For Steven Hauschka, the preseason wasn't spent battling for a roster spot. His position was never challenged and no one questioned his consistency. It was, however, about getting a good gauge and benchmark for where he's at heading into the regular season. Based on the early highlights it could be a career year.
Hauschka drilled a 60-yard game winning field goal in the Seahawks preseason game against San Diego after missing a 58-yard attempt earlier in the game.
"There are two positives," Hauschka said. "One is the 58-yarder that I missed I didn't really sweat it. I didn't care so much. Then the 60-yarder, I came out and made it, and both were in the wind a little bit, so very positive."
Had it not been preseason, that game-winner would have given him sole possession of a franchise record. As it stands, he shares the top spot with Josh Brown after kicking a career long 58-yarder against Carolina last year to tie the franchise mark.
An offseason of workouts could help him move up the record books. Joke all you want that kickers aren't real athletes, but he takes his workouts seriously.
"It's motion," Hauschka explained. "It's creating good range of motion that I can maintain throughout the season and getting some power. So lifts, squats, dead lifts, stuff like that builds power and then I've been doing pilates which has helped build range of motion and core strength."
You've likely seen him warming up his core on the sideline – by planking.
"I wish I could maybe get the cameras to stop showing that. Apparently they can't," Hauschka said dryly about the attention he's received as a result.
In addition to his in-game warm-ups, he's known for consistency. He made 31 of 37 attempts last season and hasn't missed an extra point in two years leading to the nickname "Hausch money."
Here's what you might not know about Hauschka on gameday:
- The number of warm-up kicks he takes varies on the sideline.
"Kind of a feel thing but you try to stick with a routine so my routine is usually two to three kicks before each field goal, but if my body feels warmed up sometimes I'll go out after one kick. If it's a cold game I might need more."
- It's a group effort to determine the field goal range per game.
"We talk about it before the game. In the situation like the San Diego game, they were going to stretch me just because. Pete watched me kick in practice and he's going to make the game-time decisions."
- He keeps his mind clear.
"I'm visualizing on the sideline to get my confidence up. As I run out there for the kick my main goal is to just put a good solid swing on it and attack the ball, so I don't try to go out there with too many thoughts. We have a sports psychologist who helped me refine my mental game but I think for any player on any stage you want to go out there in a confident mood.
The mental clarity helps Hauschka manage high leverage situations and so does his range of emotion, or lack thereof. A game-winning kick won't lead to an excited outburst, but a matter-of-fact response.
"Here's the thing. I am excited deep down just not on the surface. I'm satisfied when I make good plays deep down. I'll probably never show it, never outwardly show it. I'm definitely satisfied. I put a lot of work in and I think that's the way I should play all the time."
It's the way he has played during his four-year career in Seattle and it's why the Seahawks are counting on a little "Hausch Money" as they open the 2015 season.