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St. Louis Sent Packing

Your average extra point attempt had become too much of an adventure, even for this drama-loving Bengals squad. In a move that seemed unavoidable at this point, the Bengals terminated the contract of long snapper Brad St. Louis today.

A 10-year veteran of 144 Bengal games, St. Louis was a 7th-round draft pick of Dick Lebeau’s Bengals back in 1999. The Bengals showed a great deal of loyalty and patience with St. Louis, but after another shaky performance on Sunday in Baltimore, the team had no choice but to make a change. Simply put, he was taking points off the board and becoming more and more a glaring a liability.

“Brad is a guy we all admire,” Bengals special teams coach Darrin Simmons said, “but we have to put this fire out.”

By some accounts, the Bengals have left eleven points on the field so far this season due to issues with the center-holder exchange. It began versus Denver when a high snap on a field goal try sailed over holder Kevin Huber’s head. Then there was a botched extra point against the Steelers. Then two blocked kicks versus the Browns due to poor snaps. After another blocked kick and two more bad snaps against the Ravens, it was clear St. Louis had played his way out of a job.

With the difference in every game so far being of the slightest of margins, having a reliable field goal unit is essential. “We have to be able to snap the ball, hold the ball, and kick the ball,” Simmons said succinctly. “We’ve got to do all those things.”

Prior to this season’s troubles, St. Louis is perhaps best known for a bad snap in a key Christmas Eve game at Denver in 2006. Needing a win to secure a playoff spot, the team scored a touchdown with 40 seconds left to get to within one point at 23-24. St. Louis’ bad snap and resulting botched extra point attempt sealed the loss for the Bengals.

St. Louis was replaced on the roster by LS Clark Harris. Harris, a 7th round pick of the Packers in 2007 will have five days to sync up with Huber and Kicker Shayne Graham before Sunday’s home tilt with the Texans.

In a bit of irony, Harris spent the preseason long-snapping for Houston.

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