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After missing the most important kick of his career, Billy Cundiff instantly put himself on the hot seat.
Despite this, the Ravens were adamant that Billy Cundiff would be back in 2012. According to Baltimoreravens.com, John Harbaugh has been supportive of the embattled kicker, saying, "I would anticipate Billy will be our kicker for the opening game of the season."
To be fair, Cundiff has a tremendous season in 2010, and has earned the right to a fair competition for the job. He has solid leg strength, and when healthy, he is reasonably accurate as well.
Still, there is no denying that he choked in the worst way in the AFC Championship game, and he has minimal experience making big kicks in his career.
The Ravens were expected to bring in some competition, and they did so by bringing in undrafted free agent Justin Tucker for a tryout, which he made the most of with an impressive minicamp, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Tucker is a bit of an unknown. He was only the starting kicker for two years in college, so his sample size is small compared to some other kickers.
Despite his small sample size, Tucker has displayed solid accuracy, a strong leg, and a penchant for clutch kicks. His game winning 40 yard kick against Texas A&M was a high point of the Texas Longhorns' season and his career.
Impressively, Tucker nailed two of his four kicks from beyond 50 yards, and more impressively, he hit nine of his 11 kicks between 40 and 49 yards in college.
Cundiff, on the other hand, only hit seven of nine from between 40 and 49 yards, and worse, one of six from beyond 50 yards in 2011.
Ultimately, this decision comes down to whether the Ravens are content with Billy Cundiff, or if they want to take a risk on the talented youngster.
In the end, Tucker will not get a fair chance to win this job, regardless of his performance in training camp.
The Ravens are a team that relish experience and certainty, and they will take the guaranteed mediocrity of Billy Cundiff over the high upside but uncertainty of Justin Tucker.