The loudest applause during Monday’s practice at the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills did not unfold after a touchdown pass from rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson to wide receiver DeVier Posey or an interception by safety Chuck Clark in the end zone.
No, the fans seemed most enthused by Kaare Vedvik’s successful 67-yard field goal in the midst of some light rain. And the rookie kicker from Marshall soaked it all in.
“It’s just fun,” he said. “I’m blessed to be here. I’m just enjoying every moment of it. That’s the mentality you’ve got to have about it. Every moment could be your last. So you’ve just got to love it.”
The 67-yarder came after Vedvik converted from 33, 43, 49 and 59 yards. Acknowledging that he was aided by a left-to-right wind blowing behind him, Vedvik said he was not nervous about the kick.
“They wanted to test my range, and I love it,” said Vedvik, who was congratulated by, among others, kicker Justin Tucker, defensive end Brent Urban and Jackson. “I live for that. It’s fun.”
Despite the 24-year-old’s success through the first few days of training camp, Vedvik’s odds of beating Tucker for the starting job are precarious. But coach John Harbaugh would not rule out such a scenario.
“All he does is come out here and impress,” Harbaugh said. “He had a little wind at his back, but he just kicks them straight. He’s a very talented guy. I’m expecting either for him to beat Tucker out or someone trades us a draft pick for him.”
Vedvik credited Tucker, punter Sam Koch, long snapper Morgan Cox, special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg and specialists coach Randy Brown with helping him straighten his kicks on field goals and clean up his punts. Even as he is considered a very long shot to make the roster, Vedvik said his purpose in camp is to improve and compete.
“That’s your job,” he said. “That’s what I’m here for. I’m trying to make a living out of it, and it’s just a great feeling when you go out there and accomplish what you’ve been working on. That’s when you know you’re doing things right.”
As confident as he felt after the 67-yarder, Vedvik said he did not ask the coaching staff for an attempt from 70 yards or beyond.
“I’ll let them decide it,” he said. “I’ll leave it up to them. I made a kick, they can tell me where to kick it from, and my job is to go out there and make it.”