As I mentioned earlier, the Ravens' kicking job will likely be up for grabs when offseason minicamps roll around a few months from now, but one guy who'd like to lock himself in as Baltimore's kicker in 2010 is the one who finished the 2009 season handling that role - Billy Cundiff.
"I'd love to come back here," Cundiff said earlier this week. "I really like it here. I feel like having a head coach that has a special teams background, he really understands all that goes into what we do, and that's really important. Because a lot of times, a guy misses a kick, and they'll say, 'It's his fault.' But they kind of look at the whole operation; they're able to see things that other guys don't.
"And then we also have got Randy Brown, a friend of coach Harbaugh's, who's the kicking consultant, and having a kicking coach here has really helped me hone my skills, which has been really nice. I like that environment, so for me, I'd like to come back here."
Cundiff signed with the Ravens back in mid-November, taking over for Steve Hauschka, who missed three key field goals in his time in Baltimore and was released 10 weeks into the season.
Cundiff went 15-of-20 on field goals during his nine games in Charm City (including two postseason contests), although a few of those misses might have been a result of off-target snaps from Matt Katula. He also went 6-of-6 during his time with the Browns early in the season before being released after five games.
His season-long was from 46 yards (a kick which actually was his first in a Ravens uniform) and he averaged 62.6 yards per kickoff while with Baltimore.
"I believe I can be the guy here," Cundiff said. "I think as a competitor, you feel like you can never really show enough unless you make all of them. That's kind of the way I approach it. I feel like I left a few kicks out on the field and that's always a feeling that kind of eats at you in the offseason."
Those misses came from 30, 56, 30, 37, and 51 yards, some of which were thrown off by poor snaps that disrupted Cundiff's timing. You won't hear the 29-year-old use that as an excuse, however.
"I missed two 30-yarders this year, and the person that I am, I feel like even if it's the worst snap in the world and the worst hold in the world - like Sam [Koch] could hold it with his feet - and I still feel like I should be able to put it straight. Because you look at the playoff game in Indianapolis, even though it was a high snap, I still put it right down the middle.
"So it was one of those things where I was in the right state of mind making sure I concentrated on what I needed to do and I just went and did it instead of worrying about all the other things going around."
Head coach John Harbaugh said he was impressed with Cundiff during his half a season in Baltimore, and considers him one of the Ravens' top options to earn the job for 2010.
"Billy Cundiff, I think, is a big possibility for us [next season]," Harbaugh said. "He proved that he could make field goals under pressure situations. He kicked off very well. I think he improved some things coming here.
"He'll be the first to tell you [he improved on] some mechanical things that he worked through when he first got here. Through the season, he's gotten better as a kicker, as a field goal kicker especially, and as a kickoff guy."