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Justin Tucker Preps For Nasty Field Conditions

Posted Nov 17, 2012

Heinz Field has a natural grass surface, which can be problematic in adverse weather.

Justin Tucker got his first taste of life on the road in the AFC North two weeks ago when the Ravens traveled to Cleveland.

But on Sunday the AFC North environment will be taken to the next level when Tucker and the Ravens visit Pittsburgh's Heinz Field, Terrible Towels and all.

"The environment we may experience is similar to Cleveland, where the field may not be great, the weather may not be great, but it's just something you have to get over," Tucker said. "You trust technique and rely on that to get you through."

Weather in the AFC North is always unpredictable at this time of the year, but Sunday's forecast is somewhat favorable for a mid-November night game. The forecast is calling for clear skies, temperatures around 32 degrees and winds of about 3-7 miles per hour.

It will be a chilly night, but the Texas native joked that almost every game from here on out will be cold by his standards.

"I guess cold for me is anything less than 75 degrees," Tucker said.

It was in the 40s when the Ravens played in Cleveland, and Tucker drilled his only field-goal attempt in that game, a 43-yard try. He is 17-of-18 on the season and his lone miss came in Week 4 at home during a driving rain storm.

The weather could still take a turn for the worse before Sunday, so Tucker has been preparing for a variety of conditions.

"You prepare for the worst and you get what you get," Tucker said. "If the temperature is zero and the wind is blowing 20 miles per hour and it's wet and rainy or snowing, it is what it is. This is the AFC North. That just comes with the territory."

Pittsburgh has a natural grass surface, which can be problematic in adverse weather. The Steelers played in a rainy game against the Chiefs on Monday, so the field probably isn't in the best condition.

"That particular stadium is a concern because of the grass surface," Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. "As you all know, they had a rain storm this past weekend at their Monday night game. We have to go and see how it is and adjust from there."

To get ready for the grass surface, the Ravens have practiced outside all week, rather than using the indoor fieldhouse. Tucker, long-snapper Morgan Cox and holder Sam Koch also practiced with wet footballs and kicked from a chewed up patch on the field.

"We'll put water on the footballs and all that good stuff," Tucker said. "We'll be able to work on those things."

Rosburg also said that Tucker has spent a good amount of time watching film of other kickers at Heinz field to study that stadium. Tucker expects to lean on Koch and Cox, who both have experience at Heinz Field, and hopes to continue his impressive season.

"Your success comes from preparation, especially when you have adverse conditions like we might have this weekend," Tucker said.

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