Matt Stover is a Ravens legend. But the legend is about to be surpassed by the G.O.A.T.
Justin Tucker is two points away from breaking Stover's Ravens franchise record for points scored. Tucker has 1,463 points while Stover has 1,464. So one field goal (or two extra points) in Pittsburgh's Acrisure Stadium, and Tucker becomes the king.
"To me, it does mean a lot," Tucker said. "More than anything, to have the opportunity to play in one place that's as special as this place for that long to have a chance to put that many points on the board, all that stuff, that's what's really special.
"When I look back on the last 10, 11 years, all those points contributing to wins around here and shared experiences of joy and victory, those are the things I think about. The feeling of coming back into the locker room after winning a tough football game and being a small part of the difference in those games, that's what I'll look back on and look forward upon."
There's also no better place to break the record than Pittsburgh. Already the most accurate kicker in NFL history (90.9%), Tucker has been even more accurate in one of the NFL's most difficult places to kick because of swirling winds and spotty field conditions.
Tucker is 24-of-25 (96%) at the former Heinz Field, including two game winners from 46 yards and 52 yards in 2019 and 2015, respectively.
"Knocking down a winner anywhere, or putting points on the board, is always special, but there's something unique about playing in Pittsburgh," Tucker said.
A big difference in the records between Stover and Tucker is that Stover did it over 13 seasons in Baltimore while Tucker is in his 11th. Tucker is also just four field goals away from surpassing Stover's record of 354 field goals. Stover had an 84.3% conversion rate on field goals during his Ravens tenure.
"To be able to break Stover's record, it means a lot because I know how hard he worked, how well he played here, the type of character he has, the type of man he is, how respected he is in this community in Baltimore," Tucker said. "To be able to follow in his footsteps is really special."
So how has Tucker been so consistent?
"His work habits here at practice," Special Teams Coach Randy Brown said. "You've seen him. He gets upset sometimes. He misses a kick, he's not happy. Some guys practice kind of half-assed just because that's how they've always practiced. He practices like he needs to win the game every day. To me, that's why he's so much better than everybody else."
Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Linderbaum Excited for First Taste of Ravens-Steelers
The Ravens will have a lot of first-timers entering the storied rivalry Sunday, and it's always interesting to see how the rookies adjust.
First-round picks Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum will both play big roles in their first experience with the Steelers, and they're fully aware of the history.
"You try to approach every game like it's the same, but we know it's not," Hamilton said. "They say you don't become a Raven until you beat the Steelers, so I hope I get to be a Raven come Sunday."
"Just being in a division game, there's importance in that. And obviously all the games I've seen in the past with these guys, it's always going to be a dogfight, that's for sure."
Marlon Humphrey Tried to Recruit George Pickens … to Track
For the first time in his NFL career, Marlon Humphrey will share the field with another player from his Hoover High School in Alabama.
Steelers rookie receiver George Pickens is a Hoover alum, and was still in high school when Humphrey went back home to coach his alma mater's track team.
"I actually tried to recruit that guy on the track team every day," Humphrey said. "I saw him put in a ton or work to get where he's at. I was always jealous when I was coaching the track team and he was running routes. I was like, 'Track would help out with football.' Obviously, he didn't need that to get where he's at."
Pickens has made some eye-popping catches during his rookie season and tallied 37 catches for 512 yards and two touchdowns. His physicality, especially at the line of scrimmage, has also gained plenty of attention.
"I'm really excited to go against him," Humphrey said. "I've been waiting to see somebody from my high school be on the same field with me. I hope he doesn't put me on my butt with his NBA Youngboy style."
Greg Roman Reportedly Out of Stanford Running
Greg Roman will not become the head coach at Stanford, according to The Athletic's Stewart Mandel.
Mandel reported Thursday that former Dallas Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett has emerged as a finalist for the job and that Roman is "no longer in the running."
Spirited Debate Breaks Out in Locker Room
The Ravens locker room was buzzing Thursday, as players debated who would win in a fight: 100 humans vs. one gorilla.
There were plenty of arguments on both sides, but Humphrey had the best line.
"All I know is, if we can be the gorillas and the Steelers can be the humans, I think we got a good chance on Sunday," Humphrey said.