Darrin Simmons, the Bengals long-time special teams coordinator, sounded like Evan McPherson was going to be his Opening Day kicker when the Bengals selected him in the fifth-round this spring. Now that a kicking competition has ensued, Simmons is going to let the duel between McPherson and Austin Seibert play out during the preseason.
"They're both talented guys. I think they'll both be kicking in the league at some point, some place this season," Simmons said this week. "I can't think of another team that's got two fifth-round kickers on their roster at one time. Both of them deserve to be kicking in the league."
Before McPherson went 5-for-6 Monday (the miss a 53-yarder wide right), Simmons has them neck-and-neck statistically. Stats may not decide it with McPherson having the bigger leg, but Simmons is letting them go.
"Evan is 14-of-15 so far and Austin is 13-of-15. It's gone well so far. I think they both have kicked very (well)," Simmons said before Monday's practice. "One of those misses (for) each has been 60 yards. I think it's something that's going to be contested right up until the end. They've both done very well so far."
CARMAN GETS FEET WET: Second-round pick Jackson Carman is rotating with the first group at right guard and it sounds like he didn't expect the Bengals to hand him the job and he's ready to learn the ropes.
"Just being able to watch how they operate and how they handle themselves has been really eye-opening for me and it's been helping my progress as well," said Carman of his progress before Tuesday's practice. "Handling your business, making sure you're doing everything the right way, and being able to be around such -- we have a really good locker room and a really good group of veteran guys."
Carman, out of Fairfield High School in suburban Cincinnati, had back surgery right after playing last season at left tackle for Clemson and has been trying to find the right weight in the transition to guard in the NFL. He played at 332 pounds last season is looking to see if lighter is better.
"I'm still feeling where I want my weight, especially switching positions because I played at a different weight in college," Carman said. "Still getting to that point exactly where I want to be and find out where my best playing weight is at. Come time for the season, it'll be where it needs to be."
SLANTS AND SCREENS: The Bengals have been hit a bit at right tackle. Starter Riley Reiff got shaken up Monday when he got in the way of Germaine Pratt's interception return. He did return for the last snap of the day, but he looked a little woozy. Meanwhile, backup tackle Fred Johnson, is going to miss about a week with a quad problem they're still trying to get their arms around.