Cincinnati Bengals: Pre-Camp Roster Prediction
Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals helmet on the field prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals have enjoyed success in recent years that has been unique in its history by making the playoffs in three consecutive years. The Bengals’ ability to acquire and develop talent during these years has enabled them to achieve this kind of success and begin to redefine expectations for this team. But because they’ve acquired and developed all this talent, 2014’s training camp may be one of the most competitive in the NFL and the team may be saying farewell to some familiar faces soon. Will wily veterans continue to produce at a high level and hold off the ambitious youth the team has acquired or will the youth shine and supplant these veterans forcing them to seek employment elsewhere? It’s a hard business and the coaches will be faced with some very difficult decisions, but as fans it’ll be fun to watch and a good problem to have. Let’s get started…
Special Teams (3): Ken Huber (P), Mike Nugent (K), Clark Harris (LS)
Not much to discuss here. Ken Huber has been a very productive punter over the past few seasons for the Bengals and should return to form this coming year following a broken jaw last year that ended his season. Clark Harris was resigned along with Huber during the 2013 off-season. There may be some competition between Mike Nugent and Quinn Sharp, an All-American punter while at Oklahoma State. Sharp did earn All-Big 12 honors as a kicker during his sophomore season and posted a 84.7% career average. Nugent has been average as a kicker in recent years and Sharp has a bigger leg and would certainly produce more touchbacks, but accuracy will be the deciding factor and both kickers seem about even in this way. Whichever kicker can prove to be more consistent will earn the job.