Kicking Decision To Be A ‘Gut Feeling’

Harbaugh wouldn’t be surprised other teams called inquiring about one of his kickers.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Saturday, August 7th, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink
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Although there were 17,861 judges in M&T Bank Stadium Saturday, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh is the top justice and he isn’t about to make a ruling.

Harbaugh foresees the kicking battle going to the bitter end, saying the decision is on the “backburner.”

While each kicker has had good and off days, both have performed well and the race is too close to call.

“My gut feeling is it’s going to be a gut feeling, which is the toughest way to do it,” Harbaugh said. “You’d like to have it be black and white, and you can make that kind of choice, but right now it looks like they’re both going to kick really well.”

Graham had the better day Saturday, hitting all nine of his field goal attempts, including a pair from 44 yards on Saturday.

His incumbent competition, Billy Cundiff, went 7-for-9 with misses from 44 and 33 yards. Cundiff also had a rough day Thursday when he missed three field goal attempts, but he has, for the most part, been very solid.

Harbaugh said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens get calls from other teams inquiring about one of the kickers.

“Sometimes people wait and they know we’ve got to let somebody go, so they’ll wait for you to let somebody go,” Harbaugh said.

“But, the problem is if you’re low on the pecking order of claiming rights – and you need a kicker and somebody else needs a kicker who’s ahead of you – you’ve got to trade for him. So, I think that’s something that could be beneficial for us.”

While this was Graham’s first time kicking in M&T Bank Stadium as a member of the Ravens, he’s quite accustomed to Baltimore. He tormented the Ravens as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, hitting 15-of-18 field goals including a game-winner in 2004.

Graham said it was good to have the crowd reaction and game atmosphere, but he didn’t let his success thus far at training camp get to his head.

“Every time you line up for a kick, you don’t ever really think back to one of those kicks,” Graham said. “You normally try to keep it as a fresh kick coming up. You use those [his successful kicks in training camp] to build confidence, but never take any kick for granted just because you’ve made other kicks.”

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