It doesn’t guarantee success at the next level, but you can’t ask for much more if you’re a kicker in his position.
“Hitting in front of a big crowd, playing on national TV quite a bit, was really good for preparing all of us that have come out of there for more big crowds and more exposure on TV and in the media,” Tucker said. “So, in that regard, I’m really thankful for the overall environment that I was brought up in.”
After enjoying life as the big man on campus at Texas, Tucker had to start over upon signing a contract with the Ravens as a rookie free agent in May.
But after proving himself worthy of the job — for now, anyway — Tucker stood as the center of attention at the podium Monday, answering reporters’ questions as linebacker Ray Lewis yelled out to him, “Don’t tell them too much, Tuck!”
It was quite a change from where he stood not long ago when he was just “the other kicker” in camp to his veteran teammates.
His eyes still became wide at the thought.
“I was saying a couple of weeks ago, somebody [asked], ‘Have you met Ray Lewis yet?’” Tucker said. “And I said, ‘Yeah, probably one of the first times in a long time I’ve been sort of star-struck.’”
But the time for all that is over.
The 37-year-old heart of the Ravens is now counting on him to simply do his job.