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"It’s kind of funny, those were my first set of uprights."About 16 years later, Tucker is making 50-yard attempts look like chip shots and making the most high-pressure kicks seem routine.
A unanimous first-team All-Pro selection last year, he has made 185 of 207 career field goals, an 89.4 percent success rate that ranks only behind Dallas' Dan Bailey, with his only misses this season coming from 58, 62 and 46 yards.
-- When Justin Tucker lines up for a kick at Lambeau Field on Sunday, it's curious to think what has been more amazing: the unprecedented numbers he has already put up or the self-made path it took to get him to this point with the Baltimore Ravens.
Tucker's All-Pro kicking can be traced back to a fortuitous Google search, some PVC pipes, a one-man You Tube video and, some may say, a touch of arboreal fate.
The worse the weather, the more Tucker wanted to knock the ball through the uprights.
They spent one Christmas Day kicking the ball when it was 40 degrees and raining.
Around the time when he started to get more serious about kicking, at the age of 15, his father, Paul, read an article in Sports Illustrated about Doug Blevins, the kicking guru for Adam Vinatieri.
Paul tracked down Blevins by Googling him, only to find out the coach had never worked with high school kickers.
"Justin’s kicking skills went from good to 'oh my gosh' in a week."Blevins was equally impressed.
Those close to Tucker knew he had a powerful right leg from watching him, albeit in soccer and not football.
He would hit the ball so hard that it regularly sailed above the goal.
"We'd hop the fence to get to the practice field at the high school.
I remember thinking that I didn't want to get arrested here."Justin Tucker received strong support in his quest to kick in the NFL from his father, Paul, and mother, Michelle, that included Paul fetching kicked balls on practice fields and hiring noted kicking guru Doug Blevins to work with Justin as a teenager.