Live From Owings Mills: This Could Be A Big Game For Hauschka

October 01, 2009 | Glenn Clark

4:30-Injury Report:

Ravens-

QB Troy Smith-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Illness
DT Justin Bannan-LIMITED-Knee
LB Tavares Gooden-LIMITED-Shoulder/Head
LB Jarret Johnson-LIMITED-Shoulder
DE Trevor Pryce-LIMITED-Illness
LB Antwan Barnes-FULL-Shoulder
TE Todd Heap-FULL-Back
LB Ray Lewis-FULL-Head
WR Kelley Washington-FULL-Groin

Patriots:

LB Jerod Mayo-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Knee
DT Vince Wilfork-DID NOT PARTICIPATE-Ankle
CB Darius Butler-LIMITED-Thigh
OT Nick Kaczur-LIMITED-Ankle
WR Randy Moss-LIMITED-Back
WR Matt Slater-LIMITED-Elbow
CB Shawn Springs-LIMITED-Knee
WR Wes Welker-LIMITED-Knee
CB Jonathan Wilhite-LIMITED-Groin
DT Mike Wright-LIMITED-Shoulder
QB Tom Brady-FULL-Right Shoulder

2:07-Couple other things I noticed today at practice-

-Willis McGahee was taking snaps on the sideline…..they looked like “Wildcat” formation snaps. No reason to read anything into that, but I thought I’d pass that along.
-Mark Clayton was fielding punts during Special Teams practice. He’s done that before, so there’s no reason to think Chris Carr won’t be the guy on Sunday.
-Mike Duffy (BaltimoreRavens.com) says Trevor Pryce DID practice today. I only watched a few minutes of practice today after talking to Bob Haynie; so I must have missed it. Of course, The Sun also reported that he didn’t. Duff has different rules for what he’s allowed to do as he is a team employee, but he’s also a good dude and has pretty good hair. So I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.

1:50-Troy Smith and Trevor Pryce were again missing from practice today. We’re assuming they’re dealing with the same flu bug that hit Jared Gaither last week-in which case they are likely quarantined. We’d ask, but…..well….you know the drill.

Noticed all of the guys who were limited yesterday in practice out there (Ray Lewis, Todd Heap, Tavares Gooden, Kelley Washington, Justin Bannan, Jarret Johnson); none are really concerns for Sunday.

1:21-I just used this one with Bob Haynie on AM1570 WNST, but I’ll go back to it. I found out earlier today that Demetrius Williams was playing the role of Randy Moss this week in practice, but I’d personally prefer that Demetrius Williams play the role of Demetrius Williams on the field for the Ravens.

As Jay-Z says, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You’re far too kind.”

1:07-You can go to the Audio Vault at WNST.net RIGHT NOW to hear from:

Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron
Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison
Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg
Kicker Steve Hauschka

1:06-DT Justin Bannan said he was feeling “fine” today, he was limited in practice yesterday with a knee injury.

12:49-I got ABOUT the response I expected to get regarding my thoughts on Steve Hauschka.

-Steve said he didn’t think kicking at Gillette Stadium would feel “too much different” from kicking at Middlebury College (where he kicked for 3 years before going to NC State-Middlebury is located in Vermont). He also grew up in Needham, Massachusetts, so the wind shouldn’t be anything new to him. He says he doesn’t know about Gillette Stadium specifically, but he’ll get a feel for the wind and the stadium’s open end during warmups.
-Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg immediately tried shooting down the significance of kicking at Gillette when I asked him about it; but eventually understood my points and said:

“The thing that we preach to all of our specialists is that when you go out on the field to kick, hold, punt, or snap; you’re really not concerned about all of that other stuff, it’s just about the ball.”
“It wouldn’t matter if it was at Middlebury or in Gillette Stadium, he’s gotta go out there and kick the ball. If he can stay in that frame of mind, I think he’ll be fine. Steve’s a strong young man physically, and more importantly he’s a strong young man mentally. He knows what he’s faced with, and I know going home it’s going to be a thrill for him, but when he steps on the field it’s all business.”

Worth noting, I spoke to a few people in and around the organization this morning about Hauschka. I think the general consensus is that this is definitely going to be Steve’s job all season-the Ravens likely won’t reevaluate until season’s end to determine if he needs competition against next year in Training Camp. But certainly an 0-2 or 1-3 day kicking would be enough to make some around the organization start thinking about sending a text to Matt Stover to see how he feels-even if it isn’t to have him come hang out at the complex for a day.

11:14-Back out here at 1 Winning Drive, where we are preparing to speak to the Ravens’ coordinators-Cam Cameron, Greg Mattison, and Jerry Rosburg.

I am looking forward to hearing Jerry Rosburg speak about Steve Hauschka kicking this Sunday at Gillette Stadium. Steve grew up in New England, so he is excited to kick against the Patriots. But this could also be a very big weekend for Steve’s young NFL career, as he will face his greatest adversity. A season ago, his own two field goal tries came in Baltimore and Houston (where Reliant Stadium is climate controlled and has a roof). This season, he has kicked in Baltimore and San Diego-where the only weather is good weather. In the preseason, he also kicked in Atlanta (dome) and Charlotte (mundane atmosphere, no weather issues.)

Sunday will be quite different. Steve will be kicking in front of a VERY hostile crowd in Foxborough, in a stadium with an open end. The weather is also expected to be cold and rainy; which means Steve could face a pressure kick late to beat a VERY good Patriots team in a situation he has never experienced before.

I don’t believe a missed kick in the 4th quarter would change how the Ravens feel about Steve Hauschka. An 0-3 day might. But a missed kick in the 4th quarter COULD change the perception of Steve Hauschka amongst Ravens fans.

-G

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