Billy Cundiff thrives in Redskins debut

Billy Cundiff

Placekicker Billy Cundiff connects on a first-quarter field goal against the Saints Sunday (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

Placekicker Billy Cundiff’s debut with the Redskins, less than two weeks after he was signed,  could not have gone much better. He made all four field goals he attempted during Sunday’s season-opening 40-32 win at New Orleans, including two from longer than 40 yards. Six of his nine kickoffs resulted in touchbacks; the other three were returned from deep in the end zone. 

And still… “I could have kicked off better, let’s be honest,” Cundiff said Wednesday. “There’s always things you can look at. I was really happy with the field goal operation.” 

It’s been a bit of a hectic past few weeks for Cundiff after the Baltimore Ravens released him Aug. 26. Washington signed him two days later, and he had only four sessions with longsnapper Nick Sundberg and holder Sav Rocca to work on field goal timing before Sunday’s game. 

His next challenge will be to grow accustomed to a different holder. Sundberg broke his left arm against the Saints Sunday and has been replaced by Justin Snow.

But as far as Sunday’s contest was concerned, Cundiff largely was content with the results. He made two field goals from 37 yards, as well as attempts from 41 and 45 yards.

He also had a chance to learn more about the way his new team operates. 

“You’ve got to get used to the way the coach calls the game,” Cundiff said. “Here on this team the coach goes for it more times than not on fourth down, which is pretty strange. On most teams if it’s fourth and more than one, send the field goal unit out. So just trying to figure out how everything works…

“There’s so much that goes on. So this game I felt really comfortable at the end with the way things work, so I can get all that experience and store it in the back of my brain so moving forward I know what to expect.” 

Cundiff doesn’t expect much trouble getting used to Snow, who spent the past 12 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. But if complications arise, Cundiff will do what he can to adjust. 

“I got adjusted fairly quickly with Nick as a snapper,” Cundiff said. “My mantra since I’ve gotten here essentially has been to be comfortable being uncomfortable. It’s just the way it’s got to be.”

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