“That’s why you draft a kicker” became a common theme for both the Cincinnati Bengals and its fanbase over the past two seasons.
We should’ve known Evan McPherson was going to hit the game-winning FG after he did this in college pic.twitter.com/DwurwLJjAg— PFF (@PFF) January 23, 2022
Since drafting Evan McPherson in the fifth round in 2021, the kicker has set numerous franchise records in his first two years.
In McPherson’s rookie season, he went 42-47 in the regular and postseason, had twelve 50+ yard field goals made, the longest field goal in Bengals history (59 yards), had the most game-winning field goals in a Bengals season, and tallied four field goals in three different playoff games.
That is why you draft a kicker.
But in the upcoming season, McPherson is looking to take another step forward in his career.
McPherson stated he is, “just finding little ways to be great,” I feel like I’m good, but I don’t think I’m great. Just finding ways to improve that consistency,” according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com.
In order to take that jump, McPherson discussed what he will be working on this season and how detailed his offseason training has been, “what I’m working more on this year is maybe in high-stress situations control my heartbeat, control my breathing and from there all my training takes over,” said McPherson.
After such a dominant rookie season Cincinnati’s young kicker missed four extra points in 2022 and saw a small drop in his overall percentage from 84.8 in 2021 to 82.8.
There was quite a whirlwind in special teams last season that made things more difficult for Evan. For example, losing longtime long-snapper Clark Harris in Week 1’s loss to Pittsburgh.
McPherson’s mindset could be super in-depth when it comes to improving, but it is really quite simple, “just having more fun with it. Have more fun with the game,” according to Hobson.
Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons discussed McPherson’s extra point issues last season and had a straightforward answer, according to Hobson, “consistency... finding his true swing and never coming off it. I don’t think it’s mechanical. He’s still a young guy. He’s learning.”
Evan McPherson has become a fan-favorite and Cincinnati treasure. With his early career success, the Bengals found a diamond at the kicker position.
Oh... that is why you draft a kicker.