Billy Cundiff ‘Is Our Kicker,’ May Face Competition

Billy Cundiff will likely face competition in training camp to retain his starting spot.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 at 11:16 am | Categories: 2012 Offseason, Garrett Downing

Billy Cundiff is the Ravens kicker.

John Harbaugh made that clear Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, but he also acknowledged that the Ravens could bring in somebody to compete with Cundiff during training camp.

“If we can get a kicker that is capable of competing with Billy, we’ll do it,” Harbaugh said. “We want competition for pretty much every position. I say that so I’m not ruling anything out, but Billy is our kicker, and I would anticipate Billy will be our kicker for the opening game of the season.”

Cundiff is coming off a tough season that ended with a missed 32-yard, game-tying field goal in the AFC championship loss to New England.

Players and coaches stuck up for Cundiff after the miss, refusing to put the loss on his shoulders. Harbaugh said he is confident Cundiff will be able to bounce back from the mishap, even if he does have to prove himself again in training camp.

“I think he’ll have a great season next year, but everybody gets competition and he’s no exception,” Harbaugh said.

Cundiff, a seven-year veteran and former Pro Bowler (2010), finished the year making 28 of his 37 attempts, but was just 55 percent on the road. He also struggled from long-range, making one of his six field- goal attempts of 50 yards or longer.

Cundiff missed one game during the season because of a calf injury, and the Ravens brought in veteran Shayne Graham to fill in during that time.

If the Ravens decide to bring in someone during training camp to battle Cundiff for the job, Harbaugh said they are open to exploring a number of options.

“Do you have to draft a guy? Is there a free agent? Is there a guy that will be on the street? That’s kind of hard to determine,” Harbaugh said.

Whoever the Ravens end up finding to compete with Cundiff, Harbaugh stressed that the battle for that position isn’t much different from any other spot on the field.

“Every training camp you come back into is going to be a test for every single one of our players,” he said. “That’s what the NFL is all about. You have to come back and do it every single year. You can’t just say, ‘OK, I’ve had a good year or two or 17,’ and all of a sudden that guarantees you an extra year.

“You have to prove it every year in this league. Of course, the kicker is no exception to that.”

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