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Bryant experiences another 'goofy thing'
By JOANNE KORTH and STEPHEN F. HOLDER
Published October 16, 2006
TAMPA - Matt Bryant missed a 43-yard field goal in the second quarter Sunday, his third miss of the season from what he considers within his range.
Bryant missed from 43 and 45 yards Sept. 17 at Atlanta.
"It's just been goofy things happening this year that haven't ever happened," said Bryant, who has made field goals of 22 and 28 yards this season.
Bryant's timing on Sunday's attempt was disrupted by a high snap from Dave Moore, who was playing for the first time since he was injured in the Sept. 10 opener.
The snap-hold-kick exchange happens in 1.35 seconds, Bryant said.
"Kickers are programmed to go as soon as the holder moves, and any time the snap is a little errant, it's going to throw off your timing," Moore said. "I had a little more on it than I should have. It definitely contributed to the miss."
In Atlanta, Bryant said his kicking shoe fell apart.
"It's different things that go on," Bryant said. "But you go on to the next one. I'm not going to sit here and complain about anybody. As a unit, the timing was off."
LINE MOVES: Sean Mahan replaced Dan Buenning at left guard late in the first half and played the rest of the game. Buenning, who has started all 21 games in which he has played, was called for tripping in the first quarter.
Mahan was penalized for a false start and a tripping late in the fourth quarter.
Line coach Bill Muir said not to read anything into the change.
"Sean, we feel, is a good football player," Muir said. "And I didn't want to leave any game we play without him having some opportunities."
IMPROVED COVERAGE: After watching Reggie Bush score the winner of last week's game at New Orleans on a 65-yard punt return with 4:17 remaining, the Bucs made major gains in their punt coverage.
Antonio Chatman had a 19-yard return, but his other two resulted in a fair catch and 3-yard return.
"We just fixed a couple of things and really just did what we do," said safety Blue Adams, who made a diving tackle to stop Chatman on one return. "There was no special emphasis on anything. Our job is to control field position. We've been doing it lately, but we let one get away from us last week."
As for the Bucs' return game, it was affected by Mark Jones' absence because of a hamstring injury. Jones was replaced by Ike Hilliard (five returns) and Joey Galloway (two). Hilliard had the Tampa Bay's longest return, a 14-yarder.
SAME OL': Tight end Alex Smith caught a 2-yard touchdown from Bruce Gradkowski in the third quarter. If the diving catch looked familiar, it should have. Smith caught the same slingshot pass on the same route for a touchdown last week.
"The whole defense was expecting it," Smith said. "Bruce hung with me, and I was able to shake loose. I think (the defender) had a pretty good hold of me, but I was fortunate to get loose. And (Gradkowski) stuck with me and made a great pass."
BEST SHOT: Asked why he opted to attempt a 62-yard field goal on the game's final play rather than take a shot at the end zone, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he believed that was the better option. Plus Shayne Graham asked Lewis to give him a crack at the kick.
"Your chances of making the play there from the (44) aren't very good the other way," Lewis said. "So that was our best shot to get the points."
KELLY SITS: Cornerback Brian Kelly was sidelined by a turf toe injury, giving way to Juran Bolden to start opposite Ronde Barber. Kelly has missed three of the past four games with the injury, which he says is not improving.
Kelly played well against the Saints after missing the previous two games but could not practice most of last week. It was not known if he will practice Wednesday.
With Kelly out and rookie cornerback Alan Zemaitis and new acquisition Derrick Strait inactive, Adams was the next cornerback on the depth chart.