Criticized at times for his inaccuracy from long distance, Billy Cundiff stepped up and nailed a 60-yard field goal in practice on Tuesday. Not to be outdone, moments later rookie Justin Tucker did the same thing.
It appears it will be that kind of camp, as the Ravens incumbent kicker faces a stiff challenge from the rookie free agent from Texas.
In Tuesdays practice, Cundiff and Tucker had identical showings in one drill, making kicks from 35, 48 and 60 and missing from 55, all with a slight breeze at their backs. Later, when the Ravens simulated game conditions as opposed to drills, Cundiff missed again.
The ones they made went well, and the ones they didn't make didn't go so well. That's how you judge a field goal, basically, Harbaugh said with a chuckle after practice.
But he did stress that the Ravens will continue to test the kickers in game conditions.
We try to do that as much as we can, he said, as opposed to just go out and kick five field goals in a row, because you don't do that in a game.
Make no mistake: This is Cundiffs job to lose, and he hasnt lost it yet. The Ravens said all the right things about the eight-year veteran after his last-second miss in the AFC Championship Game, and they signed him to a five-year, 15 million deal after the 2011 season.
Harbaugh has often said that everyone competes for their job, and the thought all along was the Ravens would bring in someone to challenge Cundiff, who was just 1-for-6 from outside 50 yards last season. Cundiff was perfect at home last season (17-for-17 in the regular season) but missed nearly half of his kicks on the road. (He was 11-for-20.)
Tucker is proving to be a worthy challenger. He will get his first true test in game conditions next Thursday when the Ravens open the preseason in Atlanta, but this competition will bear watching throughout camp.