Hauschka finds Seattle’s decision to replace him “interesting”

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The Seahawks recently decided to move on from their long-time kicker after signing a guy whose missed chip-shot against Seattle in a playoff game seemed to ruin him. Now with the Bills, kicker Stephen Hauschka recently reflected on the move.

“I thought it was interesting that direction that they would go in,” Hauschka said, via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “But I’m not really concerned about that anymore because my job’s just to go out there and kick and that really doesn’t have anything to do with me now. But, yeah, it was definitely an interesting move.”

Blair Walsh, who was cut by the Vikings after his postseason aberration in January 2016 against Seattle became the rule during the regular season, will get the chance to prove to the Seahawks that getting fired and spending the rest of the year out of football has helped re-set his brain. If the Seahawks keep him, it’ll cost only $1.1 million. Hauschka made $2.7 million in 2016, and he’ll get $2.6 million from Buffalo in 2017.

Still, Hausckha has been far from perfect, missing (as Carucci notes) 11 extra points over the last two years — along with a stunning miss of a 28-yard field goal on a Sunday night in overtime last year. There’s no guarantee the change of scenery will change the trend for Hauschka.

“It’s definitely been an adjustment,” Hauschka said, per Carucci. “You look around the league, there have been a few guys who have their challenges with it. I’m looking forward to figuring it out, because it’s not the same as it used to be. . . . The 20-yard extra points, those were just chip shots, they really were. I don’t think many NFL guys were going to miss those unless something were to really happen with the snap and the hold. But a 33-yard extra point just brings out that precision.

“You need to be on it with the snap, the hold and the kick all need to be there and you can’t really get away with it. Plus, I think the biggest difference is you used to have about 25-30 field-goal attempts a year and then a bunch of chip-shot extra points. Now you have 25 field goals and maybe 30 to 50 extra points. That can feel like 60 to 70 field goals in a season now, so you’ve got to be mentally sharp the whole game, the whole season and there’s really no room for error.”

Well, there is room for error because plenty of guys are making them. The question becomes how much will teams tolerate the error before finding a kicker who can make the extra points more consistently — or simply going for two more often instead.

23 responses to “Hauschka finds Seattle’s decision to replace him “interesting”

  1. Hope Hausch has a great year. Seems like a good dude. Kickers mean a lot despite what the generic narrative says.

    Not sure I am looking forward to Walsh kicking instead of Hausch, but I also remember being generally peeved when the ‘hawks let Josh Brown go (who had been incredibly successful as a hawk) and that quickly went from irritated to indifferent.

    As a fan, hope this turns out the same.

  2. Seattles long snapper last year was absolutely horrendous and totally affected how Hauschka performed. The LS would get bull rushed each snap and he would literally fall on his back letting the D get big time pressure on Hauschka. This and only this was the difference in Hauschkas performance last year.

  3. People reamed Arians for criticizing Catanzaro after the SEA game and saying he needed to get the job done. They loved how Pete Carroll was so supportive and encouraging publicly of Hauschka.

    And what’s the end result? The exact same.

    One shoots straight and the other shoots fluff. It’s a results-based league, regardless of what a coach tells the media.

  4. Yes, Stephen, I think everyone knows that a 33-yard extra point is harder than a 20 yard extra point. However, it is still well within the range of what should be considered almost automatic for an athlete paid to nothing else but kick footballs through goal posts.

  5. Come to Minnesota, we are not going to score many touchdowns. You will be inside and probably set kicker record for most points in a season. And you can kick the winning FG in the NFCCG against your old team. SKOL

  6. I think it is mainly about Extra-points.

    Hauschka really struggled at times and missed far too many. At his salary, they simply were not going to keep him.

    I don’t know if they offered him a pay-decrease that he declined before cutting him, but either way, he is gone.

    Certainly, kickers that can’t adapt to the new extra point distance are going to get cut a lot more than those that can. Hauschka really struggled and Hawks are betting it will get worse–hence the change.

    Jets cut Nick Folk and he was generally good, but had some extra point issues and at his salary, aren’t going to keep him while in full rebuild.

    The Bucs were nuts to trade up to draft that kicker with a second round pick, and then watch him struggle. Let alone taking a kicker with a second round pick at all.

  7. Not really sure why he should find this interesting, this isn’t the first time this happened to him after all. You think he’d be used to it.

  8. jag1959 says:
    Cap move more than anything else

    Somebody who gets it.
    Nervous kicker? Bad long-snapper? Can’t adapt to the new longer extra points (oddly, he did just fine with them until last season)?
    Did anybody watch a Seahawks game last year? Every time Seattle attempted an extra point or field goal the right side of that horrendous front collapsed like the Falcons in the fourth quarter of a Super Bowl.
    On almost every snap Steven Hauschke was under instant and tremendous pressure. He’d lift his head and began rushing his kicks in an attempt to prevent them from being blocked.
    Several were blocked anyway, and too many were missed. The last third of the season that guy had the worst case of kicker yips I’ve seen in a long while, and for good reason.
    Hauschka will be just fine wherever he lands, assuming his new team takes special teams seriously.
    Seattle will find a cheaper option and much-needed salary cap relief (and it likely won’t be Blair Walsh). It was a move Seattle was likely going to make anyway as soon as Hauschke reached free agency. His performance last year just made the decision easier to defend.
    As a cautionary tale, whoever replaces Hauschke will end up just like him if Pete Carroll and John Schneider don’t find somebody who can block — on offense AND special teams.

  9. He’s absolutely right about the way the change has impacted kickers, and it highlights how stupid the rule change is. The league hated how extra points were boring and automatic, so what do they do? They make the most boring play in all of sports harder and all that more important…but it’s still a boring play. This is hands down the dumbest rule change the league has made. Extra points are still boring, but now they impact the game that much more. And what it will ultimately do is make the kicker position a higher paid position because the importance has elevated. Way to go NFL, you emphasized the most boring play in sports, and you made the most boring payers artificially more important and thus will soak up more salary cap when teams realize that they can’t just spend $1 Mil a year on a player who is now suddenly a lot more important, when a missed extra point can mean the difference between playoffs and golf.

  10. I thought a lot of Haushka’s misses came when he was trying to adjust from the complete lack of blocking in front of him. This was another area our train wreck of an offensive line hurt us.

    Carroll has done great things with the Seahawks, but this blind spot he has where he seemingly thinks Tom Cable is a genius who can do no wrong is becoming more and more of a problem.

  11. On those missed extra points, the snap was high. It takes a split second longer to bring the high snap down. and Hauschka was late with his kick. Since soccer style kickers turn as they kick, that means he will miss it to the left if he is already in his follow through when he made contact with the ball. The problem is that the Hogs tred to pinch pennies wherever they can the past couple of years, and they released their long snapper Clint Gresham. They had 2 different long snappers the last 2 seasons and they will have a third one the next season, and it was the source of the problem.

  12. There’s a lot of decisions I don’t get that GMs make in the NFL. That’s probably why I’m not a GM.

    But this one was a real headscratcher to me too, Haush. And I’m not a Seahawks fan either. You cut one of the most reliable kickers of the last few years for someone who may have been reliable once but now is damaged goods? Is the money you’re gonna save worth that? I dunno, but like I said, that’s why I’m not a GM…

  13. The team of Schneider and Carroll are looking to shift blame. They decided to chase Beast Mode into retirement to save money, and when the rushing got worse, they fired running back coach Sherman Smith, pinning the blame on him instead of taking the responsibility for loss of talent. The rushing got worse because they also gutted the O line by allowing Okung, Sweezey, Carpenter and Giacomini to leave as free agents, and traded Unger for TE Graham. They turned one of the better O lines in the league to one of the worst in just 3 seasons, since 2013. The running attack went from league leading to below average, 22nd in the league.

    Instead of blaming Hauschka’s kicking problems on their decision to replace the long snapper with a cheaper option, they allowed him to leave as a free agent. Buffalo certainly does not think that Haushka has gotten worse, as they paid him about the same money that he made last year in Seattle. The kicking won’t get better, because they still have a lousy long snapper and the replacement kicker isn’t any better either.

  14. The buffoon calling the plays seems to be untouchable….ridiculous.

    For years I thought that Seattle had enough offensive weapons to pick up the slack as the defense would inevitably decline. But having those weapons isn’t the same thing as having an OC who knows what to do with them. Bevell is so bad…he can’t strategize…he can’t make play calls under pressure…and he out thinks himself time and time again…and his formations ridiculously tip off the def if it’s a pass or run.

    It’s so frustrating to see this offense stumble over themselves and come up short when it’s not their fault.

    This team should have won another Super Bowl…maybe 2 more.

  15. People here making a lot of excuses for Hauschka. Bottom line is he lost his confidence last year and couldn’t get it back and he was horrible. The snaps were no worse than prior years, he had ample time to get the kicks off – so that’s a lame excuse too. It was all on Hauschka and when you’re as bad as he was, it shouldn’t be “interesting” at all that you were cut. And I’ll be shocked if Blair Walsh is on the opening day roster.

    And to the post above: AMEN. Bevell is hands down the worst play caller in all of football. Yeah, the line sucked, but there are things you can do to mitigate that. He never adjusted. He can’t adjust. I don’t know what kind of pictures he has of Pete, but they’ve gotta be bad. Every now and then he’ll surprise you with some good play calling, but those flashes of potential are few and far between. Pete’s too loyal. There’s a reason his D-Coordinators have landed HC jobs while Bevell remains without getting any interest whatsoever for a head coaching gig.

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