Pat Sullivan/Associated Press
It wasn’t too surprising to see the Ravens bring in another punter to motivate Sam Koch after his relatively erratic 2013 season.
Only two years ago, the same thing happened with the kickers after Billy Cundiff’s “what on Earth just happened?” shank against the New England Patriots. In that case, the undrafted free agent actually unseated the incumbent, and there is no doubt that history will repeat itself if Richie Leone is as impressive as Justin Tucker was.
Special teams coach Jerry Rosburg gave the following update on Leone’s progress to Bo Smolka of CSNBaltimore.com:
There are a lot of things he needs to continue to get better at. But this is a really good camp for him; it’s an opportunity for him to work on things when the rush isn’t on, when you have a lot of time, and the game is not pressing us. When you come out here and work for two hours, you get a lot done, and it’s been a lot of fun.
Leone has two things working in his favor, the first of which is his versatility. He handled punting, place-kicking and kickoff duties at the University of Houston. That kind of experience is useful in case he ever needs to fill in for Justin Tucker, but it won’t earn him a roster spot.
The second thing is Sam Koch’s cap number. That might actually get Leone onto the roster if the Ravens are looking to free up some cap room.
Ultimately, however, Leone will need to be noticeably better than Koch (like Tucker was in 2012) to earn his spot on the team.