In my story today, Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka went into the offseason focused on improving on kicks beyond 50 yards, and so far the results are promising.
Hauschka finished 3 of 3 on kicks beyond 50 yards during exhibition play, including a career-long 56 yarder against Oakland. Leading up to this season, during his career with the Seahawks Hauschka had made 3 of 8 from 50-plus yards.
The improved leg strength also has helped Hauschka on kickoffs. Hauschka’s had 68.3 percent of his kickoffs go for touchbacks. Last season, Hauschka’s 41.4 percent touchbacks was No. 22 in the league last season.
So what’s been the difference?
Hauschka said during the offseason he worked hard on his conditioning and endurance, along with building more power through his core muscles to increase his overall leg strength.
“It was something I felt I needed to work on,” Hauschka said. “I also kicked a lot of long field goals this offseason. In practice, we would kick a lot of them, and on my own I would kick a lot of them, so I feel comfortable back there. I’m swinging a little more naturally, a little more free.”
The NFC West arms race continues. San Francisco signed Seattle fourth round draft pick Chris Harper from the team’s practice squad to the Niners active roster, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
SF added WR help by way of Seattle. 49ers signed WR Chris Harper off Seattle's practice squad, per league source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 2, 2013
Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle says the departure of veterans like Mike Robinson and Antoine Winfield highlight the competitive culture of Pete Carroll’s program.
ESPN’s Terry Blount breaks down Seattle’s 53-man roster here.
ESPN’s Mike Sando notes that the Seahawks still have the fourth youngest roster in the league.
Good read here by ESPN investigative reporters Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada on the specifics of the concussion lawsuit between former players and the NFL. The players initially sought $2 billion, but settled for $765 million.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated has more on the settlement between the two sides in his Monday Morning QB column.
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports notes the number of undrafted rookie free agents that made teams this year (64) and the number of players on the injured reserve this year (141) compared to this time last season (82).
ESPN’s Ed Werder reports Green Bay has signed Seneca Wallace as the team’s backup quarterback to Aaron Rodgers. Should be an easy transition for Wallace, who has played in the West Coast offense for most of his NFL career.
Packers signing Seneca Wallace as backup to Aaron Rodgers. They open vs Niners and have two of their QBS - Wallace, Scott Tolzien to prep D.— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) September 2, 2013