Wilkening described how Cundiff broke into the NFL in Dallas. “I got in the league, I’m used to kicking off from the 35, with a two-inch tee,” Cundiff said. “So I had a lot of things going against me.”
How does a placekicker not known for a powerful leg suddenly become the NFL’s king of touchbacks? According to the 6-1, 212-pound Cundiff, it was something he never set out to do. He had tinkered with his kickoff form for years, but he began to have sustained success kicking long this summer, as he competed with Shayne Graham to be the Ravens’ kicker. Cundiff won the job, with his kickoffs a deciding factor, and he has proceeded to have his finest season to date, both on kickoffs as well as field goals.
On field goals, he praised holder Sam Koch and rookie long-snapper Morgan Cox for their work, and he credited kicking coach Randy Brown with helping him refine his technique.
Along with a great deal of success and possibly a Pro Bowl, Billy Cundiff has also provided a great comeback story after being out of football in 2007 and 2008. “Instead, I shifted my focus to, ‘Let’s get better each and every day,’ Billy said. “And as cliché as that sounds, that’s truly what helped me win that competition. I wasn’t worried about the negative stuff; I was only worried about getting better.”
With an 86.4% field goal percentage, a long of 49 yards and a league leading 34 touchbacks, Cundiff has proven that the cliché reigns true.