Difficult For Ravens To Find Punter, Kicker Competition


One of the most closely-watched position battles during training camp last season was at kicker, as undrafted rookie Justin Tucker eventually unseated incumbent Billy Cundiff for the job.

It's a much different situation this year.

Tucker turned out to be a steal and was one of the best kickers in the league. With him and punter Sam Koch entrenched as the team's specialists, there is not much of a need to bring in another leg for camp competition.

The Ravens didn't sign a punter or kicker in the undrafted rookie signing spree, but they would still like to get another option on the 90-man roster for OTA's, minicamps and training camp.

"We will find somebody to help us – somebody that wants a chance to kick or punt in the National Football League," Head Coach John Harbaugh said Sunday. "I'd like a guy who could do both, if possible – punt and kick."

Part of the challenge in finding another kicking option is that the Ravens already have two players whose jobs aren't in jeopardy, so free agents are hesitant to come to Baltimore.

Tucker was historically good for the Ravens, drilling 30-of-33 field goals, and all four of his attempts from over 50 yards. He was never fazed by the big stage, and delivered clutch kicks throughout the entire season and postseason.

Koch has been in Baltimore the last six seasons, and he is a consistent, reliable punter. He's also the team's holder on field goals, and Tucker regularly talks about how valuable Koch is in that role.

"It will be pretty tough to find competition for those two guys right now," Harbaugh said. "There aren't too many guys that want to come here and kick or punt. I don't think they see it as being a very fruitful opportunity."

Still, the Ravens want to get another person on the roster to spell Koch and Tucker in practice, so they don't wear out their legs during camp practices. Also, since Tucker and Koch are both right footed, the Ravens are hoping to bring in a left-footed kicker to give the return men a different look in practice.

"You'd love to have a lefty, so you can see how hard that is to come across," Harbaugh said. "We will get the best guy we can."

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