CINCINNATI -- Coach Marvin Lewis probably regrets not moving on from longtime kicker Mike Nugent quickly enough last season after Nugent struggled through 13 games, missing six field goals and six extra points. Nugent's misses contributed to several of the Cincinnati Bengals' losses last season, and his replacement, Randy Bullock, missed a game-winning field goal.
It doesn't look like the Bengals are going to have that kind of patience with Bullock this year after he missed an extra point in two straight games. He also missed the game against the Jaguars with a back injury, but Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons said Bullock is healthy.
"If he's the guy we decide to put out there, that's not an excuse," Simmons said. "If he's out there, he's got to make the kicks. If he physically can't make them, we've got to put someone else out there. That's not been an issue. He said he's fine."
When asked if the Bengals were committed to Bullock for the rest of the season, Simmons deferred to Marvin Lewis, who said they were committed to Bullock for "this week."
"Obviously it's an area of concern. You've got to make kicks," Simmons said
Lewis admitted what they went through last year with kickers has affected their thought process this season.
"It does affect our patience level," Lewis said.
It was quite a different tone from the one the Bengals struck at the beginning of the season, when they said Bullock was their guy after he won the job over fifth-round draft pick Jake Elliott. Although Elliott stuck around briefly on the practice squad, he is now with the Eagles, where he has made 17-of-21 field goals and 25-of-28 extra points this season.
Bullock has made 8-of-10 field goals this season (one was blocked) and is 18-of-20 on PAT attempts.