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Recent form of little guide in Bengals' PK search

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Posted June 11, 2010 @ 4:15 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Cincinnati's PK competition features a pair of veterans (Mike Nugent and Dave Rayner) with spotty recent form. However, both have shown potential earlier in their careers.

Nugent, 28, a second-round pick of the Jets in 2005, connected on better than 80 percent of his field-goal attempts in 2006 and '07, but he has attempted just nine regular-season field goals since. He missed 15 games in 2008 because of a quadriceps injury and signed with Tampa Bay after the season. He struggled with the Buccaneers and was released early in October. Overall, Nugent, who also kicked for Arizona, missed four of the eight field goals he attempted in 2009.

Rayner, 27, has a strong leg and has attempted 59 career field goals (though none last season). However, his accuracy on shorter kicks is somewhat questionable — he has made the same percentage of his career FG attempts from 30-to-39 yards (68.4) as he has between 40-to-49 yards — and missing shorter kicks can quickly tax a coaching staff's patience.

The Bengals are one of three AFC teams with open competitions at placekicker, with the Texans (Kris Brown vs. Neil Rackers) and Ravens (Billy Cundiff vs. ex-Bengal Shayne Graham) the others. Also, in Cleveland, veteran Shaun Suisham could push Phil Dawson, the Browns' full-time kicker since the team began play in 1999, but Dawson is probably the favorite to win the job.


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