NEW ORLEANS | Billy Cundiff’s brief time with the Saints in 2006 brought him fond memories of the Superdome. Sunday with the Washington Redskins, he added another one.
In his Redskins debut, Cundiff went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts, 4-for-4 on extra points and added six touchbacks.
“You’re always hoping the guy comes through for you,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “I thought he did a great job kicking off and obviously some clutch kicks in there and we needed every one of them.”
Said Cundiff: “It was nice. During pregame I actually felt like we started to establish a rhythm, which is about right. … You have to treat each time we go out as a new opportunity to develop that rhythm.”
Cundiff was referring to rhythm with long snapper Nick Sundberg and holder Sav Rocca, something that might need to be readjusted this week and beyond after Sundberg broke his left arm in the 40-32 victory over the Saints.
But for Cundiff, Sunday’s game can be a confidence booster for a guy who already has plenty of it. He missed just one field goal in pregame warm-ups and none after that.
“I felt like I got out there and got some reps early so I was able to reinforce that positive feeling about what were doing,” he said. “Getting more kicks at the beginning really helped.”
Cundiff impressed on kickoffs, too. He boomed the ball at the Superdome, hitting the uprights with one kickoff, though he said last year one kickoff went into the stands.
Leg strength is not an issue, but Cundiff knows he can’t always just kick it out of the end zone.
“I still want to do some things, like if we feel like we can kick to our strength as a coverage unit we still want to do that,” he said. “I still have to work on making sure that I put the ball where we want to do it.”
There’s time for that work to continue, though Sunday represented a positive sign of progress.
“We had a good pregame, and then to come out here and do it when it counts, that felt good,” Cundiff said. “It felt like we’re finally starting to gel.”