Bengals Unhappy Over Evan McPherson Watching Super Bowl Halftime Show

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Without the right leg of rookie kicker Evan McPherson, the Bengals likely don’t appear in their first Super Bowl in 32 years.

Look no further than McPherson’s game-winning 52-yard field goal to defeat the Titans in the AFC Divisional round and his 31-yarder to defeat the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. But for Cincinnati and special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons, one decision from McPherson during the Super Bowl has left the organization unhappy.

During the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show featuring Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar and 50 Cent, McPherson apparently wanted to take it all in. Rather than spend his halftime in the locker room, McPherson was seen on the sidelines enjoying the show.

“That’s a sore subject,” Simmons said, via Jay Morrison of The Athletic. “That’s a real sore subject.”

Simmons continued, giving an honest critique of McPherson.

“He needs to become a better practice kicker and kick better than he has,” Simmons said. “Not that it’s poor, but I think for him to be elite and go over the top, he’s got to kick better in practice and learn new things.”

A fifth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft out of Florida, McPherson nailed 28-of-33 field goals and 46-of-48 extra points this past season. In four games during the playoffs, McPherson was perfect, going 14-of-14 on field goals and 6-of-6 on extra points.

Building off a successful rookie season will be paramount, as well as improving his 60.4% touchback rate on kickoffs. That number put McPherson in the middle of the pack across the league, a number that Simmons would like to see skyrocket.

“One of my major things this offseason is I’ve got to get his field goal leg to equate to what he does on kickoffs,” Simmons said. “He has a very, very powerful field goal leg. It’s not that he doesn’t have a powerful kickoff leg, but we’ve got to get that power transferred into kickoffs more consistently than we did this year.”

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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.


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  1. Saying he needs to be a better “practice” kicker? Really? He, more than anyone else, was responsible for getting the Bengals to the Super Bowl. He was 14-14 in the playoffs. This Special Teams Coach must be angling to get his ass fired.

  2. If he goes out and misses a big kick in the second half then maybe you can call him out but the kid was 14/14 in the playoffs. What are we talking even about here. No wonder why Cincinnati has sucked for so long.

  3. Specialists routinely go back out way before the rest of the team. They hardly take halftime. Sometimes a kicker has only kicked a couple times in the first half, and on good teams a punter might be on ice the whole half, so they always go out to get some full reps in. I bet he went out at a similar juncture in the SB but just watched some of the extended show.

  4. Uh if my 22 year old kicker hits 9/11 from 50+ during the year and kicks game winning field goals in the playoffs he can freakin perform in the halftime show at the super bowl as far as I’m concerned. He’s A KICKER. He’s not the reason Cincy lost the Super Bowl. You might want to focus on that o-line there coach.

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