuesday to sign the letter, meet the press, and take his place as the second all-time leading scorer in Bengals history seven seasons after his last kick in Cincinnati. It has turned out to be a journey of a few regrets but a lot of re-affirmation and at age 39 he's ready to begin his coaching career.

He's hoping to catch on with an NFL team during the spring and summer to shadow its special teams coaches and this could be one of the places since he counts Bengals specials team coordinator Darrin Simmons as one of his mentors after Simmons revived his career when he retrieved him off the waiver wire in 2003.

"I don't want to be a kicking guru," Graham told Bengals secondary coach Kevin Coyle. "I want to yell at guys when they don't cover down field."

Coyle smiled and told him, "You were with one of the best," in Simmons.

But Graham knows a thing or two about kicking, too, as the Bengals' most accurate kicker ever and the NFL's 10th most accurate of all time. His field goals became longer the older he got and one of the last field goals he ever hit was career long of 54 yards for the Falcons in 2015. He thinks Bullock is going to be just fine; noting the 43-yard miss against the Texans was his only miss in six tries in his three games as a Bengal.

Bullock, 27, is heading into his sixth season, and when he was a fifth-round pick of the Texans in 2012 he watched Graham do the kicking all year for them. Graham settled in Houston for a few years even after Bullock took the job in 201 and their off-season workouts ranged from kickboxing to finding time on local high school fields.

Bullock held up well in the post game in Houston. The miss came after an apparent miscommunication forced him to begin his approach sooner than expected, but he took the blame.

"He's a really good kicker and a good dude," Graham said. "The obvious path is to let a young guy coming out see how he compares to Randy and maybe that person competes and pushes Randy to perform at a level that they feel confident enough to keep Randy.

"I know Randy is a good kicker … I think he's going to prove himself and be here for a while."

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