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Darrin Simmons on Mike Nugent: 'He'll make the next one'

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Cincinnati Bengals placekicker Mike Nugent had a rough week after a missed 36-yarder that should have led to a win over the Carolina Panthers. Instead it was missed and the game ended with a tie. Six days later and people are still confident in Nugent.

Patrick Smith

Bengals placekicker Mike Nugent doesn't intend to fade after a disastrous start to the season. After posting five consecutive field goals against the Baltimore Ravens, Nugent has been blocked once and missed five other attempts... the last being a 36-yarder that should have won Cincinnati the game but led to a tie against the Carolina Panthers.

Since that kick sailed epically wide right, Nugent hasn't missed missed a kick... converting everything in practice. "He's had a good bounce back week," said special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons via Bengals.com. "A great week."

"I don't want to be too technical or over analytical about it," Simmons said. "Sometimes we overanalyze things that are sitting right in front of us and we try to cure ailments that don't need to be cured. We just have to tighten up the details of what he does. I think he'll continue to work on detailing everything he does. His alignment, his walk off, not overcompensating for wind, knowing that when he gets a good clean ball the ball is going to go straight."

The wind is a significant point... one that's overlooked in the hate-Nugent diatribes. It was fairly windy against the Atlanta Falcons during the second week of the season, leading to three misses. Cincinnati cruised a 24-10 win anyway. Nugent also missed a 52-yarder in New England, facing a wind that was not unlike the football hitting a brick wall. A field goal doesn't make much difference in a 26-point blowout. If you're going to miss, then do it when matters the least.

Yet, the wind isn't much of an excuse. He's experienced enough to adjust to it and compensated enough to do it regularly. Sunday's miss that led to a tie was his first significant miss that directly led to a negative outcome... though he did give Cincinnati two leads in the same game... a 38-yarder with 2:11 remaining in the fourth and a 42-yarder with 8:35 remaining in overtime.

"I've got a ton of faith and confidence in Mike. Mike's made a lot of pressure kicks for us since he's been here and the next one he gets I have the same amount of confidence," Simmons said, "Mike will be fine. We'll be all fine. When that opportunity comes again, he'll make the next one."

Despite acknowledging that Nugent should have made the kick, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis expressed confidence in Nugent during Monday's presser.

"You got to just bounce back," said Lewis on Monday. "Hopefully we'll get him a lot of opportunities at 1s (extra points) as much as possible. That's a kick Mike knows good and well he should make. He'll make the next time he gets an opportunity. Mike will make the kick. I'm very confident about that."

Cincinnati hosted ten veteran free agents this week. None were kickers.