Anytime a team in the NFL cuts a player in mid-season, it’s almost always a sign that they made a mistake in either signing him or keeping him around.
Such is the case today with the Ravens and their now-jettisoned ex-kicker, Steve Hauschka.
He was dismissed today after missing a 36-yarder on Monday night in Cleveland. Forget about the fact he made a 44-yarder later on. The team and the organization didn’t have confidence in him any longer.
That’s one thing they always had when Matt Stover was around — confidence.
Unfortunately, all of the bellyaching in the world from Ravens fans won’t bring Matt Stover back. He’ll be kicking AGAINST the Ravens on Sunday afternoon when the Colts come to town.
As the Grateful Dead sang: “What a long strange trip it’s been…”
And remember, 80% of the folks singing the blues about Hauschka’s ineffectiveness were the same armchair GM’s barking loud and long about letting Stover move on because “he can’t kick anything outside of 40 yards.”
I seem to recall a 43-yarder with a minute left in Nashville last January that was good…and meaningful.
Who was that again? Oh, that’s right, Stover.
Anyway, today’s news that the Ravens finally parted ways with Hauschka shouldn’t come as a surprise.
He’s been very unreliable in the last month.
Unreliable and “field goal kicker” are two words that shouldn’t collide in the same sentence.
The only problem facing the Ravens?
There’s not much quality on the street…in terms of a replacement.
Mike Nugent and long-in-the-tooth Billy Cundiff both came in for a look-see last week but neither did enough to warrant a contract offer at that point.
I assume one of them will be flying in tomorrow to join the team.
I wouldn’t expect much from either of them. They’re both unemployed for a reason, just like Steve Hauschka is today.
They all miss too many kicks.
This was a bold move by the Ravens today — an admission of failure, and, an admission of panic, perhaps, as they see their season hang in the balance of the next three games.
With Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Green Bay on the schedule over the next three weeks, the Ravens MUST go 2-1 at a minimum in those three games if they harbor any hopes of making the post-season.
All three of those games are likely to be close — at least we hope so, anyway.
And if they are close, a field goal, either way, could decide the outcome.
The Ravens need a reliable field goal kicker.
Steve Hauschka wasn’t a member of that fraternity.
And today, like Mike Nugent and Billy Cundiff, he’s unemployed.