Stover Could Be Cundiff's Competition

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Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said the team is going to consider all options when it comes to selecting a kicker for next season, and those options may include Matt Stover.

"Matt's a possibility of coming back," Harbaugh said on Tuesday. "That could work out that way."

"[Stover is] a great guy and good person and a heck of a kicker, and that may work out, but it may not. So, that's what we've got to find out over the next couple months. We're just going to do everything we can, personnel wise, to make our team as good as we possibly can."

The longtime Ravens kicker spent most of 2009 with the Indianapolis Colts on a one-year contract, but is expected to hit the free-agent market this spring when incumbent Adam Vinatieri fully recovers from a knee injury.

In 10 games, Stover connected on nine of 11 field goals for the Colts. He spent 19 years with the Ravens franchise, dating back to its time in Cleveland.

But, he was jettisoned when his contract in Baltimore ran out, paving the way for Steve Hauschka, who was later cut in favor of Billy Cundiff.

Cundiff believes his abbreviated performance as a Raven earned him the early lead for Baltimore's future kicking duties.

"I don't think I have to do anything more than what I showed here," Cundiff said on Monday. "I feel like I progressed enough with my skill that it's just a matter of doing what I do, and it has to be day-in, day-out in training camp. This was good environment for that, and I feel like I got better."

After replacing Hauschka in Week 11, Cundiff went on to convert 12 of 17 field goals and all 19 extra-point attempts, with a few misses attributed to poor snaps.

Cundiff also hit all six field goals during a five-week stint with the Browns.

As an unrestricted free agent, Cundiff will find himself in another competition, as the Ravens would likely bring in at least one more leg during the offseason.

"You go from where, 'I want to be the guy for 15 years,' to 'You know what, I just want to be on a team,'" Cundiff said. "And if I get on a team I can prove what I can do and let everyone else judge from there.

"There will be somebody that's going to compete. To what degree or what level, that's up to the team."

Harbaugh said that Cundiff acquainted himself well and is a "big possibility."

"He proved that he could make field goals under pressure situations," Harbaugh noted. "He kicked off very well. I think he improved some things coming here. He'll be the first to tell you, some mechanical things that he worked through when he first got here, through the season, he's gotten better as a kicker, as a field goal kicker especially, and as a kickoff guy."

Harbaugh would not rule out carrying multiple kickers, one to handle field goals and another for kickoffs. Should Stover win the job, a kickoff specialist would be a necessity.

Meanwhile, Matt Katula, who was guilty of several erratic long snaps due to tendinitis in his elbow, also expects a competition in training camp.

"This year's been a struggle, but I'm proud that I made it through," stated Katula. "This will probably be a different offseason this year. I expect somebody else in here, too. It will be a competition. I need to get better. Hopefully, I learn from what happened this year and move forward, because I want to be here, and hopefully I am."

Katula said that resting and building strength will be the two major components of his recovery plan.

"I think it snowballed," he explained. "It was the perfect storm. Whether it was the elbow or not the elbow, everybody deals with injuries. It's definitely not an excuse. I need to get better, that's the bottom line."

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