Baltimore Ravens: The Battle Of The Kickers Is Finished, Finally

By Connor Harrison

Okay, so the Baltimore Ravens cut kicker Billy Cundiff, who later signed with the Washington Redskins, but that’s beside the point. The kicker they kept is Justin Tucker, the rookie out of Texas.

I’m not saying that was a mistake, but it is a risk the Ravens are taking since some rookies have trouble with the transition for the college level to the NFL. During his four year tenure at Texas, Tucker was the kickoff man in 52 games and placekicking in 25 of them. He was consistent, nailing all of his PATs and a little over 83 percent of his field goals.

Tucker starts off with a clear slate, no makes or misses in the NFL. This coming up regular season is time for him to step up and show the Ravens just how good he is. During training camps and practices, Tucker clearly out-kicked Cundiff, both in accuracy and overall leg strength.

If Tucker makes his first field goal, I expect the Raven fans will welcome him nicely, now if he misses the first one, expect it to be a not so nice welcome.

I’m sure it was a tough decision to let Cundiff go, but the Ravens have dealt with kicking problems before. Remember Graham Gano and Steve Hauschka kick it out for Matt Stover‘s job? Yeah, not the best gamble they’ve made. They’ve chewed up and spat out a few kickers the last, let’s say, five years or so.

Could Justin Tucker be the next kicker for Baltimore? Well, he obviously will be, but will he be with the Ravens in a couple of years, or will they have let him go also?

I’m awaiting opening week to see Baltimore in action, and I’ll most definitely keep my eye on Tucker. I need to see if this will pay off for the Ravens in the long run. If it doesn’t, they’ll be due for another kicker come next season. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

Before Week one starts, he has one more preseason game to go. Consider it just more practice for him to get used to kicking for Baltimore, and in the NFL of course. The NFL is a different world, Tucker will find that out either the hard way, or he’ll ease into it and do fine. For now, it’s a waiting game.

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