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Tuesday in Hawkville: To Steven Hauschka, longer PATs are ‘a bad idea’

Posted Aug 19, 2014

Steven Hauschka was perfect on his longer PATs in the first two preseason games, but the Seahawks’ ridiculously reliable kicker doesn’t think the NFL should turn the experiment into policy.


A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Aug. 19, when the Seahawks held their "Turnover Thursday" practice as they continued to prepare for Friday night's preseason game against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field:

WORD OF THE DAY: LONGER

That's what the PATs in the first two weeks of the NFL preseason have been. A lot longer. As in 33-yards long.

Unless, that is, you happen to be Steven Hauschka, the Seahawks' consistently consistent kicker. He hit each of his six points after touchdown in the Seahawks' loss to the Broncos in their preseason opener and Friday night's win over the Chargers in their home opener, and looked at it as good practice for field goals.

"It was great practice for us in the preseason because we got a lot of 33-yard field goals, which is good to just get comfortable out there," Hauschka said after Tuesday's practice, as the Seahawks continued to prepare for Friday night's game against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field.

Still, Hauschka is not in favor of the league adopting the longer PAT.

"I think it's a bad idea," he said. "Obviously the percentage is going to go down, which is what the NFL wants to make it more of an exciting play. But I think enough games are already decided on field goals."

YOU DON'T SAY

"The cool part at the end of the long run was he was able to use his off arm and probably got about 12-15 more yards just with the stiff-arm."

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on running back Robert Turbin, who broke a 47-yarder while running for 81 first-half yards against the Chargers

And this is from a guy who makes his living kicking field goals and PATs. Not to mention a kicker who rarely misses. Since joining the Seahawks in 2011, Hauschka is 82 of 92 on field goals (89 percent) and 124 of 126 on PATs (98 percent).

"I don't think it would affect a lot of games until the weather gets bad," Hauschka said. "And that usually happens in the playoffs. So it's going to be on a bad field, because that's right where the drives start and the field is usually chewed up. So on a bad field in a windy game – in Green Bay or Chicago or Pittsburgh – and both teams score three touchdowns and one of them walks away a winner because of an extra-point snafu, I just don't think it's a good idea.

"I don't think it's the right ahead."

Coach Pete Carroll also split the answer uprights when asked about the league's experiment with longer kicks following touchdowns.

"It's obviously a factor," Carroll said. "If that's where it goes that will change the game."

And already has. There were five missed PATs all of last season. There were eight in the first two weeks of this preseason.

"I can't even gauge how many misses that would amount to over the course of a season, or if somebody lost a game or had a chance to tie a game up and they missed it," Carroll said. "So I think the experiment was well done and we know what we got. Now whoever makes those decisions has to figure out if they want to do that or not."

IN 'N OUT: O'BRIEN SCHOFIELD RETURNS, MIKE MORGAN SITS OUT

Defensive end O'Brien Schofield returned to practice after being given Monday off, while linebacker Mike Morgan sat of Tuesday's session.

Morgan has been starting at strong-side linebacker because Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith were out following offseason surgeries. But Smith to get his first reps in full-team drills on Tuesday and the MVP of the Seahawks' win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII took advantage by making a one-handed interception and returning it for a touchdown.

STAT DU JOUR: A REAL LYNCH-PIN

Marshawn Lynch has been with the Seahawks for only 3½ seasons, but he's already climbed into the Top 5 on the club's all-time lists in rushing attempts, yards and rushing touchdowns. Here's a look at who he's chasing:

Rushing attempts
Player (years)   No.
Shaun Alexander (2000-07) 2,176
Curt Warner (1983-89)  1,649
Chris Warren (1990-97)  1,559
John L. Williams (1986-93) 1,148
Marshawn Lynch (2010-present)  1,066

Rushing yards
Player (years)   No.
Shaun Alexander (2000-07) 9,429
Chris Warren (1990-97)  6,706
Curt Warner (1983-89)    6,705
Marshawn Lynch (2010-present)  4,624
John L. Williams (1986-93)  4,579

Rushing touchdowns
Player (year) No.
Shaun Alexander (2000-07) 100
Curt Warner (1983-87) 55
Chris Warren (1990-97)  44
Marshawn Lynch (2010-present) 41
Sherman Smith (1976-82) 28

Still sidelined: wide receivers Kevin Norwood and David Gilreath; offensive lineman C.J. Davis; defensive linemen Michael Brooks and Jimmy Staten; linebackers Bobby Wagner, Horace Miller and Irvin; and defensive backs Eric Pinkins and A.J. Jefferson.    

PRACTICE SQUAD: AND THEN THERE WERE 10

The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to expand the practice squads from eight to 10 players for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, it was announced Tuesday.

The criteria for practice-squad eligibility also have been tweaked in two areas:

First, a player must have a minimum of six games – up from the current three games – on a practice squad in order for that season to count as one of the player's three permissible seasons of practice squad service.

Also, each club will be permitted to sign a maximum of two practice squad players who have earned no more than two accrued seasons of free agency credit. Absent this exception, a player who has earned one or more accrued seasons would not be eligible for a practice squad unless the player spent fewer than nine games on a club's 46-player active list in each of his accrued seasons.

STATS 'N STUFF: STEVEN HAUSCHKA, DEFENSE PICKING UP WHERE THEY LEFT OFF

It might be only the preseason, and to a different season, but some things haven't changed much for the Seahawks.

Steven Hauschka leads the NFC and is third in the NFL with 21 points – 5 for 5 on field goals, 6 for 6 on PATs – and is tied for third in the league with six touchbacks on his kicks. Last season, Hauschka was fourth in scoring (143 points) and eighth in touchbacks (48).

As a team, the Seahawks rank second in average yards and passing yards allowed – after leading the league in both categories last season – and the offense ranks second in average rushing yards.

Jon Ryan is third in the league in punting average (50.3) and Bryan Walters is eighth in punt return average (16.5).

The team's leading rusher? It's quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who has 87 yards – one more than Robert Turbin. 

UP NEXT: "NO REPEAT FRIDAY"

Yes, tomorrow is Wednesday. But when you're playing a game on Friday night – as the Seahawks are, against the Chicago Bears at CenturyLink Field – the Carroll calendar is adjusted accordingly. So a "No Repeat Friday" practice it is on Wednesday.

Next week, the Seahawks must start trimming their 90-man roster. All teams must get to 75 players by Tuesday and then down to 53 by Saturday, Aug. 30.