NEW ORLEANS -- Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker had been addressing a steady stream of reporters at media day for nearly an hour when an NFL official walked by and joked that Tucker should have been given his own podium. It turns out both Super Bowl kickers could have used a podium Tuesday, but for very different reasons.
While 49ers kicker David Akers faced an onslaught of questions about his shaky season, Tucker was repeatedly asked for the secret to his successful rookie season. The 23-year-old was 30 for 33 on field goal attempts during the regular season and kicked a game-winning 47-yard field goal against the Denver Broncos in the divisional round.
"I don't really think about pressure or consequences," Tucker said. "I think about the action of kicking. I think about just kicking it straight. You let it rip and see what happens."
Tucker's successful debut season gives the Ravens a decided advantage over the 49ers, who have stuck with David Akers despite 13 regular-season misses and a failed attempt from 38 yards out in the NFC Championship game. Akers has far more big-game experience, but Tucker said he isn't worried about nerves. His Texas high school played in a stadium with a jumbotron, and Tucker's mental edge was further honed by four years at the University of Texas.
"This is something you dream about, hitting the walk-off homer in the World Series of the game-winning kick in the Super Bowl," Tucker said. "I get chills