While the competition between Billy Cundiff and Justin Tucker has been a daily occurrence this summer, Monday brought the most spirited showdown we’ve seen as coaches and players enthusiastically watched the kickers battle.
Harbaugh jokingly quipped for players and coaches to place their bets, and the rookie kicker even showed some moxie as he implored the coaches to allow the two to have one more kick — the final one being from 61 yards. Running back Ray Rice responded to Tucker’s request by shouting, “He’s got swag!”
However, it was Cundiff getting the best of the impressive showing as he went 6-for-6, including the long from 61 yards. Meanwhile, Tucker missed his attempt from 61 yards wide right to finish a 5-for-6 afternoon.
“That was fun. They each had their set, and they both did very well,” Harbaugh said. “Then, we brought them back to kick the long ones. They both made those, and brought them back again to 61. Billy made it. ‘Tuck’ missed his. He had a little bit of a [bad] snap that threw off his timing a little bit. But, they are both kicking really well.”
Harbaugh not concerned with Megatron’s performance
Many have expressed concern with the Baltimore secondary after the big game by Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones in the preseason opener and the show Lions wideout Calvin Johnson put on Friday night to the tune of five catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Johnson caught a 57-yard reception while matched up against Cary Williams and grabbed an impressive 18-yard touchdown over Jimmy Smith, who had excellent position but couldn’t track the pass delivered from Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford. However, the Baltimore coach reminded everyone Monday that “Megatron” didn’t factor into what the Ravens were trying to accomplish as a team on Friday.
While fans and media alike have wondered what’s wrong with the secondary, Harbaugh certainly didn’t sound concerned about his fourth-ranked unit from a year ago.
“I don’t read too much into great receivers making plays in the preseason because we’re lining up and matching guys up one-on-one,” Harbaugh said. “There is no game plan involved in what we are doing now. We didn’t roll over top of Calvin Johnson. We didn’t roll over top in Atlanta for any receiver. We didn’t mix our coverages at all. We just put those guys out there and let them play.
“That’s what you want to do in training camp during the preseason,” Harbaugh said. “We just want to develop our technique. When there are things that you struggle with, that’s what you want to find out. It’s only going to make us better.”