For the first time ever, Cincinnati Bengals rookie kicker Jake Elliott kicked field goals in front of fans inside Paul Brown Stadium. And, it didn’t start well.
Elliott missed a 52-yard field goal and an extra point early during the team’s Family Day scrimmage on Saturday. That’s far from encouraging news, especially since incumbent kicker Randy Bullock made a 52-yard attempt, 39-yard attempt well as all of his lone extra point attempt for the first team (white jerseys).
Toward the end of the scrimmage, Elliott, who was playing with the second team (black jerseys), made a 32-yard attempt, a 35-yard attempt and a 51-yard attempt. But, the two earlier misses definitely strike fear in the minds of fans and coaches as nearly everyone in Cincinnati is hoping the first kicker selected in the 2017 NFL Draft makes the Bengals’ roster and drastically improves the team’s kicking game after the disaster seen at the position in 2016.
The preseason will bring about a lot more information as Elliott and Bullock compete in live-game action and the team looks to decide which kicker will be the one who makes the roster this season.
“Misses are going to happen, and they always will, so the faster you can put those in the back of your mind and bounce back the faster you can gain your confidence back and get back on a roll,” Elliott said via Dayton Daily News after the scrimmage.
Elliott will not be able to have many more misses, especially misses on PATs to instill confidence in the Bengals’ coaching staff, as well as his teammates. Several Bengals players made comments throughout the 2016 season in regards to how disappointed they were by the kicking game. That can’t be the case again this season as the team hopes for a rebound season and looks to find their way back to the playoffs.
Hopefully Elliott figures out what went wrong on Saturday and rights those wrongs as the preseason gets underway next Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bengals have Sunday off before resuming training camp on Monday, Tuesday and finishing up on Wednesday.