No Rest For Ravens KickersPosted on July 29, 2013
By Joe Platania
OWINGS MILLS -- Bill Marinangel. Paul McCord. Leo Araguz. Derrick Frost.
Those are the names of just some of the training camp punters the Ravens have brought in through the years to compete with the Ravens' incumbents. But Sam Koch -- the Ravens' primary punter since he was a sixth-round pick in 2006 -- has no one in camp taking over at least some of the repetition load.
The same is true in the placekicking game, in which second-year booter Justin Tucker is also running unopposed for re-election.
Among kickers, the only camp bodies in Ravens history that immediately come to mind are Scott Bentley -- a former Sports Illustrated cover boy who did outkick Matt Stover for part of the 1999 camp -- and Noel Prefontaine, who went on to have a good career in the Canadian Football League.
Given the fine line between winning and losing that exists in the NFL these days, it's probably no surprise that two precious roster spots that the Ravens would have used for backup kickers and punters in the past are now going to interior linemen. There are currently 17 offensive linemen in camp, as well as 10 on defense, an inordinate amount for a team that runs a 3-4 scheme.
But maybe Tucker and Koch don't need a rest. During training camp, Tucker -- who nailed 30 of 33 field-goal attempts last year -- has been regularly kicking field goals from 60-plus yards that would be good from further back, and Koch has still been spinning the ball and making it bounce dead inside the 20-yard line.
"It is a little different having only one kicker," special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg said. "You have a lot more individual attention. Justin is handling it well.
"We've had good days so far. He's prepared well during the offseason. It's been a while since we've had only one punter or kicker in camp, it's worked out well."
Posted July 29, 2013