By GEOFF HOBSON - GEORGETOWN, Ky.
Isn't this how we left Bengals kicker Doug Pelfrey last season?
Pelfrey, locked in a roster battle with rookie Neil Rackers, pushed a 31-yard field goal to the right and then had an extra point blocked by rookie cornerback Robert Bean during today's intrasquad scrimmage in which the defense beat the offense, 24-13.
Pelfrey is coming off a dreadful season in which he missed nine of 27 field-goal tries, including seven from less than 40 yards. An array of holders and snappers contributed to his inconsistency, but the club clearly brought in Rackers to push Pelfrey and Rackers converted his only chance of the day on an extra point.
But Pelfrey wasn't shaken.
"Sure, I'm concerned. But hopefully a day like this doesn't seal my fate because I had an extra point blocked and I missed a field goal that almost got blocked," Pelfrey said. "I feel like I had an upper hand on the field goals this week and this was the first time in camp we've gone live on field goals on both sides of the ball."
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Pelfrey says he's used to mishaps in scrimmages, usually because it's the last part of special teams that's put together before the game. He's made every PAT for the last two seasons, but he recalls missing one in a scrimmage two years ago. Last year he missed a 46-yard field goal attempt.
"We put everything else in special teams before field goals," Pelfrey said. "We do kick returns and punt team stuff. Like I said, it's not good but I just hope my fate isn't going to be sealed by a day like this."
Rookie long snapper Brad St. Louis had a good snap and Pelfrey looked to have a good hold on the missed field goal. The exchange between St. Louis and holder Jeff Walker wasn't as smooth on the blocked extra point, but the ball did get held before it was blocked.
Coach Bruce Coslet has never had much tolerance for kickers, but it was tough to gauge his reaction.
He said he wasn't watching who was kicking because it came while he was conferring with defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. And asked if it was Pelfrey's job to lose, he said, "It's everybody's job to lose. If you want a job, you have to win it."