Tucker: “I feel like I cost us the game”

October 22, 2018 | WNST Staff

K Justin Tucker transcript

(Opening Statement) “All right, I’ll offer this to you guys. Every kicker, every football player, is going to come across a moment, a challenging moment. Every kicker is going to…You play long enough, you’re going to have a kick that you want back, and tonight was that night for me. Like Joe [Flacco] said, the only thing you can do is just go to work, and try to make the best out of a bad situation. I appreciate the efforts of my teammates, putting us in a position to extend the game, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to put the ball through the uprights. But, more than anything, I just wanted to be here [at the podium]. If I was going to ever teach my son or any young person about accountability, I felt like it was really important that I stand up here and answer whatever questions you guys may have.”

(on explaining the missed kick) “I felt like when the ball came off my foot, that I hit it just how I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, today was a challenging day to kick the ball in our stadium, to the right of our bench. The first field goal that we had, I felt like I hit that one well, and that one shook back and forth. The PAT earlier in the game going that way took a hard left, so it was a challenging day to kick in our stadium, but we’re here because we make kicks, not only in our stadium, but anywhere we go. And, that’s exactly what we’re going to do, moving forward. We’re just going to keep working out on our practice field, and hopefully turn those kicks there into more made field goals and PATs in games. This one just happened to get away from me. I’ll have to look at it. I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but at the end of the day, I feel like I cost us the game. Every single one of my teammates thus far has told me the opposite, and no one play wins or loses a game, but that’s a tough thing to grapple with when you’re the guy in that situation at the end of the game.”

(on if the kick looked like the kick veered right) “It did. Like I said, I felt like I hit it well. But, at the end of the day, the ball just didn’t go through, and that’s all it needs to do to keep the game going.”

(on if a kick has ever hit him this way before) “It’s hard to say. It’s hard to pick any one particular play and think about the feelings that I had associated with it, because, like Joe [Flacco] said just a moment ago, the best players, most confident players, they’ll learn from their mistakes, and they’ll move forward and do everything they can to correct those mistakes and improve upon their past performance. Yes, this one definitely stings, but at the end of the day, the best thing that I can do to be the best teammate possible is work hard and make the next kick.”

(on what he will do after the game) “I’ll look at the game like I always do. Nothing will change for me, I’ll tell you that. I’ll look at the game like I always do, look at the video from it, and do everything I can to compartmentalize what happened this evening and move on from it in a positive way.”

(on how stunned he felt after the missed kick) “In the moment I was surprised, I guess, that the ball didn’t go through, but you have to let that go as quickly as possible because realistically, there was still a chance, albeit slim that we could get an onside kick and just go win the game. So, I tried as best as I could to just move on quickly. But, I’ll let this hurt for another couple of hours, and then I’ll do everything I can to move on.”

(on if the wind factors into his routine) “Our stadium is a tough place to kick in. That being said, I still should just make kicks, and that’s what everyone expects of me here. That’s what our fans expect of me. So, throughout the game, we try to gain as clear an understanding of what the conditions are, or what they are going to be for our next kick or our next punt.”

(on having his teammates with him in the interview room) “It means the world to me that I have teammates like Morgan [Cox] and Sam [Koch] that are supportive at all times. Not just excellent teammates, but great friends of mine. Having been here in Baltimore for a good amount of time already, I’ve made some great relationships, and those relationships, the guys in the locker room that have my back, that means the world to me.”