the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 14, 2013

NFL Week Six: Seahawks Specialists in the Media Spotlight

For less than desirable reasons, two of the Seattle starting specialists and one backup specialist were in the news following yesterday's 20-13 win over Tennessee. The troubles began on the kickoff following a Seahawks' touchdown in the latter stages of the second quarter. Kicker Steven Hauschka attempted to stop Darius Renaud, the Titans kickoff returner. Renaud effectively thwarted Hauschka's efforts.
“I just saw a hole open, and I tried to cover that hole there. Next thing I know, he’s lowering his head into me. I don’t make plays like that very often.... I felt out of it for a couple minutes.I felt it in my chest. I had a little bit of a bloody nose. I felt it in the side of my jaw as well.”
Hauschka subsequently went to the locker room for testing.
"I'm a bigger guy, and that's the first time that I've been popped like that. Usually I come out OK. That's the first time that I've taken it pretty bad. I felt out of it for a couple minutes, but we did the concussion protocol and I aced that, so they let me get back out there."
Unfortunately his return did not occur until after half time. That resulted in the backup placekicking squad, which includes punter/holder Jon Ryan doing the kicking and safety Chris Maragos serving as holder, attempting a 22 yard field goal on the final play of the first half. The results were less than desirable for the Seahawks, but very desirable for the Titans. Maragos dropped the snap, picked up and tried to pass the ball, but lost it to the Titans who took it the other direction for a 77 yard touchdown.
"[On the prior kickoff] I saw Hauschka fall back and I was like, 'He might be dead right now'. "I'm going to have to give him a hard time now, because he might have to get in the cold tub today for the first time ever. He might feel what the rest of us go through every week....

[The field goal attempt] was just kind of a fluke thing. I caught it and when I was bringing it down, it just squirted out of my hand. It wasn't like I caught it weird or bobbled the snap. It just slipped right out when I was putting it down.... I should have done a better job of just controlling the situation. When the snap got mishandled I should have just gone down with it. Our defense was playing well right before the first half, really all game. So I should have just knelt it. But things move fast and you're just trying to make something happen with it."
As noted, Hauschka was still in the locker room during this turn of events.
“I was trying to get out as fast as I could. But with the concussion protocol, I had to follow that. I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew they probably needed me, especially toward the end of the half. I haven’t actually seen the play yet. It’s unfortunate what happened. I was hoping to be out there.... I never want to let my team down like that again where they don’t have me.”
Had the attempted field goal gone as planned and through the uprights, it would have been Jon Ryan's first since a 2004 CFL preseason game.
"That would have been my first [NFL] career field goal. I've been playing all these years and never scored a point, so I would have given that ball to Mom, I guess....

It's fun to kind of have an opportunity to do something like that, but Steve is really good at his job. He's a great asset to this team, so for him to come back in the second half was big-time for us."

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