Though he has competition in camp, Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff has been told by the club it has confidence he can keep his job.
In an interview with 105.7 The Fan on Tuesday, Cundiff said he has been told by management: If you go out and do your thing, youre going to be our guy.
That doesnt change his approach, however.
It doesnt really matter to me, he said. How I approach it is there are also 31 other teams with kickers in camp. Ultimately, you have competition around the league.
Like other kickers, Cundiff compares what he does with golf. To that end, he said hes more an Ernie Els type, swinging smoothly, while his competition, rookie Justin Tucker, is like Rory McIlroy, swinging from the heels.
Cundiff took the golf metaphor further in talking about the competition with Tucker.
Were more like golfers, Cundiff said. I dont really look at what Justin is doing.
The radio interview was notable for what wasnt discussed how Cundiffs season ended in January, with the miss of a relatively short kick that cost the Ravens a loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. At 105.7 The Fans website, the station said it had to agree not to ask questions about last season in its interview of Cundiff.
You can argue about whether any media outlet should accept such demands as a condition for an interview, but it does raise this issue: Do the Ravens think Cundiff is so mentally fragile that he cant handle being asked about last year?
Former Carolina Panthers' star receiver Steve Smith spoke in front of a crowd of over 400 people at the fifth annual Wake up for Wellness breakfast that was sponsored by Mental Health America of Central Carolinas.
The 16-year veteran and current NFL Network analyst touched on the importance of seeking help for bouts with depression and spoke of battles that he has faced with the disease.
“On the outside you’ll see a tough exterior. But on the inside, I’m just broken or I believe even more broken than the average man. ... Because when the stadium goes dark and the cheers stop, you’re still looking for that pat on the back,” Smith said. “Throughout my whole career, I struggled with that.”
Smith discussed that in the beginning, he was so concerned about the stigma regarding mental health, that he opted for the professional to meet him for housecalls, and as time passed he realized the importance of speaking up.
“I started to realize that I’m not broken,” he said. “I’m not being sent back to the manufacturer ... I get up every morning and figure it out.”
Smith's comments on the issue came to light just a day after the NFL and NFLPA announced new legislation that focuses on mental well being.
The newly formed Comprehensive Mental Health and Wellness Committee will develop programs for members of the NFL in addition to collaborating with local and national mental health and suicide prevention organizations. Each team will be mandated to retain a Behavioral Health Team Clinician for assistance that will be required to be available to players at the individual team facilities for at least 8-12 hours per week and must conduct mandatory mental health education sessions for players and coaching staff.
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Kick off your Thursday with the latest Baltimore Ravens news including what to watch for at OTAs.
1. As the Ravens try and bolster their pass rush during the offseason, they hope to find much-needed help from outside linebacker, Shane Ray. The Ravens picked up Ray from the Denver Broncos where he had an unproductive last two seasons due to injury, only registering one sack in each of the past two seasons. However, Ray had a phenomenal career at Missouri as a unanimous All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014. The Ravens have given Ray a shot at a career reboot and fans are excited to see what he's got.
2. Thursday is the media's first opportunity to get a look at the 2019-20 Ravens. Ravens writer Ryan Mink writes seven things to look out for at OTAs including, attendance from veterans even though OTAs are mandatory, a look at linebacker development with the signings of namely Pernell McPhee and Shane Ray and a first look at the rookie class to name a few.
July 15: 4 p.m. deadline to get a long-term deal done with designated franchise tag players.
The 2019 NFL schedule is set! See the Baltimore Ravens defend the AFC North at M&T Bank Stadium this season. Get your tickets now at www.BaltimoreRavens.com/tickets.
Credit: Baltimore Ravens for news points.
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