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Head coach John Harbaugh said that he believed Steve Hauschka will eventually develop into a dependable NFL kicker.
But will that be with the Ravens?
“We think about everything all of the time,” Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference. “We’re not ready to make any kind of announcement on that. We think Steve [Hauschka] is going to be a really good kicker in the NFL. I’m disappointed with that kick; I know Steve is, too.
“He can kick that ball a lot better, it was not a good swing, but we’re not ready to say we don’t think he’s going to be a good kicker in the NFL, yet.”
Two big-time field goals have come for Hauschka’s right foot, and both times, they’ve sailed to the left, just outside of the upright.
Hauschka, who was signed to replace Matt Stover, missed a 38-yarder on Sunday that would have pulled the Ravens to within one score of the Cincinnati Bengals. Instead, Baltimore remained 10 points behind in a 17-7 loss.
“It was left-middle,” Hauschka said after the game, courtesy of RaveTV. “I didn’t get the greatest rotation on it and it went left on me. I’m definitely disappointed with that. It’s a kick I have to make to put our team in a position to win.
“It was going into a little bit of wind, and that exaggerates the turn on the ball, too. Going into a wind like that, you have to hit it dead straight or else it will push it one way or the other.”
Hauschka, who is in his second year, also missed a game-winning 44-yard boot against the Minnesota Vikings.
“If you look at those two swings, those are both poor swings,” Harbaugh pointed out. “I mean swings that he came out of his swing, came off the ball, we talked about it a couple of weeks ago at Minnesota, pulling the ball. That’s basically what it was.
“We’ve got to find out what the reason for that is, because you can do it 1,000 times over and over again, and then you get in that pressure moment and you can’t repeat it. That’s kind of a critical issue.”
Hauschka believes he can bounce back yet again. Following the Minnesota miss, he nailed three field goals, including a 43-yarder, the next week against the Denver Broncos.
“I’m learning that it’s not so easy at times and you have to keep your head up and be confident,” Hauschka said. “I’m confident in the way I’ve been kicking, so I just hope this is preparing me for another day when they’re going to need me even more.”