Cundiff crushing kicks in camp

How’s that headline for some sweet alliteration?

Yes, I’m quite proud of myself for that one.

Back to topics of actual importance ... A year after taking part in one of the more talked-about battles in training camp, Billy Cundiff is flying under the radar this summer.

Cundiff spent last camp duking it out with Shayne Graham for the Ravens’ kicking job, trying to match Graham kick-for-kick and gain an edge in the eyes of the coaching staff. This time around, Cundiff is the only place kicker on the roster after signing a five-year, $15 million contract with the Ravens this offseason.

The 31-year-old isn’t letting his job security get to his head, however. Cundiff has been performing as if he’s got a competitor nipping at his heels, and he had another strong day yesterday, crushing a 58-yard field goal during the Ravens’ open practice at M&T Bank Stadium. The kick had plenty of distance, and might well have been good from 62 yards.

“I knew we were going to try a long one, especially with the wind going right and left,” Cundiff said. “It was good practice. We get this wind a lot. We had it for sure in the Dolphins game it was really windy you get that wind. It was great to get in that situation. It’s good practice. If you succeed, it can help you in later games.”

Cundiff’s 58-yarder came with one major distraction - linebacker Terrell Suggs standing about five feet away screaming at the top of his lungs. What Suggs was actually yelling about will remain a mystery.

“What did Suggs say? It’s not family friendly,” Cundiff joked after the practice.

Cundiff had a dynamite first full season in Baltimore last year, making nearly 90 percent of his field goals, posting 40 touchbacks and making his first Pro Bowl. He’s continued that success this camp, missing just one field goal by my count through the first week and a half of practice.

The seven-year veteran credits a strong offseason workout program for his early success in camp.

“I knew once the season got done I set my plan for the entire offseason knowing that the offseason was pretty uncertain,” Cundiff said. “I looked at it after the Pro Bowl and then we watched the Super Bowl, which I will probably never do again. I got back to training on Tuesday after the Super Bowl. I did a lot of lifting, lot of strength work done in the offseason. I did that so when the time came for training camp, it would show off. I feel like it has.

“I look at my career and I had inconsistencies early, so now let’s go ahead and take what I did last year and build on that and try to make sure that’s something that happens year in and year out.”

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