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Bengals improved on special teams


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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Club's special teams improve

By Mark Curnutte

Enquirer staff writer

The Bengals continued to make dramatic improvement with special-teams play in 2004.

The Bengals ranked seventh in the NFL in the kicking game, according to a study conducted annually by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.

The Bengals finished seventh of 32 teams. Buffalo, New Orleans and Miami were the top three - none of which made the playoffs. Kansas City, Minnesota and St. Louis were the last three, but the Vikings and Rams made the NFC playoffs.

Bengals special teams tied with Philadelphia with the most takeaways, four.

"No. 1, it's a reflection of all Darrin's time and effort," coach Marvin Lewis said Monday of special teams coach Darrin Simmons. "And this year, for the most part, (Simmons used) a group of guys who had never done it before on an NFL field, and (we saw) them come together and change a lot from the beginning of the season."

WELCOME: The Bengals will face the Browns and new Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel twice each season.

"I think the guy is prepared and well deserving and now there's a competition," Lewis said when asked about Crennel, New England's three-time Super Bowl winning defensive coordinator.

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