Cundiff doesn't agree or disagree with Harbaugh's assessment

Kicker more concerned with converting field goals than wondering what-ifs

October 28, 2011|By Edward Lee

On Monday, Ravens coach John Harbaugh took the unusual step of stating his opinion that Billy Cundiff’s unsuccessful field-goal attempt from 52 yards in the third quarter might have made a difference in changing the outcome of Monday night’s 12-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Cundiff, who went to his first Pro Bowl last season, didn’t necessarily agree or disagree with Harbaugh’s opinion.

“I think the one thing as a kicker that I try to avoid is revisionist history in the sense that it’s hard to go back say, ‘Well, if he would have made this kick, then we would’ve done this or that,’ because it kind of changes the complexion of the game,” Cundiff said Thursday. “Maybe if I make that field goal, what happens if we go down and they break a big return? You never know. There’s a bunch of things that could happen. So for me, if I have an attempt, I try to make it, and after that, I don’t really worry about the rest. I’ll let the coaches figure out if it would’ve made a difference or not. My only concern is making my kicks.”

Cundiff is 14-of-17 on field goals this season, but all three misses have occurred from 50 yards or beyond. For his career, Cundiff has converted 77.6 percent (118 of 152) of his field goals, but he is just 25 percent (4 of 16) from beyond 50 yards.

Cundiff said being successful from that distance requires the right combination of power and accuracy, and the line between those two is a thin one to toe.

“You have to be more accurate when you back up,” said Cundiff, who last connected on a 50-yarder in 2005 when he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys. “But at the same time, you can’t overthink a long kick. It’s the kind of quandary you get in where it’s like, ‘OK, you do need to be more accurate, so you want to make sure that your rhythm is there. But at the same time, you don’t want to be too worried about placing the ball because you won’t be aggressive.’ For me, as I look at it, all of my misses have been different. So that tells me right there that I’m not doing the same thing every time. But I will tell you that the one consistent thing is I just need to be a little more aggressive. If I do that within a controlled manner, I think the results will eventually speak for themselves.”

Special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said he doesn’t think the issue is Cundiff’s technique.

“The thing we’ve been reinforcing with Billy – and he’s probably his biggest critic – is he just needs to be aggressive with the ball,” Rosburg said. “That’s what we worked on yesterday. We practice it a lot and we’re going to continue to practice it. We have a lot of confidence. The next opportunity, he won’t be leaving it right, I can assure you of that.”

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