Cundiff reflects on record season

Out of work two years ago, Billy Cundiff seems to be doing OK for himself now.

The Ravens placekicker is heading to his first career Pro Bowl after having made 26 of 29 field goals, and on Sunday, he tied the NFL single-season record with his 40th touchback.

Yeah, I have a feeling Cundiff won't be looking for a kicking job again anytime soon.

Sunday was a big day for the 30-year-old kicker, who was introduced to huge cheers as one of the Ravens' five Pro Bowlers before the game, and then tied Mitch Berger's record in the third quarter of a win over the Bengals.

After the game, a beaming Cundiff had trouble putting the accomplishment in perspective.

"I don't think it's really set in, to be perfectly honest with you," Cundiff said. "I think it's something that when I look back on the season, when the season's over, I'll be able to put it in proper context. Right now, I've just gotten in a good rhythm, so I feel like I've been able to add a new dimension to our special teams. The defensive coaches are obviously really appreciative of (punter Sam Koch) and I pinning the offenses back so the defense can really do their thing.

"It's an interesting record. I'm surprised that so many people in Baltimore understand the significance of it all, but it's just a testament to the fans."

After Cundiff's record-tying touchback, he was met about five yards onto the field by head coach John Harbaugh and special teams coordinator Jerry Rosburg, who both gave Cundiff a big hug and congratulated him on the feat.

No pun intended.

Cundiff said it was a special moment, and he was very appreciative of the help that he's gotten from the two coaches along the way.

"I think that when we started the season, we never thought this would be the direction this would go," Cundiff said. "They've obviously been encouraging me the whole way, pushing me, and as we look back, it's been really fun."

There weren't many fun times professionally from 2007-2008, when Cundiff was out of the NFL and looking to catch on with a team. He had a number of failed tryouts, and eventually had to get a job at a venture capital firm in case the dream of getting back into football didn't come to fruition.

Still, even during those tough times, he says he always felt like this type of season would come at some point.

"My wife and I talked about it quite often, even when we weren't in football," Cundiff said. "I think as you kind of look ahead, if you have the kind of confidence that it requires to play in this league, then you think that the Pro Bowl is obviously a possibility. I think that, if anything, I'm more surprised with the touchback record than I am about the Pro Bowl, because I knew I always had it in me.

"I knew if I found the right place and we had a good snapper and a good holder, and I got in the right situation with the way the special teams coach worked and I found a home, I knew I was capable of it. That's the exact situation we have here."

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