And pardon Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons, who pulled Graham off the waiver wire the week of Lewis’ NFL head coaching debut in 2003 in the wake of the injury to Neil Rackers in the preseason finale, if he sees some similarities.So, according to Hob, Rayner and Nugent should work out fine because of three things: that Simmons likes them; that their performance will be elevated to a higher level than normal as a natural reaction to competition; and that their numbers, loosely defined as containing numerals by Hob, are close enough to Graham's to warrant a dramatic one-line reveal.
Nugent, who has been with three teams, has made 79 percent of his 100 field-goal tries. Rayner, who has been with five teams, has made 71.2 percent of his 59 tries.
“That sounds like Shayne Graham to me in 2002 and 2003,” said Simmons, who coached Graham in Carolina in ‘02. “That happens with a lot of kickers in this league. They’re out on the street and it rekindles that hunger a little bit. Competition brings out the best in everybody. Both of these guys are hungry.”
Look at how close the numbers are.
When Graham arrived in ’03, he was a 73.1-percent kicker, and he had only tried 26 NFL field goals. Rayner, 27, is back kicking after missing much of the spring with a hip flexor. Nugent, 28, made all six of his field goal tries last week two days after he was 4-for-6. After Thursday’s practice, Simmons says he likes the way both guys are hitting the ball. He had just watched them hit a bunch of 20-yard chippies while the line was getting worked on, but he wants to make sure he doesn’t overwork them, particularly Rayner.
Hmm. Interesting case (see that Hob--it's a sarcastic dramatic one-line reveal!)