Quotes from Baltimore Ravens' Justin Tucker ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl between the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
QUOTES FROM BALTIMORE RAVENS MEDIA DAY
KICKER JUSTIN TUCKER
(on how big of a factor special teams could play Sunday) "Special teams is a true third of the game. Even though there may be fewer special teams plays compared to offense and defense, those plays have some serious implications on the outcome of the game. Field position is probably the most underrated statistic as far as game indicators go. If you're able to establish good field position throughout the course of the game and limit turnovers, those are two key factors to most wins. We've been really good in both of those areas. I think if we do that this weekend, we'll give ourselves a really good chance."
(on how he prepares for such an important game) "I've developed a unique routine over the course of this regular season and into this postseason that I was constantly trying to figure out when I was in college. As far as mental preparation for a game, it's always the same. My job is pretty clear cut. It doesn't really alter too much, except for dealing with weather conditions, which we won't have to this week. Preparing for the Super Bowl, I'm going to prepare for it like I was preparing to beat Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night. I'm just going to be thinking about hitting a straight ball."
(on the difference in preparing for a game in the NFL versus in college) "I don't know if there really is a difference. I can tell you the similarities. I'm going to sound like a broken record, though. We focus on our routine when we go out on the field. We think about the action and not the consequence. We remain thankful for the opportunity and whatever happens, happens. More often than not, Morgan (Cox) throws me a good snap, Sam (Koch) gives me a good hold, and the ball goes right where we want it. As long as we're doing those things, we always have a chance to be successful."
(on Ravens Kicking Consultant Randy Brown) "Randy has been imperative to my success, starting from training camp, the second day when he got there. We had like a two hour meeting with Coach (Jerry) Rosburg, Randy and myself where we basically looked at my film from the couple days of practice that we already had and we just completely changed everything. I made a 180-degree transformation from the kicker I was in college technically to the point where I have so much more control over my ball now than I ever have. I feel like with Morgan (Cox) and Sam (Koch) doing what they're doing for me, it's hard for me to miss."
(on what he changed in that meeting) "I made a conscience effort to get downfield farther, to swing on a straighter plane right towards the goalpost and not to give the sticks away ever and not to take any kick for granted. Sometimes it's easy to do that. You drop for an extra point, you think, ‘Oh, it's a 20-yard chip shot.' But every single kick has got to be right where we want it, and that's how we develop good habits is treating every kick like it's the same."
(on if he's allowed himself to think about hitting a game winning kick in the Super Bowl) "I definitely have. These are the moments that you dream about and you think about as a little kid. To actually be here on media day and to know that opportunity may arise during the game, it's a pretty phenomenal deal. If called upon to put the exclamation point on it myself, I have faith in Morgan (Cox) and Sam (Koch). What Randy (Brown) and Jerry (Rosburg) and Harbs (Coach John Harbaugh) have been able to develop with us over the course of the season. And of course, the Big Guy upstairs. Whatever happens, happens. We're going to have fun with it and we'll be successful."
(on how vividly he's pictured a game-winning kick in the Super Bowl) "Just thinking about it now, you almost get goose bumps thinking about it. I can tell you, every day when I would go out to the practice fields at Westlake High School with my dad, we always ended on a game-winning field goal. I always end my warm up routine on gamedays with a 48-yarder from the right hash. That's the kick (Adam) Vinatieri made in the Superdome in 2001 I believe. This place right here is where he cemented himself as a Hall of Fame-caliber kicker, which is really a hard thing to do."