Redskins K Cundiff can't afford another bad game

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 04, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Kicker Billy Cundiff #7 of the Baltimore Ravens attempts to tackle Darius Butler #28 of the New England Patriots during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Billy Cundiff knew his job was on the line. At least he had a sense of humor about it. In a year in which NFL kickers have been making field goals with record accuracy, Cundiff missed three in a tight game. He knew he would get one more chance as he watched Robert Griffin III drive the Washington Redskins down the field, trailing by one. ''I was joking with a guy on the sidelines: `Well, I'm going to get a game-winner. Just know this - I'm going to make it. If don't make it, just know that it's my last time wearing Redskins gear,''' Cundiff said. Cundiff is still wearing burgundy and gold, having put the 41-yarder through the uprights with 3 seconds to play in Sunday's 24-22 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ''Thank you,'' Cundiff said. ''I kept saying, `Thank you God' for giving me a chance to go out there and prove that the other kicks were just a fluke. ... Each time they got a chunk of yards I was even more and more confident knowing this was going to be my chance. And as I told (special teams coach Danny Smith), I said, `Look, I was going to make that kick if I had to throw it through the uprights.''' By now, kicking drama is as familiar to Redskins fans as an old blanket. The club has struggled for some two decades to find a long-term solution at the position. Graham Gano and Neil Rackers competed for the job at this year's training camp, but coach Mike Shanahan cut both in a 24-hour period to snatch up Cundiff, who had just been waived by the Baltimore Ravens. Sure enough, the Redskins are back in their familiar position at the bottom of the kicking pile. Cundiff leads the league in missed field goals (4) and is last in percentage (6 for 10). But there are mitigating factors. Cundiff didn't get a chance to go through a training camp with holder Sav Rocca and long snapper Justin Snow. And Shanahan has twice had Cundiff attempt field goals beyond the kicker's range - a 62-yarder in Week 2 against the St. Louis Rams and a 57-yarder against the wind in the Buccaneers game. ''That's 6 of 8 inside of 56, so it's not that bad,'' Cundiff said. ''But it's still not as consistent as I'd like to be, because the kicks I've missed have been very makeable kicks.'' Cundiff's range has always been in question. He is 5 for 21 over his career from 50-plus yards, including 1 for 8 since the start of last season. He is most remembered, however, for missing a potential game-tying, 32-yarder against the New England Patriots in the waning seconds of last season's AFC title game. In an age in which opposing coaches love to ice the kicker, Cundiff wishes Bill Belichick had done just that. ''It would have worked in my favor,'' Cundiff said. ''Because I ran out there and everything was hurried and it was a rushed situation. If he would have done that, I would have probably gone over and given him a big hug.'' Now Cundiff is hoping for hugs from teammates after successful field goals, instead of words of encouragement after a trio of misses. He will again be kicking for the Redskins (2-2) in this week's game against the Atlanta Falcons, but Shanahan made it clear that the margin for error has taken a dive. ''Obviously, if you miss too many,'' Shanahan said, ''your employment's not very long.'' Notes: Griffin was selected as the NFL's offensive rookie of the month for September. ... WR Aldrick Robinson, who suffered a concussion in a collision prior to Sunday's game, was cleared to practice and fully participated in Thursday's session. --- Follow Joseph White on Twitter: http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker