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Bengals Rookie Kicker Evan McPherson Continues To Draw Inspiration From Adam Vinatieri

CBS Boston logo CBS Boston 2/7/2022 Syndicated Local – CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) —  For young kickers in the NFL, there are few better role models than former Patriots legend Adam Vinatieri. Cincinnati Bengals rookie kicker Evan McPherson continues to tap into Vinatieri’s Greatest Hits — or should we say, Greatest Kicks — as he prepares for Super Bowl LVI this weekend.

McPherson may have only been a toddler when Vinatieri kicked his first Super Bowl-winning field goal for the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams in 2002, but it’s a highlight that he’s watched over and over again throughout his career as a kicker. The 22-year-old, who kicked the Bengals into the Super Bowl with a game-winning 31-yard field goal against the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime of the AFC Championship, talked about Vinatieri’s impact on his career on Monday as the Bengals get set to face the Rams (now of Los Angeles) on Sunday.

“Adam is definitely a guy I have looked up to and watched a lot of videos on. Growing up as a kid, and shoot, still today, I love to watch his run with the Patriots when he is kicking game-winners in the Super Bowl. I think that is every kid’s dream, to kick a game-winner in the Super Bowl,” said the rookie.

McPherson has never met Vinatieri, but believes the two will cross paths some day. When that happens, there will be a lot of gushing from the young kicker.

“When I do, I’ll appreciate him for everything he has done for our position and for what he accomplished,” said McPherson. “He has done a lot for me, even not knowing me. Just to see someone else make those kicks, it kind of gives you the confidence to make them. It’s super weird and I don’t know how to explain it, but I love watching him go out there and hit the only walk-off, game-winning kick in Super Bowl history. It’s super cool.


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“If we get the opportunity to do that I hope we come through with it,” he added. “I love Adam and everything he did in his career.”

Vinatieri, of course, would kick another Super Bowl-winner a few years after that boot against the Rams, with a 41-yarder with four seconds left in Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers. He had a 22-yard field goal the following year that gave New England a 24-14 lead halfway through the fourth quarter in an eventual 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.

After winning three Super Bowl rings with the Patriots, Vinatieri won a fourth with the Indianapolis Colts, whom he spent 14 seasons with before retiring in 2021. He stepped away with 599 field goals made and 2,673 points for his career, both of which are NFL records. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted in 1996.

Vinatieri will go down as one of the greatest kickers in NFL history, and he remains an inspiration for today’s generation of kickers.

McPherson can actually break a few Vinatieri records on Sunday. The rookie is a perfect 12-for-12 on field goal attempts this postseason, and needs just three more makes to break Vinatieri’s record of 14 field goals in one postseason, which he set in 2006. McPherson had four field goals in each of Cincinnati’s playoff wins this postseason, and needs just one more to break Vinatieri’s record for most postseason games with four field goals.

Breaking either of those records would likely earn the rookie at least a congratulatory phone call from Vinatieri.

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