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When Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard game-tying field goal near the end of the AFC championship game, Ravens Owner Steve Bisciotti didn’t direct his frustration at the veteran kicker.
Instead, he felt for Cundiff.
“I die with them,” Bisciotti said Wednesday at his season-ending press conference. “I don’t lash out.”
Bisciotti, who has owned the team since 2004, compared watching the Ravens to watching a son’s basketball game.
“When you work as hard as you do to put a team together like this, this is like watching your kids in high school play basketball,” Bisciotti said. “You don’t scream at your neighbor’s kid because he’s not passing it enough. They become like sons to you, so you feel for them.”
One of the toughest parts of losing that kind of game, Bisciotti said, is that the blame can get placed squarely on one or two people.
“It breaks your heart that somebody has got to be the goat, but if we had lost 35-10, then there’d be a lot of goats,” Bisciotti said. “It would be easier to spread the blame and the arrows wouldn’t be pointing in one direction or another.”
In the aftermath of the Ravens’ loss to New England, Cundiff’s missed field goal was the topic of conversation, controversy and speculation.
For Cundiff and the Ravens, the process of moving forward has already started, and there has been no indication that missing the field goal will have a lingering impact on his future with the team.
General Manager Ozzie Newsome said after Wednesday’s press conference that he won’t look just at that one kick to determine whether Cundiff should be the Ravens’ kicker, and Head Coach John Harbaugh said that Cundiff has not been lessened in his mind.
“You can’t think one play,” Newsome said. “It’s the whole body of work that we’ll use.”
Cundiff was a Pro Bowler in 2010 but struggled at times last season.
He finished the year making 28 of his 37 attempts, but made just one of six attempts from 50 yards or longer. He had a 55 percent success rate on the road.
According to pundits, the Ravens could bring in another kicker to compete with Cundiff during training camp but the most telling factor in determining his future will be how Cundiff comes back from the crushing miscue.
“This business is about managing your mistakes and managing your failures,” Bisciotti said.