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Kicker Justin Tucker impresses at Ravens' rookie minicamp

Texas kicker Justin Tucker was one of a handful of players who attended this weekend's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis. During Sunday’s practice, he booted all four of his field-goal attempts from inside the 55-yard line between the uprights, but was unsuccessful on two kicks from beyond that distance.

Harbaugh said Tucker “had a very good camp” and that he was impressed by Tucker’s accuracy and the lift he got on his kicks. The team didn’t announce any new signings Sunday, but it’s expected that Tucker will stick with the Ravens through the rest of their offseason workouts. Asked if the team plans to bring in a veteran kicker, Harbaugh said they would “play it by ear.”

Tucker, who was pleased with how he performed at the minicamp and enjoyed meeting fellow rookies from across the country, said he felt for Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff when the incumbent kicker missed a potential game-tying field goal in January’s loss in the AFC championship game.

“That’s just the duality of the position,” said Tucker, who made 40 of 48 career attempts at Texas. “You’ve got to be able to take it in stride. For as many successes as one may have, there’s going to be that bump in the road and it’s just something that you have to be able to get over.”

The pace of these workouts were shocking to some rookies -- in some cases physically, in others mentally -- but Tucker, who takes pride in his preparation, said he wasn’t caught off guard.

“That’s one thing that I feel is one of my strengths as a kicker, is being mentally strong and focused,” Tucker said. “And part of this is coming in, being able to adapt to anything, being able to expect the unexpected, or being able to run around and do something a lot faster than we may have done at the college or high school level, or what have you. But no, not really surprised by anything as far as my personal job description goes. The posts are still the same, kicking is still kicking.”

“I will say that a lot of the guys here are a little bigger than they were in college,” the skinny kicker added, getting chuckles from reporters.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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