Ravens K Justin Tucker (12.14.20)

K Justin Tucker


(on his game-winning 55-yard FG kick) “The wind was definitely whipping around in there going towards the “Dawg Pound” end pretty consistent right to left, and then of course, left to right the other way. I’m not trying to talk about how hard the kick was to make it seem like it was way sweeter or anything, but the field was definitely chewed up by that point in the game. So, more than anything, it’s just about getting studs in the ground with my plant, seeing the ball spotted – which, of course, is much easier when you have Morgan Cox throwing it back there, and Sam Koch spotting it quickly and efficiently. I’ve said this before – the ball kicks itself when everything is working the way we expect it. And the ball was trailing right to left pretty significantly throughout the flight path, so I was just glad it stayed, and we were able to make the play to win the game.”

(on his mindset when preparing for the kick) “I’ll sound like a broken record, but it’s, ‘See the ball, kick the ball, wide plant, get downfield.’ Of course, there’s a lot of emotion, [and] there’s a lot of feeling that goes into any field goal, but especially one that is going to be the difference in the game. And the only thing that you really can do and should do – just based on my experience playing in this league now for nine years … Your feelings are unimportant; you have to focus on the action of kicking the ball, not the consequence, and we’ve been able to do that really well for a long time. And tonight, we were able to do just that.”

(on the magnitude of the kick) “I suppose … you’re brining up a lot of the stuff that I’m not thinking about when I’m taking the field to try to put us ahead late in the game. So, all the stuff that you just said makes me way more nervous now after the fact. And yes, after hearing all that, it’s definitely good that we made that kick given everything that this team is going through right now, given the tumultuous nature of this particular game, but also keeping us in the playoff picture – all of those things. We definitely needed to have this one. And ultimately, what the world saw on Monday Night Football was a Ravens’ team that played with faith and guts – faith in each other, faith in God and faith in ourselves.”

(on if he expects the opposing coach to call a timeout in game-winning situations and how that affects him) “No, that’s not for me to concern myself with. We have a plan for when the opposing team does call a timeout. It’s usually a 30-second timeout; they’re not going to go to break and play a bunch of Taco Bell commercials – they’re just going to keep it right there on the game. I’ll march over to the numbers, take a practice swing, and then, by the time I jog back to the hashes, the officials are blowing the whistle ready for play. So, I’m not thinking about it, but we have a plan for if that does happen.”

(on if he felt there was enough time to score after Cleveland tied the game with 1:04 remaining) “Of course. Of course, that’s plenty of time. We’ve got Lamar Jackson, Trace McSorley. If they were going to have to put Sam Koch in at quarterback, I would have faith in my teammates to get us in position to win the game – no matter what the personnel, no matter what the circumstance. That all said, a minute is better than 30 seconds, is better than 10 seconds. It was interesting how it all played out. It was very exciting for everybody watching at home, and I’m sure for you guys, as well. But again, it’s very important … I’m a pretty emotional type of person – I kind of wear my emotions on my sleeve – except for when there are like two minutes left in a football game. I don’t have the time or the energy for that. I don’t think anybody really needs me to be emotional. They need me to be poised [and] stoic. My teammates and everybody in this organization just needs me to do my job in that moment.”