Baltimore Ravens’ Justin Tucker “having fun” in the Pros
It was a regular preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons in August, but for Justin Tucker, it was a career changing moment.
“That first kick – 36-yarder from the right hash, Georgia Dome – my heart was probably beating out of my chest a little bit,” recalled Justin Tucker. “But I stuck with what I know, I did what I always do, and the kick went right down the pipes.”
Since magic rolled out that day, Justin Tucker has made bigger plays such as the game-winning field goal against the New England Patriots as the clock ran out and last Sunday’s 9-6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in which the placekicker contributed all of Baltimore Ravens’ points.
“From that point on, I’ve been having fun with every single attempt,” stated Justin Tucker. “In a sense, every kick is like, ‘Wow. This is awesome.’”
“I really try to treat every attempt exactly the same,” added Justin Tucker, “whether it’s an extra point, a field goal to win the game or a 50-plus yarder.”
Justin Tucker, who went undrafted in the April drafts, stole veteran Billy Cundiff’s starting job after signing with the Baltimore Ravens in the summer. Billy Cundiff moved on with the Washington Redskins, but he was cut from the team on Tuesday.
However, Justin Tucker was a star kicker at University of Texas and quite familiar with the pressure of the job, playing high-profile games in front of a larger audience. In fact, Justin Tucker had bigger kicks and more important kicks than the one against the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason. One of Justin Tucker’s most notable kicks included a 40-yarder in University of Texas’ 27-25 victory over rivals Texas A&M.
“I’m a completely different kicker than I was coming out of college,” claimed Justin Tucker.
Baltimore Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh (a former special teams coach), kicking consultant Randy Brown and special teams coach Jerry Rosburgh have been paying particular attention to Justin Tucker.
“I would describe him as a good kicker, first of all,” Jim Harbaugh stated regarding Justin Tucker. “We love him. He’s ours.”
Baltimore Ravens holder Sam Koch stated that Justin Tucker possesses remarkable maturity and accuracy since still showing signs of being a rookie at training camp.
“To be able to come in and be as consistent as he has been with ball striking, that’s impressive,” said Sam Koch. “If he makes one or misses one, he just puts that behind him and moves onto the next one.”
“He’s got a great personality and the mentality that you need to go out there and kick every Sunday,” Sam Koch hinted certain success to the Baltimore Ravens next game. “(Justin Tucker) hits a clean ball every time.”