Jerry Rosburg Has No Apprehension With Rookie


According to the stats, rookie free agent Justin Tucker has outkicked Billy Cundiff thus far in Ravens training camp.

Tucker is 82-of-97. Cundiff is 74-of-89, as charted by the Baltimore Sun.

But one card Cundiff holds over Tucker – no matter what – is experience.

Cundiff has eight years of it in the NFL, through the ups, the downs and the goosebump-inducing moments on the sports' grandest stage. Tucker, obviously, has none.

So would Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg have any apprehension in going with a rookie kicker, and putting him in that spotlight?

"He'll be in there this Friday night," Rosburg said. "He'll be right out there in front of everybody and kicking, and I don't have any apprehension. The best player plays. That's just the way it is. It's that way at kicker, it's that way at defensive line and at wide receiver. So, whoever is the best player, that's the guy who's going to play."

Head Coach John Harbaugh told fans in an online chat that he's not worried about the kicker race because both are performing well. "It’s a good one. It’s a tight race," he said.

The Ravens would ideally like to get each kicker equal and abundant attempts in the three remaining preseason games, but that's largely out of their control. Tucker had the only attempt in the preseason opener, and was good from 36 yards.

Rosburg said he hasn't been surprised by how good of a challenge Tucker has been to Cundiff.

"I think he's a really talented kicker," Rosburg said. "I liked him in college. … I don't know how you hide at the University of Texas, but he wasn't a surprise to us."

Rosburg said Tucker displayed a lot of skills (such as a strong leg) that the Ravens thought they would work with. And the special teams coordinator gave Tucker credit for adapting so quickly to some of the techniques they are introducing to him.

Harbaugh expects both Tucker and Cundiff to be kicking for NFL teams this year.

The one that will be with the Ravens long-term appears to still be up in the air. And preseason games such as Friday's home preseason opener against Detroit will play a part in determining the final call.

"I'm interested to see what happens this Friday," Rosburg said. "It'll be another good opportunity for them to show up, because we hope they have opportunities to kick field goals. That's really what we want to see."

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