Breakdowns

Justin Tucker Adjusted Mechanics on Record-Breaking Field Goal

Veteran NFL special teams coach Marwan Maalouf noticed something different from Ravens kicker Justin Tucker when he kicked his record-breaking 66-yard field goal Sunday against the Lions. Coach Maalouf filed this report for the 33rd Team:

Justin Tucker’s 66-yard game-winning field goal against the Lions Sunday was nothing short of spectacular. Give credit to the Lions for trying to throw off his rhythm and tempo to the ball by trying the last-second “SHIFT” or “MOVE” call — an attempt to draw a Ravens false start before the kick. Credit the Ravens’ field goal unit for being poised and steady by not false starting. Having coached against Tucker and studied him for many years with his freakish talent and consistent process, something was very noticeable to me.

Tucker had a little extra in his approach this time and I’m not talking about extra emotion or energy, which is also possible. He had a little “crow hop” at the start of his approach that created a little more momentum and power on his way to the ball. It’s very slight, but noticeable to someone who doesn’t want Tucker to take a game-winning kick if you’re playing against the Ravens. You don’t see it in pregame, where cameras and the media track where his field-goal attempt line will be for a game-winner or before the half.

I noticed it on a Barstool feed from the steady hand of a stooly. It has to be something he practices for these situations. It’s not something that someone tries just once or gives it a shot when a 66-yarder avails itself. The timing in his approach, the extra space that he allowed for himself was precise. It helps that he has probably the best holder in NFL history spotting the ball for him in Sam Koch. The snap, hold and execution were perfect when Tucker needed them to be.

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