There are, sometimes, very entertaining aspects to preseason football. On Thursday night, we have Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco to thank for that.
With veteran K Shayne Graham being held out due to a groin injury, Ochocinco has taken over kicking duties during tonight’s preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
Ochocinco’s talent was first displayed when he followed up a J.T. O’Sullivan 24-yard touchdown pass to Chris Henry near the end of the second quarter with an extra point — which was dead-center through the uprights. Ochocinco also opened the second half by kicking off, sending a line-drive kick to the Patriots’ 9-yard line.
There are two great things about Ochocinco’s kicking — one, he’s actually pretty good. Two, at some point he talked coach Marvin Lewis into letting him be the emergency kicker, and then proved he could do it during practice. Classic.
All teams have protocols in place for such emergency situations — who will take the place of snappers, kickers, punters, etc. — and often practice them. Tonight’s situation is reminicsent of another game at Foxborough. During a regular season game in Week 5 of the 2004 season, WR Wes Welker (now with the Patriots) took over kicking duties for the Dolphins when Olindo Mare was injured during pregame. Welker handled kickoffs, hit a 29-yard field goal and an extra point in that game.
– Frank Tadych