Jim Breech is the best kicker in Bengals' history. In his 13 seasons with the Bengals, Breech used his size 5 cleat to boot his way to becoming the all-time leading scorer in franchise history.
When the pressure was on in overtime, Breech shined.
Even more timeless than Breech's NFL record of 9-for-9 in overtime is the advice he received from the first pure kicker to ever make the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When Breech first met Jan Stenerud, he had one season in the NFL under his belt, Stenerud 13.
"And he mentioned that everyone will struggle," Breech said. "Every position goes through it, ours is just more noticeable."
Credit Bengals great Reggie Williams for contributing to Breech's OT record. Williams, the Ivy League linebacker, had words of wisdom.
"Reggie Williams once told me the way for a kicker to gain respect from the team was to make the kicks that mattered," Breech said. "I took it to heart because you never want to let the guys down. It's one way we can really help the team."
Breech, who kicked until he was 36, saw his percentage rise with the eras. In his first eight seasons he hit 67 percent of his kicks, a top ten number from 1979-86. From '87-92 it was 77 percent, still in the top ten.
But OT was something else.
"I always thought the big game type kicks were fun. Heck, why play the game if you don't want to be in that situation?" Breech asked. "I finally learned I could control only one thing and that was the kick. When I stopped worrying about everything around me good things started to happen. Control what you can control."