Ravens players praise Tucker's late-game heroics
Mark Moseley was the first and only NFL kicker to win the MVP award, doing it with the Redskins during the strike-shortened 1982 season. While Moseley does not suggest Ravens kicker Justin Tucker should win the MVP, he is watching with satisfaction as Tucker continues his super season.
“Make sure to tell the young man that I’m very impressed with what he is doing,” Moseley told CSNBaltimore.com during a Tuesday phone interview. “It’s not easy to kick a 61-yard field goal. That’s how I made my career – kicking those last-second field goals. I wanted it on my shoulders. The good kickers, they’re the ones that want it to come down to them. For me, kicking the big field goals was really easier than kicking a 28-yarder. You’re expected to make those. The way you stay around is to make the big ones.”
Moseley did just that in 1982, winning the Associated Press version of the MVP, while the Pro Football Writers or America voted for Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts. Mosley made 20 of 21 goals in 1982, including several dramatic game-winners. The Redskins went on to win the Super Bowl.
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Tucker is not going to win the MVP, not with players like quarterback Peyton Manning of the Broncos and running back Jamal Charles of the Chiefs having stellar seasons. But Moseley can relate to Tucker, who is riding a streak of 33 consecutive made field goals.
“In 1982 and ’83, I didn’t think I could miss,” Moseley said. “That’s where he (Tucker) is now. I was really kind of surprised last night that they couldn’t get in the end zone. But that’s where a good kicker comes in. If you have a good defense and a good kicker, you can stay in games. That’s why George Allen brought me to Washington.
“The longest I ever made in a game was 54 yards. We kicked outdoors in the mud, and in all kind of conditions. Back then, long field goals weren’t tried as often. But I attempted a 74-yard field goal against the Giants up at the Meadowlands one year and it was wide right.”
Considering Tucker is just in his second season, Moseley sees a long, successful career ahead.
“I retired when I was 40, but I could still kick,” said Moseley, now 65 years old, working for Five Guys as director of franchise development. “I played semi-pro for another four or five years after that for fun, because I still enjoyed kicking. I just really got burned out. It’s hard to describe. I played so many years really being under the gun, and the pressure of everybody expecting me to make every kick finally got to me toward the end of my career.”
The pressure is not bothering Tucker. He is thriving in it, just like Moseley did when he was an MVP.