"A challenging moment, every kicker is going to...you play long enough, you're going to have a kick that you want back," said Ravens kicker Justin Tucker after missing an extra point in the fourth quarter. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Wednesday began like any other day, which was a blessing for Justin Tucker. Three days after his missed extra point cemented the team’s 24-23 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Ravens kicker was back with holder Sam Koch, long snapper Morgan Cox and the rest of his teammates going through preparations for Sunday’s road game against the Carolina Panthers.
The familiar routine was just the medicine the two-time Pro Bowler needs to put even more distance between him and the first missed extra point of his NFL career after 222 consecutive successful attempts.
“I would say that we’ve had a lot of success in the time that I’ve been here kicking the ball,” he said prior to Wednesday afternoon’s practice. “I think that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re just going to treat this week like we treat every week and do our best to make kicks in practice and bring it to the game on Sunday.”
On Monday, coach John Harbaugh pointed out that wind played a factor in Tucker’s miss, but declined to cite that as an excuse. Similarly, Tucker — who is the most accurate kicker in league history — did not get into the details of what he saw after reviewing film of the kick.
“I did get a chance to look at the video and try to learn from it,” he said. “This one was just a tough one to figure out, but at the end of the day, I can analyze it and be as critical as possible, but at the end of the day, it’s a missed kick, and the best thing I can do for myself, for my teammates, for our coaches is move on and make the next one.”
Tucker’s state of mind is not a concern among teammates like free safety Eric Weddle.
“He’ll be out there working just like he does every day, kicking field goals and going through his steps,” Weddle said. “He’s one of the least guys that we have to worry about doing his job and executing, and he’s going to win some games for us and do his job like he’s done his whole career. So that’s the NFL. It can humble you when you’re at the highest of highs, and you’ve just got to bounce back like we’ve all done.”
Tucker was appreciative of his teammates’ backing — public and otherwise.
“It’s been really cool to hear from almost all of my teammates from either right after the game up until just a couple minutes ago, guys offering their support,” he said. “I think this team is built differently. This is a unique group, and we know we’re on a track towards something special. It’s about just learning from our mistakes and compartmentalizing those and moving on and making the most of our next opportunity. The guys have been great at keeping that at the forefront of what we’re trying to do.”