The fast ascension of rookie kicker Justin Tucker hasn't escaped the attention of retired Ravens Pro Bowl kicker Matt Stover.
Tucker beat out former Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff, displaying leg strength, accuracy and consistency in preseason games and practices.
"I've been impressed by him," Stover told The Baltimore Sun. "Justin kicks a clean ball. My initial thought on Justin is that he has a great attitude about about him, the why-not-me attitude. He carries a confidence about him. You can tell by the way he attacks the ball. There's no hesitancy and there's a lot of confidence behind his kicks. I prided myself on how clean I could hit a ball: getting the ball to the target fast and clean, and I think he does both of them."
Tucker has connected on all five field goal attempts, hitting kicks from 53, 50, 45, 36 and 33 yards.
"It looks like he's physically fit, which is huge," Stover said. "I'm hoping that he stays healthy because that's a big piece to it that people don't realize. I was healthier in the back part of my career than the front part because I knew how to train and manage myself."
Although Tucker has been superb during the preseason to unseat Cundiff, he remains untested in NFL games that actually count.
"The other thing I really like is he's got a commanding presence," Stover said. "I've talked with both Sam and Morgan and they speak very highly of him. He's a very capable guy. He seems to be a good pro.
"This is a very good team with hopes for the playoffs. You want to see a kid like him grow up quick, but Justin has a great support staff around him to help him and manage him."