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Hauschka Doesn’t Wrap Up Kicking Job

Steven Hauschka probably could have locked up the Ravens’ kicker battle with a solid performance Saturday night against the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately for him, that didn’t happen. Hauschka, who handled all the kicking duties at Bank of America Stadium, missed his first field goal attempt in Baltimore’s 17-13 win over the Panthers, a 27-yard chip [...]

Posted by Mike Duffy on Sunday, August 30th, 2009 at 3:48 am | Categories: Mike Duffy

Steven Hauschka probably could have locked up the Ravens’ kicker battle with a solid performance Saturday night against the Carolina Panthers.

Unfortunately for him, that didn’t happen.

Hauschka, who handled all the kicking duties at Bank of America Stadium, missed his first field goal attempt in Baltimore’s 17-13 win over the Panthers, a 27-yard chip shot that sailed inches outside of the right upright.

“I was hopeful that he would come out and grab the job,” said head coach John Harbaugh.  “Right now, I don’t think he grabbed it. He kicked the ball OK, but Steve’s better than that. I think part of it is that he was protecting his kicks a little bit.  Just swing your leg and kick the ball.  If it goes in, it goes in.”

Hauschka is fighting off rookie Graham Gano, who is 1-of-3 on field goals in the preseason. And that’s not to mention a host of potential veteran replacements, such as former Ravens kicker Matt Stover.

On Hauschka’s unsuccessful try, the ball was placed at a harsh angle to the goal posts.  There was a good snap and hold, but he just pushed it past his intended target.

“It’s one of those kicks that should be easy, and I guess I tried to guide it in,” Hauschka said.  “It was at one spot on the field where if you don’t get your hips right, it’s not going through.  I think anywhere else on the field it was going through the right upright, but you have to take the kick for what it was.  I didn’t get my hips around on that one.”

Hauschka rebounded to convert a 38-yarder in the third quarter.

“Obviously in a competition you want to make every single kick,” Hauschka said. “The reality is we’re human. A lot of good kickers have missed kicks, even short ones like that. That happens to the best ones, too.”

After his miss, Harbaugh talked to him on the sideline for a few minutes.  In his post-game press conference, Harbaugh also noted that Hauschka did not kick off well, which is another factor in continuing the kicking competition to the Ravens’ preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons.

“He didn’t kick off well, and that was disappointing,” stated Harbaugh.  “He’s definitely able to do it.  It was a situation where he felt was on the cusp of winning it, and he’s right there in it.  But go take the job.  Hopefully, we’ll see more of that next week and in practice.”

Hauschka believes he can shake off his miscue.

“You’re only as good as your last kick, and I think I did well on my last one,” said Hauschka.  “Obviously in a competition you want to make every single kick.  The reality is we’re human. A lot of good kickers have missed kicks, even short ones like that. That happens to the best ones, too.”

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