Slow-Motion Video Of Justin Tucker Kicking
Ever wonder just what makes Ravens kicker Justin Tucker so good?
Well, for the first time that I've seen, we have some awesome slow-motion video of the most accurate kicker in NFL history's "swing."
Tucker has a career 89.81 success percentage on his field-goal attempts. He has Dallas' Dan Bailey (89.76 percent) just edged out.
The restricted free agent must be back from his honeymoon (or he's on the Wi-Fi in Mexico), cause he posted a couple Instagram videos of him kicking at his old stomping grounds at the University of Texas.
I'm on board with Owner Steve Bisciotti; please get this guy signed to a contract extension. (To view the videos on mobile devices, tap the "View in Browser" button at the top of the page).
Campanaro Top Candidate At Returner
One position overlooked by fans this spring has been at returner, where there's another need considering the release of Jacoby Jones.
So who will step into Jones' shoes?
Michael Campanaro, who seems in line for a bigger role at wide receiver too, is the "top candidate," according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley.
"[He] could be the Ravens' version of Julian Edelman this season," Hensley wrote.
Edelman is the Patriots' dynamic receiver and returner, who played a huge part in their Super Bowl victory last season. If you remember, the Ravens had interest in Edelman when he hit free agency last offseason, but they instead signed Steve Smith Sr. and drafted Campanaro.
Soon after drafting Campanaro in the seventh round, Ravens Assistant General Manager Eric DeCosta compared the rookie to Edelman and Wes Welker.
Campanaro returned two punts for 17 yards as a rookie, and injured his hamstring on one of those, which knocked him out for six weeks. In the preseason, he averaged a robust 30.4 yards on kickoff returns and 6.4 yards on punts.
But Head Coach John Harbaugh wasn't ready to crown him the returner yet when speaking at the NFL Owners Meetings.
"I look at it like, it's March and we'll need a returner by September," Harbaugh said. "Campanaro is definitely in the mix."
Cornerback Asa Jackson is another candidate who has shown a lot of preseason flash, particularly on punt returns. And Baltimore could add more competition.
"They could draft a returner with one of their 10 picks this year," Hensley wrote. "Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti expressed an interest in finding a speedy receiver in the middle rounds, and Baltimore might be inclined to bring in someone who can impact the return game as well."
Hensley named Kansas State's Tyler Lockett, Stanford's Ty Montgomery, Duke's Jamison Crowder, Maryland's Stefon Diggs and Utah's Kaelin Clay as receiver/returner possibilities in the draft.
When Will Ravens Trade Up In Draft?
Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome certainly hasn't been shy about trading during the draft, whether it's forwards or backwards in the first round, or up in others.
Newsome traded up in the second round in 2013 to grab linebacker Arthur Brown. Newsome traded up in the third round in 2012 to select running back Bernard Pierce. The Ravens moved up in the third round in 2011 to draft tackle Jah Reid.
So a fan asked Hensley where the Ravens might make a trade this year, outside of the first round.
"Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti speculated the team could move into the middle of the second round if Minnesota's Maxx Williams, the consensus top tight end in the draft, slipped that far," Hensley wrote.
"The Ravens would likely need to give up a fourth- and fifth-round pick to jump eight or nine spots from No. 58 overall."
That would still leave the Ravens with two picks in the fourth and fifth rounds.
"In the third round, the Ravens can use a fourth-rounder to go up 10 spots," Hensley wrote. "There are plenty of options when the Ravens have 10 picks (but the three compensatory picks can't be traded)."
Don't rule out the Ravens not making any trades, however. While they have 10 picks (second most in the league), Hensley pointed out that Baltimore has selected at least 10 players in six previous drafts (1997, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2013).
Focusing On The Good In The NFL
I found this to be an interesting and thoughtful piece by Russell Street Report's Brian Bower.
Bower is tired of seeing all the negative stories about NFL players and watching their good deeds in the community overlooked.
That's why Bower is dedicating himself to shining light on those positive actions. He penned an article, "Good people far outweigh the bad in the NFL," which is absolutely true but often lost in the 24-7 news cycle. Check out his new Twitter handle, @PlayerPositives.
While some NFL athletes, just like people everywhere who don't play for a living, commit crimes and make bad decisions, that's still the exception.
I agree with Bower that there are often negative headlines spawned from non-stories. It's because the media landscape has changed, become more competitive and more focused on the almighty dollar.
The draw, for many, is clicks. And, unfortunately, "got ya!" stories get way more clicks than those about a player going out into the community to make a kid smile.
So props to Brian. I hope you can help change the narrative.
- The Ravens have the 11th-toughest schedule in 2015 after having the NFL's 5th-easiest slate entering the 2014 season. A large reason is because they play the tough NFC West this year. [ESPN]
- Baltimore currently is $7.685 million under the salary cap. [The Baltimore Sun]
- Speedy UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman has drawn the Ravens' interest. [CSN Baltimore]
- Towson cornerback Tye Smith expected to be at Ravens' local prospect day. [The Sun]