Billy Cundiff: Everything kept speeding up


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.

80 responses to “Billy Cundiff: Everything kept speeding up

  1. You get paid to do one thing Billy, and that one thing happened to be puttin boot-on-ball from 30 yards out. Last I checked you were a professional at doing exactly this…

  2. No team should ever put the hopes of their season on the back of one single player. Play better next time as a team.

  3. You can blame Cundiff all yuo want but I used to kick and yes you should make those, but with your team on the verge of a chance at the Super Bowl and you have a timeout you use it. This is no different than hurrying the QB up. You would give him a timeout, a chance to collect himself and get his mind right would you not? Total blunder on Harbaugh’s part. That said, its still a chip shot and he gets paid to make those kicks.

  4. Its certainly nice to know that both the kicker AND the coach are too stupid to know when a time-out is probably a good idea! Did they for some reason think that they might need it AFTER they missed the field goal??? This just gets more ridiculous by the minute….it is stupid things like this that convince me the Ravens have very limited upside potential with Harbaugh at the controls (and, of course,an “idiot kicker”). Harbaugh just doesn’t seem like the sharpest knife in the drawer….

  5. They need to eliminate kicking from the game altogether. Put a pole out there. Hit it fer three points. To watch these guys battle it out n the trenches fer three hours n then have it decided by a guy wit a laundry fresh uniform is sickening. Keep ya head up Billy! After all it’s just a game!

  6. Yeah, and if Harbaugh calls timeout and Cundiff misses, all we’d be hearing is how he “iced” his own kicker. Ask Jason Garrett about all that crap. The Ravens should have called a TO and let everything settle down. Of course, if Lee Evans could actually catch the ball it wouldn’t have mattered.

  7. As a Pats fan living in Ravens territory, I have a few things to say:

    To the good natured fans that can dish it out in jest, and take it when the result turned out for the Pats, it was a great game, and a fun game to watch

    To the majority of fans that feel it necessary to tell you constantly how your team “sucks”, “has no chance”, and “you shouldnt even show your face after sunday”, I say, go F yourself, you make the rest of the fan base look bad

  8. As soon as I seen him running in a hurry off the sideline my first thought was for Harbaugh to call the freaking time out! I don’t understand how one of the better coaches in the NFL screwed that up.

  9. kya_tropic_fan says:
    Jan 23, 2012 5:57 PM
    As a Pats fan living in Ravens territory, I have a few things to say:

    To the good natured fans that can dish it out in jest, and take it when the result turned out for the Pats, it was a great game, and a fun game to watch

    To the majority of fans that feel it necessary to tell you constantly how your team “sucks”, “has no chance”, and “you shouldnt even show your face after sunday”, I say, go F yourself, you make the rest of the fan base look bad
    as a dolphins fan living in MA, i can tell you that patriots fans are some of the most obnoxious out there. 50% didn’t even start following football until 2003..

  10. You have to but this on the coach he is in control and when he saw that things were being rushed should have called time out and let the emotions settle down.

  11. Overlooked in all this was Belichick’s genius move NOT to ice the kicker when he had three time outs left. Asked about it after the game. Belichick said he “thought about it but it looked like the Ravens were rushing so he thought he’d let it play out.”

    Thatta boy BB!

  12. I thought a timeout was needed from the get-go. It looked rushed. I liked the rushed kick when you find yourself suddenly and miraculously in fg range, but when there is the letdown of no TD -then I opt for the non-rushed kick to regather…

    But if he misses the kick after a time-out, then Harbaugh iced his kicker, right. Harbaugh might have had this thought himself.

  13. He didn’t start to run out onto the field till the play clock was at like 12 seconds. First off I think the whole “freezing the kicker” deal is dumb but even if it really worked this would not be one of those cases because cundiff was not ready to kick! I was screaming at the TV to call a timeout and I knew he would miss it before the kick because of all that. Harbaugh is a great coach IMO but he should of stepped in there and calmed things down.

  14. Okay, yes, I was a bit rushed. But I was taking a dump. Let me see you try to kick a field after you were rushed and had to pinch a log. Give me a break.

  15. Ravens fans are repeatedly saying, “If Lee Evans catches the ball … end of story”.

    Yeah… what if Brady didn’t miss Gronk down the seam in the 1st quarter? What if the ref’s don’t call Gronk out of bounds, setting up a 1st and goal with three minutes left in the second?

    It’s not a game of ‘if’s’, unfortunately. It is what it is.

    No disrespect meant. I thought it was a great game.

  16. Could Cundiff have called a timeout or would Harbaugh have had to do it? Not being on the field, Harbaugh may not have realized Cundiff was off his routine. But he certainly knew things weren’t proceeding as they should.

    They repeatedly called Cundiff to the sidelines but got no response? Given the urgency, why didn’t Special Teams Coach Jerry Rosburgh walk over to Cundiff and bring him to the sidelines? What reason did he give for failing to respond to his coaches?

    He may not need to pour out his heart to an analyst, but after reading these comments, I’d suggest he start checking the want ads.

  17. Hopefully they will get rid of him, and the Steelers can pick him up.

    I can’t believe they didn’t call a time out. I thought “wow, I guess they have no time outs left.” Kind of surreal.

  18. Ravens should have built more through the draft and undrafted free agents. Pulling guys in like they have done with Evans, Cundiff, Houshmanzedah, etc. to win you a Super Bowl is not the way to go. There’s a reason they were let go and not re-signed by their original teams. Maybe have a few free agents but there just seems to be a lot of players on the Ravens that used to play for somebody else: C LT FB S etc.

  19. Harbaugh didn’t have control of the sideline just like Chilly didn’t have control of the sideline during the 12 Men in the Huddle fiasco two years ago. It’s ultimately the fault of the head coach.

  20. it’s one thing to get outcoached, it’s another to out/undercoach yourself. Go a step further, the special teams coach should just say call it. How often does a kicker run on the field and just kick? Ahhhhh well

  21. Many have said this before. The Ravens had two previous opportunities to make this a none issue. Those were the two times they kicked field goals instead of getting touchdowns.

    My prediction was 24-16, Patriots. didn’t think the Patriots would score more than that against the Baltimore defense. I told friends the difference would be whether the Ravens got TDs instead of FGs.

    New England is not the best team in the conference. But they’re good enough that if you leave it out there long enough, they’ll take it from you. They took it from the Ravens on a night where Brady was comparatively hideous. The weather was great and the AFC’s best in takeaways gave it away more than they got it.

  22. This year Billy Cundiff made $1.5 million bucks he kicked 28 field goals and 38 extra points making each kick worth $22,727 god dam I do not feel bad for this guy

  23. Look at a replay! It was not really the kickers fault. The hold was terrible. The ball was leaning forward almost 2 inches. It should at least be straight up or leaning back some so the kicker gets the most ball on his foot.

    Be real folks, and Cundiff, sleep well. You did all you could with that crappy hold.

    Many questions on the Evans catch? When is something a TD, when a qb or rb can only stretch their arms over the goal line with the ball for a touchdown.

  24. Harbaugh looks like a coach.
    He sounds like a coach, but he is not an NFL head coach and every unbiased knowledgeable Raven fans know this.

    He is afraid to coach the stars and is afraid to make decisions……calling the Time out would have been a decision.

    Time and again Harbaugh gets out of the way and let’s the team run itself…..this time into the ground.

  25. “I can’t say I know how all you Ravens fans feel. Oh wait… I’m a Vikings fan.

    Oh well, there’s always next season!”

    Yeah, I feel your pain. I’m a big Ravens fan, but the ’98 Vikings were probably my favorite team of all time. Anderson choked, and instead of perhaps the best Super Bowl ever–15-1 Vikings vs the 14-2 Broncos–we were treated to Chris Chandler and the Dirty Birds getting their butts handed to them by the Broncos.

  26. Harbaugh said a timeout never occurred to him. along with everyone else must have been thinking about OT. 32yd FG is automatic.

  27. If Joe Flacco hit Vonta Leach in the flat, we probably wouldn’t be talking about Cundiff or Evans right now.

  28. @Deb
    It’s worse than Rossburg not going to find him. The Ravens have Rossburg, an assistant special teams coach and a kicking coach (the guy Harbaugh pushed) and none of these three guys could manage to get the team ready for the field goal. These three and Harbaugh became spectators rather than coaches. The overkill of attention paid to special teams has completely failed the Ravens and it came to a head at the worst possible moment.

  29. This is all on Harbaugh. He is the Head Coach. It is even worse that he is a former Special Teams coach. Either way, he should have realized that he needed to call the timeout when Cundiff was sprinting to line up. The fifty drunk idiots at my local bar were all yelling “call the timeout” as Cundiff raced onto the field.

  30. It’s not like that kick was to win the game. They still had to go to overtime…even if he makes it, there is no guarantee they win the game….

  31. Harbaugh saved time out because he was going to onside kick.

    He wanted the extra time out to set up the game winner after a couple plays to the sidelines.

    This will leak out sooner than later. It’s being talked about right now in Baltimore.

  32. You know the same thing happened in the Giants game. Eli was telling Coughlin that the play clock was running out and it cost em a 5 yard penalty. Pretty major stuff especially if it costs you points. Lucky for them it didn’t. However, it goes to show that sometimes these guys have tunnel vision. As a Steeler fan I can attest to Tomlin being absolutely clueless when it comes to time management…or just about anything actually.

  33. New England is not the best team in the conference.
    The Patriots were the number one seed and are going to the Super Bowl. I would say they are the best team in the conference.

  34. As a diehard Ravens fan it was a hard loss that is going to sting for a while but the game was all about missed opportunities on both sides so the blame shouldn’t lie with Cundiff. If Torrey doesn’t slow down on the deep bomb that’s 7 points to counteract the what if Brady hit Gronk, if Flacco finds leach in the flat that’s another 7 to possibly counteract the blown out of bounds call. If Evans holds on for a nano second longer the ravens win the game. In the end the Ravens missed more chances and it cost them the game

  35. It is getting tiresome hearing and reading all of these “what ifs” from Ravens players and fans. The Ravens couldn’t secure an easy TD in the endzone and missed an easy field goal. They don’t deserve to go to the Super Bowl because of those big mistakes. It’s the same about not having home field advantage because they lost to four crappy teams on the road. Take care of your own business and stop complaining about the Patriots going to the Super Bowl. Winning 10 straight games in the NFL isn’t easy. They’re a pretty good team that takes care of its business.

  36. as a dolphins fan living in MA, i can tell you that patriots fans are some of the most obnoxious out there. 50% didn’t even start following football until 2003..

    As a Patriots fan living in Dolphin country, I can tell you that I haven’t met a Dolphin fan since Marino retired.

  37. Yes, the kicker can, and should, call TO if he’s not set. Yes, he should make the kick most times even with the time he had. Yes, the positional coach has first line responsibility.

    But it’s the HC’s responsibility to be aware of what is actually happening, not retreat into the comfort zone of what “should” be happening, and react accordingly and decisively. One of the things that is happening is you know your capable kicker has increasingly been fighting it mentally all season and probably has nerves right now. Like a parent, the HC is supposed to be the adult and put his players in best position to succeed, despite themselves if neessary. It’s becoming clear that Harbaugh failed to do it in this situation and I bet as the story unfolds it will continue to look worse.

    I think he’s a good coach in the sense he knows how to organize a complex operation and motivate his players. A lot of coaches can’t do this, and most of the time this will get you where pretty close to where you want to go. But on the really big stage, a good coach has to demonstrate his awareness. We’ve seen a lot of times Harbaugh has struggled to do that (or, in the first few years, to do it right, like his early poor challenge record).

    Ryan has been mocked, rightfully, for saying he wasn’t aware of a lot of things going on around him. Harbaugh has a lot going for him but he better pay attention to this issue.

  38. But but but the orioles knocked the red sox out of the playoffs!!!! And to this guy.

    … as a dolphins fan living in MA, i can tell you that patriots fans are some of the most obnoxious out there. 50% didn’t even start following football until 2003

    Well, Pats fans have sold out every game since ’94. Do the dolphins have fans?? I mean most of the time all you see when watching dolphins games is orange seats… But ya. You should be chiming in

  39. Since everything screwed up in NFL Football (according to haters on this site) seems to be directly related to bad decisions by Stephen Ross and Jeff Ireland I think the dropped (dislodged) pass, failed timeout, bad snap, bad hold and botched kick somehow is their fault.

  40. Any chance Cundiff was not responding to calls from the coaches to be ready to go into the game because he was urinating somewhere like the San Diego kicker was earlier in the season?

    In response to all those comments about band wagon fans, or no fans prior to 2003 etc: As a Patriots fan living in CA, that attended the last NFL game in the Orange Bowl (AFC Championship game won by the Patriots – I sat in the wooden end zone bleachers at the open end of the stadium) along with over 20,000 other patriots fans that somehow got into that stadium, that had to fly to Orlando and drive to Miami because there were no flights left from Boston to Miami, and who then two weeks later had to fly to Houston, rent a car, and drive 10 hours to New Orleans to get to the Super Bowl in 1986 because there were no flights from NE into any airport any closer than that,…. that there has always been a loyal fan base for the Patriots, even though they weren’t very successful by today’s standards prior to Kraft’s ownership (they had fairly poor ownership for the first 30 years). It’s just now that they have had a lot more success, many others outside the area are also fans. Another factor here is that you simply may not remember much about the Patriots and their fans because they weren’t in the news much because they hadn’t been perennial contenders, and we didn’t have the Internet and all these blogs etc. The combination of Internet access and recent success means you have to deal with the fans that you never saw or heard of before, and to you it feels like it’s a recent phenomena, but I can assure you they have been there all along.

  41. chargers308 says:
    Jan 23, 2012 7:48 PM
    Ravens shouldnt feel so bad. Us chargers have choked the same way in the same situtation. Dont believe me ask Nate Kaeding

    iowa kickers…. i tell ya..

  42. @rmc1995 and getyourownname …

    Interesting points. John Harbaugh is a good coach, but I agree that he’s made some mistakes. It will be interesting to see how they regroup. I don’t particularly care for him, but after watching Jim this season, he might be the better of the two.

    @jrobitaille23 …

    Speaking of clueless, as a Steeler fan, you should have the good sense to recognize Tomlin’s talent and be thankful we have him. Yes, he’s made some mistakes, but that doesn’t take away from the overall quality of his performance.

  43. i will never forget when gary anderson came back to the vikings years after he missed that kick in 98.

    it was a game against the dolphins, and cris carter was recenlty a new receiver for the dolphins. it was a big deal-at the dome. it came down to a field goal at the last second. 56 yards i believe. cris carter was on the dolphin sidelines taunting that anderson could not make it.

    surely enough, anderson booted that ball through the uprights, and randy moss came over and threw anderson straight up in the air in joy. the look of andersons face after making that kick was priceless.

  44. It is still funny.

    Have another Gatorade Shower in September Ratbirds! Hope you enjoyed your Superbowl in September. Ignorant fans, whiny bitch coach and the murderer… it is still funny

  45. Boo-hoo. He’ll live, after all, they will be playing the SB again next year.
    Looks like someone has LEFT reality…..don’t think so they will be lucky to be in the playoffs…Texans with their starting QB would have beat them and Flacco sux. Go Giants!!!!!

  46. Part of the whole fiasco happened because of Harbaugh’s tendency to whine to the referees 26 times a game — he’s too busy complaining to worry about little things like clock management. No doubt he was occupied whining about some holding call he thinks he should’ve gotten 15 plays ago — such things can be a distraction.

  47. Is this article suggesting that Harbaugh should have iced his own kicker. How stupid. Didn’t Jason Garrett do that and get vilified for it. I don’t care, even rushed…an NFL kicker has got to make a 32 yard field goal.

  48. Should’ve kept Shayne Graham around… A few years from now Sam Koch and the Ravens mascot will go missing and Ace Ventura will crack the case… Die Sam Die
    LACES OUT!!!

  49. Does anyone out recall Terrell suggs comment in which he said, and I quote “we don’t need GOD on our sideline”?
    Yeah…not too smart t sizzle not too smart…

  50. Bb is a genius for not icing the kicker? No coach would ice in that situation. The ravens were running around like chickens with their heads cut off rushing to get the kick off. No need to ice what’s already a messed up situation.

  51. I blame Flacco’s hideous mustache… not the kicker. My heart goes out Cundiff, it shouldn’t have came down to his right foot. Something he’ll never forget… but should.

  52. I loved how Cundiff tried putting his hand up in front of one of the cameras, I guess to try and block it. I wonder if he ever did that after the camera was on him for kicking his game winning field goals? Take it like a man you loser, you choked a gimme field goal so deal with it like a man not a p***y

  53. Look at the heat Jason Garrett took for a regular season game. Can you imagine if Harbaugh does that in the playoffs and Kundiff still missed? That’s on the kicker to call the TO. They know if they feel comfortable.

  54. They lost, so what, next year is a new season. They played good football and that’s why we watch.

    Emotional attachment to the outcome of a football match, you’d think only women suffer from this. But then again, according to this site, 70 % of NFL fans are whiny teenage girls. “OMG i hate tebow, he should be fired – now im gonna watch gossip girl”!

  55. As is being reported today – and I can’t believe PFT didn’t jump on it immediately since they LOVE conspiracy theories – Cundiff was confused and distracted on the sideline because the scoreboard showed that it was 3rd down. Not an excuse for missing the kick or not calling a timeout if he wasn’t comfortable but that’s apparently why he was so slow to get on the field.

  56. willowy2k says:
    Does anyone out recall Terrell suggs comment in which he said, and I quote “we don’t need GOD on our sideline”?
    Yeah…not too smart t sizzle not too smart…


    You know who’s not too smart? You! He addressed it with Skip Bayless the day after the game.

    Yeah………not too smart willow……not too smart………………..

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