Some more information is coming to light about the moments directly preceding the missed field goal that ended the Ravens season and it all makes it harder to understand why the team didn’t call a timeout before Billy Cundiff tried to tie the game.
According to a report on TMZ, Ravens coaches repeatedly called for Cundiff to come to the sideline so he was ready to go into the game when needed without getting a response from the kicker. Two Ravens players told the website that the coaches were yelling at Cundiff and described him as distracted before he went into the game. When asked why the team responded by backing up Cundiff after the game, the players said they were supportive “because he looked like he was ready to kill himself.”
In an interview with Stefan Fatsis for Deadspin, Cundiff said that no one should worry about something like that happening.
“I appreciate all the backing, but listen, you don’t have to worry about me jumping off a ledge or driving my car off a cliff,” Cundiff said. “I’m not sure I need to sit down on a couch and talk it out.”
Cundiff also addressed the widespread reaction from those watching the game that the Ravens appeared to be rushing onto the field in order to get the kick off. Cundiff told Fatsis that his sideline routine was a few seconds off and that he forced himself to hurry up as a result.
“Instead of taking a deep breath and collecting myself, everything just kept speeding up, speeding up,” Cundiff said. “The mechanics of the operation were just off a little bit.”
Cundiff said that he didn’t consider calling a timeout, which is exactly what Harbaugh said when asked about the final play after the game. Given everything that was going on, it is hard to believe that no one with the Ravens thought that taking a moment to settle down was a good idea. They’ll have plenty of time to reconsider their approach before next season.