Justin Tucker is a madman. Here’s the latest evidence:* *
The Ravens kicker tried to convince his coaches to let him attempt a 72-yard field goal at the end of the first half in Thursday’s second preseason game in Miami.
Yes, 72 yards.
The longest field goal in NFL history was from 64 yards and came off the foot of Matt Prater in 2013. It happened in Denver’s thin air, so that helped.
On Thursday night in Miami, Tucker tried to top it by 8 yards. He jogged down the sideline to get in the ear of Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg and Specialists Coach Randy Brown, but Rosburg shook him off.
Tucker’s career long is 61 yards, which he hit on Monday Night Football to beat the Detroit Lions in 2013. In a Pro Bowl practice last year, he nailed a 75-yarder with no rush and using a tee.
Before every game, Tucker, punter Sam Koch, long snapper Morgan Cox and their coaches inspect the field and conditions to see what their range is for that day.
Miami’s heat was to their advantage. Tucker hit a 52-yard field goal with room to spare earlier in the quarter.
“When it’s warm like this, the ball will just go,” Tucker said. “Warming up, I hit from 70.”
So when the Ravens got to their own 46-yard line (not even midfield), Tucker had confidence that he could hit from 2 yards farther than he did in warm-ups.
“You’ve really got to juice it to get it there from 72,” he said. “I was counting on the adrenaline rush.
“There was a little bit of lobbying involved, but at the end of the day we elected to hand the ball off and go into halftime. It’s a decision I certainly respect.”
With more perspective after the game, Tucker said it would have put his blockers in a difficult position if he came up short. The Dolphins would have likely sent a returner back, and that could have left big linemen trying to tackle a fast, little guy. It’s tough.
“Wherever they put me out there, they’ve got a reason to do it,” Tucker said. “Regardless of the fact that we’re playing a preseason game, you want to do well. You want to crush every single ball.”