Successful Kicks Earlier In Career Give Billy Cundiff Confidence
ASHBURN – Billy Cundiff said Wednesday he was never given any indication that his role as the Washington Redskins’ kicker was in jeopardy following his three missed field goal attempts Sunday at Tampa Bay.
Cundiff missed field goal attempts from 47, 51 and 31 yards before making a 41-yard attempt with two seconds remaining to give the Redskins a 24-22 victory.
“The feedback I’m getting from them is very positive,” Cundiff said, referring to the coaches. “I think they kind of saw this as an anomaly. Moving forward, it’s my job to make sure I right the ship so that way we don’t have to worry about a last-second field goal, we just make all the ones before that.”
Cundiff said he’s never before missed three field goals in his career. He missed a 41-yard attempt wide right in the second quarter, dropped a 57-yard attempt just short on the final play before halftime and then pushed a 31-yard attempt wide left in the fourth quarter. His game-winner just barely tucked inside the right upright.
“Part of this game is you go through some tough times at any position,” head coach Mike Shanahan said. “Right after you go through a tough time, you want to be able to step up and prove to your teammates that you can play and make a field goal, and he did that.”
The misses were simply a matter of timing, Cundiff explained. He was signed on Aug. 28 and long snapper Justin Snow was signed two weeks later, and he’s not yet built the chemistry with Snow and punter Sav Rocca, the holder, that he needs to truly feel comfortable.
“It’s just one of those things that, if you look at a lot of successful kickers around the league, most guys have had multiple years with the same snapper and the same holder,” Cundiff said. “This is not an excuse in any way. You have to understand that I take full credit for all my misses. And it’s one of those things that I will continue to get better at. We just didn’t have the luxury of having a complete offseason together like everybody else in the league.”
Signed on Aug. 28, Cundiff has gone 6-for-10 on field goal attempts and made all 15 extra point tries. As the misses continued to mount on Sunday, he believes the mental weight of the misses started to settle in – including on the 31-yarder.
Shanahan was adamant the Redskins would not bring in another kicker for a workout at any point this week. Cundiff said part of that is because he believes his career – he’s been in the NFL on and off since 2002 – speaks for itself.
“Having the career that I’ve had, I’ve got a lot of experience to draw on,” Cundiff said. “So when I go out there for a game-winning kick, even though I haven’t kicked as well as I’d like during the way, I can draw on those other kicks I’ve made to give me the confidence to make it.”