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Friday, October 2, 2015

Baltimore Ravens Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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October 1, 2015 - Justin Tucker kicks 52 yard OT game winner over Steelers
"Twice late in the fourth quarter, the Steelers had the ball in Ravens territory but Josh Scobee missed field goals that would have made it a two-possession game. Twice in overtime, the Steelers had the ball in Ravens territory but were stopped on fourth-and-short. And Justin Tucker finally ended the marathon game with a 52-yard field goal with just five minutes remaining in overtime, sending the Ravens to a pulsating, 23-20 victory before a stunned crowd of 63,929 at Heinz Field. 'No matter which end you spin it, which end of the stadium you're kicking at, it's a tough stadium to kick in,' Tucker said. "It's a tough place to play in. It's one of the most electric stadiums to play in in the National Football League. So, to be able to come in and win in such a dramatic fashion with just a consummate team effort, it's really special. It'll be one heck of a plane right back to Baltimore'." - Baltimore Sun

August 31, 2015 - long snapper Patrick Scales and punter Justin Manton released

July 9, 2015 - punter Sam Koch extended five years
"The team announced Thursday that Sam Koch has verbally agreed to a five-year contract extension. The deal will pay Koch $16.25 million in new money with a $4 million signing bonus, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, via a source who has seen the contract. Koch's total of $18.75 million over six years equates to $3.25 million annually, making him one of the NFL's highest-paid punters. Yet to miss a game in nine seasons with the Ravens, Koch has been lauded for his directional punting and ability to drop "coffin corners" just in front of the end zone. The 32-year-old finished among the 2014 league leaders in average (47.0), net average (42.9) and fewest return yards allowed (166), per Pro Football Focus." - NFL

May 2, 2015- kicker/punter Justin Manton signed
Undrafted kicker/punter Justin Manton out of Louisianian-Monroe was signed following the draft.

April 23, 2015 - kicker Justin Tucker signs tender
"The Ravens reportedly placed a second-round tender on Tucker worth $2.356 million, and the fourth-year kicker signed it Thursday morning. The tender is essentially a one-year contract for Tucker that keeps him in Baltimore without hitting the open market. Another team could have tried to pry Tucker away from Baltimore with an offer sheet that the Ravens couldn’t match, but the Ravens protected their kicker by placing a high tender value on him. If another team had signed Tucker, then the Ravens would have received a second-round pick in return. Signing the tender will keep Tucker in Baltimore for the short-term, but Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti has said he would like to extend Tucker to a long-term deal." - Ravens

April 21, 2015 - long snapper Patrick Scales signs ERFA tender
"Backup long snapper Patrick Scales signed his $435,000 exclusive-rights free agent tender. Scales was signed last season after long snappers Kevin McDermott (elbow) and Morgan Cox (torn anterior cruciate ligament) suffered season-ending injuries." - Baltimore Sun

March 17, 2015 - long snapper Morgan Cox re-signed
"Cox tore his anterior cruciate ligament in October and was placed on injured reserve. His two-year, $1.621 million contract expired at the end of this season." - Baltimore Sun

March 9, 2015 - kicker Justin Tucker tendered
"The Ravens have assigned a $2.356 million second-round restricted free agent tender to Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker, according to a league source. Since Tucker is a restricted free agent, the Ravens have the right to match any competing offer sheet or receive a second-round NFL draft pick in return. A former undrafted free agent, Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history, having made 97 of 108 career field goals (89.81 percent)." - Baltimore Sun

December 18, 2014 - long snapper Kevin McDermott placed on IR, Patrick Scales signed
"The Ravens changed long snappers Thursday afternoon, signing Patrick Scales and sending Kevin McDermott to injured reserve with an elbow injury. Baltimore signed McDermott on Oct. 20 to step in for Morgan Cox after Cox suffered a season-ending knee injury. McDermott had snapped without any issues, but had a high snap last Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Holder Sam Koch still got the snap down, but the timing on the kick was a bit off and kicker Justin Tucker hooked a 54-yard attempt left and short. Scales has spent time with the Ravens in two previous training camps in 2011 and 2012, so Baltimore knows him well. He was part of the tryout along with McDermott back in October, but the Ravens picked McDermott. 'Patrick is a guy that was with us in training camp twice who we have a lot of respect for, as well,' Harbaugh said at the time. 'Both of those guys had excellent workouts and we feel like either one of those guys would fit us really well'." - Ravens

December 12, 2014 - long snapper Morgan Cox injury update
"Cox is making steady progress in his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that forced him to go on injured reserve. Cox is off crutches and rehabillitating his right knee daily at the Ravens' training complex in hopes of being ready for offseason workouts and minicamps. 'So far so good,' Cox said. 'I come in here every day ready to work the guys in there are supporting me and the teammate are encouraging me every day. I got a lot of great help around me.... As far as timeline, assuming everything goes according to plan, I'm hoping to be up and running by the offseason workouts and organized team activities and stuff like that. As far as the scale of participation, obviously that will be a decision they'll have to make. My goal is to be ready for it'." - Baltimore Sun

December 4, 2014 - kicker Justin Tucker named AFC Special teams Player of the Month
"Tucker is quietly having another superb season, and on Thursday was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November. Tucker went 7-for-7 on his field-goal attempts last month, and more than 70 percent of his kickoffs went for touchbacks. Tucker displayed his range and consistency during the month. He hit a 46-yarder in Pittsburgh, then a key 55-yarder in New Orleans on Monday Night Football. Tucker connected on four field goals (all under 35 yards) in Sunday’s loss to the Chargers. It’s the second time Tucker has won Special Teams Player of the Month during his career. He also earned it in November of last year." - Ravens

October 20, 2014 - long snapper Kevin McDermott signed
"The Ravens signed veteran veteran long snapper Kevin McDermott after auditioning him and Patrick Scales for the job, according to sources.... McDermott, 24, has previous stints with the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos. He played in 16 games for the 49ers after winning the long snapper job in 2013 as an undrafted rookie out of UCLA, where he walked on and earned a scholarship. McDermott has tried out for the Cleveland Browns, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Broncos this year." - Baltimore Sun

October 19, 2014 - long snapper Morgan Cox out for season with torn ACL
"Cox tore his right anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Sunday’s win over the Atlanta Falcons. 'Morgan is going to be out for the year. I’m sorry to report that,' Head Coach John Harbaugh said. 'We’ll be looking for a long snapper.' The Ravens will likely audition free agents early this week and sign one before practices begin. Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, who successfully filled in for Cox on one extra-point snap, will not be the long-term replacement. 'Nope, no way,' Ngata said. 'They are bringing somebody in.' An MRI is slated for tomorrow to confirm that it’s an ACL tear. It’s the second ACL tear for Cox. He tore his left one in Week 16 of his 2010 rookie season. Cox suffered the injury in the fourth quarter when running down on punt coverage. 'Was running down the field, was trying to turn the returner back in, planted, got blocked and just felt it,' Cox said. 'I felt a lot of pain, so yeah; I assumed it was something pretty serious'." - Ravens

September 24, 2014 - kicker Justin Tucker named AFC Special teams Player of the Week
"For the fourth time in three seasons, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker was named the AFC special teams player of the week. Tucker converted all three of his field-goal attempts in the Ravens' 23-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and his 32-yarder as time expired provided the decisive points in the road win. The kick was Tucker's seventh career game-winner. He also made field goals from 38 yards and 21 yards in the game. For the season, Tucker is 8-for-9 with his only miss coming from 55 yards in the Ravens' season-opening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals." - Baltimore Sun

September 21, 2014 - Justin Tucker kicks game winner over Browns 
"Justin Tucker's 32-yard field goal as time expired lifts team to second straight win.... Needing a big play to give Justin Tucker a shot at a game-winning field-goal attempt, Smith beat the Cleveland Browns’ Joe Haden, one of the game’s best cornerbacks, to haul in a 33-yard reception. A couple plays later, Tucker connected on a 32-yard field goal, sending the Ravens to a wild 23-21 victory over the Browns in front of an announced 67,407 at FirstEnergy Stadium." - Baltimore Sun

September 11, 2014 - punter Sam Koch will set record tonight
"Punter Sam Koch's current streak of 129 straight games is tied for the longest in Ravens history. This week, he'll break the mark he shares with linebacker Jarret Johnson, who played in Baltimore from 2003-11." - Pressbox

August 25, 2014 - punter Richie Leone released
"Leone, a left-footed punter from the University of Houston, had a 40-yard punt against the Dallas Cowboys. Leone has a strong leg, but faced long odds with veteran punter Sam Koch entrenched for the past several seasons." - Baltimore Sun

August 1, 2014 - special team coordinator Jerry Rosburg discusses punters
How’s Richie Leone doing just as a punter? 'If you were able to see the special teams part today, Richie did well in the team drill, and I think it’s a result of the fact that he’s now more accustomed to our tempo. Every punt team [is] different, every unit [is] different, and punting [the football] out of your hand, or punting it just for the snapper, is a lot different than putting it with the whole punt team. Today was a day that Richie made a step forward because he was punting out there with a punt team, with a rush, and his tempo and his comfort level was much higher. He was much better today, and we’re encouraged by that.'
What did you think about Sam Koch hitting a 60-yard field goal? 'He is a great athlete. Then Richie comes back and hits a game-winner. [Kicking consultant] Randy Brown is right now riding high, because we’ve got our two punters to kick 50-plus field goals. It doesn’t surprise me, really, that they’re able to do that, because they’re both really good athletes. But I think it points to the kind of players that you have at this level. It’s remarkable some of the things these guys can do, and that’s a testament to that. They’ve practiced just a couple of times, and they go out there and warm up, and get ready to go, and they knock a 60-yard [field goal] through and a 54-yard game-winner. That’s fun; that’s great stuff.” - Ravens

June 27, 2014 - contract extension for kicker Justin Tucker?
"Little has been said about Pro Bowl third-year kicker Justin Tucker’s contract, but the Ravens are working on a contract extension for him, too, general manager Ozzie Newsome told Kevin Byrne, the team’s senior vice president of public and community relations, in an article posted on the team's website. Tucker, the former undrafted free agent who signed a three-year, $1.44 million contract with the Ravens in 2012, will be a restricted free agent following the 2014 campaign.... In two seasons, Tucker, 24, has established himself as one of the top kickers in the NFL. He’s converted 68-of-74 field-goal attempts and made all 68 of his extra points. He’s also made six game-winning field goals, including a franchise-record 61-yarder that beat the Detroit Lions last season. Tucker’s 38 made field goals and 140 points last season were both franchise records. He is due to make $570,000 in 2014, so Tucker will obviously be getting a hefty raise soon." - Baltimore Sun

June 16, 2014 - punter Sam Koch faces competition
"Koch is sharing practice time with rookie free agent Richie Leone, a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award as college football’s top punter. It’s only the third time Koch has had a challenger during his nine-year career, and the first time since 2011. So how does Koch view the competition? 'It puts things in perspective and lets me help him and allows me to analyze myself,' Koch said. The main thing is being able to have somebody out there to push you that much harder. He hits a ball, you want to do that much better. And he wants to do much better than you'.... This summer, he’s focusing on improving his craft to be a better team player. He wants to improve his hang time and get it into the high four-second mark, which would give his gunners more time to get down the field and force fair catches or make quicker tackles. He wants to get more punts inside the 20-yard line and fewer touchbacks. Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said Koch has punted well during organized team activities (OTAs). 'Each year is a new year,' Rosburg said. 'I think what we’ve been able to do during the course of these OTAs and football schools is to give Sam an opportunity to go back and refine his game'.” - Ravens

June 15, 2014 - punter Richie Leone practices holding
The Ravens have had undrafted rookie punter Richie Leone hold on some kicks during organized team activities to allow Justin Tucker to get accustomed to any potential changes during the season due to injury. 'For Justin, for example, it’s a good opportunity for him to have someone else [Richie Leone] hold for him, because he’s so used to Sam,' Rosburg said. 'You hope nothing ever happens during the course of a season, but if somebody else has to hold, like if [backup quarterback] Tyrod [Taylor] has to hold or if somebody else has to go in and hold, he has to get used to making kicks with someone else other than Sam holding the ball. Richie has been getting a lot of good reps with him, and that’s a good opportunity for him to see a ball that’s not exactly the same way that Sam holds it. It’s a way that he can improve at the same time'." - Baltimore Sun

May 10, 2014 - punter Richie Leone signed
"Congratulations to Richie Leone on a great weekend!! He became a U of H graduate on Friday and a Baltimore Raven on Saturday!! #GoCoogs!!" - coach Tony Levine
See Leone's profile here.

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