Truthfully, the kicker is a crucial position in very selective situations. When you are down by two points with five seconds to go and the ball is on the 37-yard-line, it really doesn’t matter at that point how many quality cornerbacks, linebackers, running backs or linemen you have on your squad.
All eyes are on the kicker. Hero, or…not so much.
For the Seahawks, the decision to re-sign Steven Hauschka in the offseason arguably solidified the position for 2013. Beyond that, the ‘Hawks may need to come up with another option.
Was Hauschka the best option for the Seahawks? Realistically Seattle did not have many other choices at kicker. The free agent market was limited in the offseason and the draft class for kickers was fairly weak.
Hauschka did connect on 24 of 27 attempts in 2012 for a 89 percent conversion percentage. Not stellar (11th in the NFL in 2012), but serviceable.
What’s the problem with Hauschka? Range. Some of the younger kickers in today’s NFL have more powerful legs and Hauschka is not exactly automatic past 50 yards. In 2012, Hauschka hit one field goal over 50 yards and missed three.
Granted, Hauschka was perfect inside of 50 yards.
Compare that to Blair Walsh of the Minnesota Vikings, who went 10-for-10 from 50+ yards last season. Let’s just say that the Seahawks hope that they are not faced with a playoff situation where they need a long field goal in the closing seconds.
Welcome back to the Seahawks, Mr. Hauschka. Fans hope that you picked up a few extra yards in the offseason. If not, root for touchdowns.