Belichick on Ravens' Tucker: 'Best kicker' in history

Print
  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
More Columns >

With a Sunday night showdown between first-place foes the Patriots and Ravens looming, perhaps New England coach Bill Belichick just iced Baltimore's kicker extraordinaire with praise.

When asked Friday if Justin Tucker was the best kicker in the game today, Belichick wondered in return if Baltimore's Mr. Accuracy wasn't the best of all-time.

"He's the best kicker in the history of the league, right? I mean, yeah," Belichick said.

Tucker certainly has the resume to back up such a compliment. He's a three-time All-Pro, a two-time Pro Bowler and a one-time Super Bowl champ. Through seven-plus seasons of booting the ball in the NFL, Tucker's 90.7 field goal percentage is the greatest of all-time -- just like he is apparently. In the extra-point category, Tucker is 261 of 262, stunningly having missed just one PAT in all these seasons of success.

As for 2019, Tucker's made all of his kicks -- seven field goals and 16 extra points.

Arguably the greatest head coach of all-time, Belichick's words always hold weight because of his accomplishments and the simple fact that he rarely says anything when facing the press.

More so, the compliments are perhaps a little surprising because Adam Vinatieri and Stephen Gostkowski have each played for Belichick.

Now with the Colts, Vinatieri is in his mid-40s and just hit a game-winner a week ago and is responsible for the majority of the most clutch kicks in Patriots chronicle. He also happens to have scored the most points in NFL history (and the most postseason points).

Though on injured reserve, Gostkowski is still kicking for the Pats. He's won three Super Bowls with Belichick and the Patriots and his 87.4 accuracy rate is the third-best in NFL history.

"We were fortunate enough to block one against him the last time we played him, but it's not easy," Belichick said of playing versus Tucker. "He's tough. He's a good player -- good athlete, good placekicker and a good kickoff man."

And now we'll see how Tucker performs under the pressure of being anointed the greatest.

Print