the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Kicking Competition Concludes: Justin Tucker over Billy Cundiff

Two of the NFL kicking battles that began in minicamps and OTAs came to a resolution yesterday and two more concluded this morning. The first occurred in Baltimore yesterday morning when the Ravens released veteran Billy Cundiff and handed the kicking job to rookie Justin Tucker. Head coach John Harbaugh explained:
These decisions are never easy, and this one was difficult for all of us – Ozzie [Newsome], Jerry [Rosburg] and me. Of course, that says something about Justin, the way he has kicked and our belief in him.... Billy had a great camp, the best he has had with us. He showed, like he always has, a toughness and an ability to come back and be a top flight NFL kicker.
Responding yet again to the continual questions regarding last year's AFC Championship Game rushed and missed field goal in the waning seconds, Billy Cundiff recently commented:
Let's be honest, I feel like I've been through enough. There's not a single thing that I think somebody can trap me that I'm not prepared for. So, I know my confidence has been high, I know when I came into training camp a lot of people asked me where my head was at and kind of questioned whether I'd be able to even kick. Whatever the case may be, I felt like I proved continually throughout training camp that I came in prepared. And regardless of what's thrown at me, what the situation is, I feel like I'm ready to kick.
After handling all the kicking in the preseason game against Jacksonville, Justin Tucker discussed his kicking progress, which ultimately landed him the starting job:
I really do feel like I’m kicking the best I’ve ever kicked, and that’s a big testament to what Coach Rosburg and Coach Harbaugh and Randy Brown have been able to do with me since I’ve been here. To the naked eye, it doesn’t look like I’ve made a lot of changes, but I’ve made a complete transformation from the kicker that I was in school to the kicker I am now. I owe a lot of my recent successes to them because they’ve been on me about getting better at something every single day.... Pretty simple things, but once you have other habits ingrained into your muscle memory, it’s kind of hard to change right off the bat. It took a little work, it took a couple days, and I now I feel like I’m striking the ball as confidently as ever.
Stay tuned for updates from Houston, Washington and New York (Jets)...
 

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