The Bengal “Gabbies” are handed out at the conclusion of the season in recognition of those individuals that made outstanding contributions to the Bengals’ season. Next up is the Jim Breech Gabbie, awarded to the most valuable special teams player.
- Wide Receiver Quan Cosby: Cosby, an undrafted rookie free agent signee from Texas, provided the Bengals with quality punt returns all year. Cosby led the league with 474 yards in punt returns, giving the Bengals a weapon they haven’t had in years. In addition, Cosby proved reliable as a back-up kick off return man, and played on coverage teams.
- Running Back Bernard Scott: Another rookie, Scott took over the kick-off return job mid-season for the underperforming Andre Caldwell and responded with several solid returns, including a touchdown at Pittsburgh. Scott finished with 504 yards in returns, and a 31.5 yard average.
- Long Snapper Clark Harris: After the constant struggles of Brad St. Louis in the early going, costing the team several points, Harris came in and provided immediate needed stability and reliability. His snaps were crisp and quick, and he provided solid work on the coverage teams. By the end of the season, fans no longer held their breath at the snap of a kick attempt. The kick itself, of course, was another matter.
And the winner is:
Punter Kevin Huber
Yet another rookie to bring needed reliability to a position on special teams, Huber provided immediate stability from the first game of the season. Huber finished 11th in the league in overall punting, and had 24 kicks downed inside the 20 yard line. In addition, Huber provided a cool and steady hand in getting his kicks out fast, particularly when backed up in his own end zone, giving up no blocked punts. As the Bengals shifted their offensive scheme from a pass-first philosophy to more of a running, field position focus, Huber’s punts were critical to the success of that change.
Not to be overlooked was Huber’s play as holder on placekicks. Huber dealt with the issues with Brad St. Louis’ snap problems during the early year, and then quickly built a rapport with new long snapper Clark Harris. Holding on placekicks is one of the more difficult tasks in football, and Huber’s holds were solid all year long.
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About Jim Breech: The Bengals Gab special teams MVP award is named after all-time great K Jim Breech. Breech played 14 seasons with the Bengals, and was the kicker in both of the franchise’s Super Bowl appearances. Breech was perfect in both games, making all field goal and extra point attempts. He finished his career as the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,152 points. Breech was 243 of 340 on field goals (71.4%) and 517 of 539 on extra points (95.9%). He was also 9-for-9 on overtime field goal attempts. Breech is regarded as the best special teams player in franchise history.
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