Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Hauschka shows more leg strength, WR Harper signs with 49ers

Post by Eric Williams on Sep. 2, 2013 at 6:56 am with 73 Comments »
September 2, 2013 7:02 am
With Jon Ryan (9) holding, Seattle Seahawks' Steven Hauschka, right, kicks a field goal against the Oakland Raiders in the first half of an NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
With Jon Ryan (9) holding, Seattle Seahawks’ Steven Hauschka, right, kicks a field goal against the Oakland Raiders in the first half of an NFL preseason football game on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

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.

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.

Check out ESPN’s preview of the Seahawks here.

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.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 73
  1. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Nice try Harbaugh! Im sure you will be able to learn alot from a rookie who has never played a down. I guess he’s trying to get an advantage because if he really wanted Harper he could have just claimed him off waivers instead of stealing him from our PS. Didnt he try this last year with Lockette? That worked out well for Jimmy!!

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Well, that didn’t last long. I didn’t expect Harper to make it to the PS to begin with.
    I thought he had good upside if given time to develop and now he can learn from one of the best in Boldin.

    Damn 49ers!

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    MikeFromNewJersey- Harper is nothing like Lockette. I think the 49ers did a smart thing but only time will tell.

  4. Southendzone says:

    Anyone get the feeling Harbaugh doesn’t want any of these players he signs off the Hawks? He’s just doing it for psychological warfare.

    How insecure is that guy? I think he’s got Mommy issues.

  5. Skavage says:

    Eric any news on Mike ROb by chance? I’m still holding out hope we get him back.

  6. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    @georgia.. We all know why hes doing it. If he really wanted him, he should have just claimed him iff waivers. Harbaugh is a loser!

  7. Harper has potential and the whiners have crap for receivers. Give Harper some credit, he has shown talent; he’s just raw and our team is stacked at his position.

  8. Sekolah says:

    It honestly does feel more like an intended low blow than actual smart business sense, but it might also speak to just how desperate the 9’ers are right now at the WR position. Still, I could have sworn there was an unwritten rule about snatching actual draft picks from a team’s practice squad. That’s something of a no-no in the business of the NFL, but hey, the 49’ers can do “whatever they want”.

    Honestly though, Harper is a bigger developmental project than I thought he would be. His concentration and consistency are definitely lacking. I also noticed while observing him that he has issues with gaining separation from defenders.

    He might develop into something down the line, but I’m not sure he belongs on the 53 man roster of a legit playoff contending team.

  9. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I here you and understand Harbaugh’s motives however I think they will be pleasantly surprised with Harper down the road if they give him the time to acclimate himself to the NFL.

  10. WiscCory says:

    If Harbaugh was seeking intelligence only, the 49ers would go after MRob.

    49ers are struggling with WR’s, and likely had Harper on their draft board, too.

  11. MikeFromNewJersey says:

    Georgia- Maybe true I guess we will find out…Anyway I’m more concerned about our Dline depth. We desperately need our starters to stay healthy.

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I hate it when it seems that it comes down to a dropped ball or two in the final pre season game.
    How many here think that Harper would have made the team if he had caught those balls?
    I agree we have a potentially great receiving group but it would have been nice to have Harper on the team as insurance in case another WR goes down like Harvin did. We only have two WRs that don’t have a history of injuries,( Kearse and Tate.)

    It’s not that I’m a huge Harper fan, however I was a huge Boldin fan and was hoping to add something similar to this team whether it was Harper, Bates or another Big physical receiver.

    Oh well, can’t have it all.

  13. I’d much rather have Harper not getting open and dropping balls for the Niners than for us.

    In six weeks they get Crabtree and Manningham back off the PUP list, so Harper will likely get cut at that point.

  14. edstang45 says:

    Harbaugh is just proving to me that he knows his team is inferior to The Hawks.. Poaching from our PS to help his active roster… this gives me fodder to trash talk some of my fool buddies who are SF fans. I live in Blazer and Duck country (Camas,wa.), and relish any time I can boast about my Hawks or Dawgs, no matter how trivial..I hate SF as much as I used to be a Raider Hater back in the day. By the Way the A’s suck too. I can’t wait til Harper runs a route on 3rd and long against Sherm, or Browner…good luck with that!!

  15. edstang45 says:

    Stevos do you think Crabtree will actually be back that soon after an achilles?? I thought that was a season ending boo boo

  16. edstang45 says:

    Actually maybe Harbaugh does know what he’s doing. Now on Sept 15th Harper can show him how to find the little girls room at VMAC.

  17. edstang45 says:

    rather at Quest Field, gotta work on my trash eh

  18. Curiouser and curiouser..wonder what Harper will decide to do…if I were him, I’d go to SF–lesser competition. I think he’s gone.

    Seattle might reverse course and cut someone else like Lotuleilei to put Harper back on the 53…

  19. Interesting battle over Harper between Niners and Hawks. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team counter-offer and try to keep a PS guy from leaving. Sounds a bit like an ego battle between Pete and Harbaugh.

  20. edstang45 – I’m not sure if anyone knows if/when Crabtree will be ready to play, but the Niners put him on PUP instead of IR, so they expect him back at some point this season. Same with Manningham. Both our team and theirs will have extra star receivers for the season’s end.

  21. Southendzone says:

    Exactly, if the choices are roster spot vs PS, I don’t see how he chooses the Hawks. Seattle would have to make room on the roster and that doesn’t make sense, he will never get playing time unless we have an injury.

  22. sluggo42 says:

    Wow, this is getting very interesting about Harper. Do they let lotulelei go? Or Ware?

    Tough 53!

  23. sluggo42 says:

    I doubt Harper has a choice

  24. I would assume that if the Seahawks are trying to keep Harper, they are offering to move him to the 53, not back to PS. That’s over.

    Frankly I think its more important for us to add a blocking TE to the team. But Harblow and Carroll seem to be in a pissing match.

  25. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Maybe Harper was nervous or just had a bad day against the Raiders, (drops can happen to many receivers like Kearse had last year.)

    Coming out of College one of Harpers strengths was holding on to the ball well, even with defenders draped all over him.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that two drops in a preseason game defines Harpers body of work and his future.

  26. Harper can choose to stay on our PS, not sure if he can leave for SF’s PS, but I think he can. We shall see…reminds me of Ruskell making it a point to pillage the Rams defensive FA’s…

  27. Harbarf won’t play Harper until he’s perfect with his assignments, and dudes still raw so that will be awhile, especially since he doesn’t know their play book. He will be on inactive list for a good while there, whereas in Seattle he has a better shot at early playing time even with the logjam at WR, because Carrol will give a player a few plays even if they are raw.

  28. When we drafted Harper, I imagined he would end up being one of these players on the bubble we all argue over. Sure, he might be great one day, but he’s not NFL ready now and he was 6th or 7th on our depth chart. Just hogs a roster spot this year if we keep him. Not what Carroll wanted in his 53rd player.

    Does anybody have a good source for latest news on players signed to/from practice squads?

  29. Tim Tebow cleared waivers. Maybe the Montreal Alouettes need a savior?

  30. wabubba67 says:

    A guy next to me in a Phoenix area restaurant was checking his phone and said that the Cardinals signed Parker, Howard, and McGrath. Does anyone know anything about this?

  31. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I think the five 10 am road games will be the biggest challenge to the team with regards to winning the NFC west.

    These five teams had a combined 52-28 record last year, and look to be as good or better this year.
    We need to at least win three of them imo to have a good shot at winning the NFC west.

  32. Wabubba–according to PFT yesterday, Howard was picked up by KC, not the Cards. I think they got McGrath too, not sure about Parker.

  33. This is not being updated quickly, but is official at least:
    McGrath is still out there.

    Some TEs I’d rather have:
    Furstenburg cut by the Ravens
    D.J. Williams cut by the Packers
    Fells cut by the Seahawks

  34. wabubba67 says:

    Thanks, STTBM. The family must have been from KC then…even though they started talking about the Cardinals again. Will miss Parker (but there was no room for him here), Howard for depth, and McGrath a little bit too (seemed a little slow, but a decent blocker with adequate hands).

  35. edstang45 says:

    Harblow, Harbarf, this is why I come here…Stevos, STTBM, great stuff!! It just warms me up all over…. Can’t wait for the 15th baby….Eric we need a little competition here. Season long competition, for the best Nic for the Hated coCkrOACH of the whiners

  36. I thought McGrath had great hands, was just too slow and not a road grader. Parker and Brooks looked good to me, hope they catch on elsewhere.

  37. wabubba67 says:

    Not sure if Harper really has any choice in the matter. I thought the NFL rules were that a team could claim a player from another team’s practice squad at any time during the season, but that player must be placed on the team’s active roster. Seems like if SF wants him, that Harper is gone.

  38. John Schneider should have seen this coming, and perhaps he did. He had to know the niners needed receivers. I want us to keep Harper. I like Williams, but he has had an injury history. As has Rice. Baldwin has also been out. And, by the way, Percy Harvin is still only potential for us, so far. We need someone ready to step in. Now maybe it’s Phil Bates. Maybe it’s Arceto Clark (did he sign anywhere?) I’m not worried about a couple of drops in the Raider game. I don’t want Harper suddenly remembering how to catch balls against us in SF. Furthermore, we only had 24 on offense in our final 53 vs 26 on defense. All this said, I couldn’t say who they should bump. So… Pete and Co., stay focused on Carolina. JS gets to figure it out.

  39. Teams end up paying a PS player more to keep him from joining another teams AR, I swear I’ve heard of this happening in multiple places. I’m pretty sure a player can elect to stay on PS. Not sure if a team can poach a PS guy and put them on their own PS–perhaps a player can elect to leave one teams PS, then sign with another?!

  40. Wabubba – not sure if they can just “claim him.” If he passed through waivers, he’s free to “sign.” If it’s a matter of signing, Hawks can make a better offer. This is how it looks to me from the report. I have no knowledge.

  41. wabubba67 says:

    Hmmm…not sure either way. I always thought that there was a standard contract for players on the PS (same for every team throughout the league) and that the minimum pay was much better to be on the active roster.

    I thought that a team claiming another player from the PS was how the Seahawks lost Forsett (who they wanted to keep) to the Colts for a few weeks until the Colts released him.

    Any help on the process here, Eric?

  42. tealskin says:

    Would rather have a 3rd TE than a 6th WR. Drop a LB. If Harper can produce in SF, good for him. It’s a crapshoot when you cut a player.

  43. IMO Harper’s issue is confidence when it becomes showtime. In a practice atmosphere he is good. In a game atmosphere he crumbles. Some players are just the opposite and their best always seems to come out in competitive situations. So IMO Harper is a bigger project than we may think. It is a very big step (a mental step, not physical) to suddenly get that confidence to shine when things are on the line. Not saying it can’t be done, but it’s difficult and from what I’ve seen the guys that have this issue general don’t make a big impact, but struggle.

  44. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Note to the FO- No more 4th round picks. Trade them for 5th round picks where you get more value. Lol.

  45. Harper has obviously not been impressive so he was let go (if though I’m surprised by it) so I’m not going to worry if the Whiners pick up a rookie WR that doesn’t know their system who wasn’t good in our camp.

    Anyone hear really scared of Harper burning Sherman, Browner, or WTIII with any consistency? I’m not.

    I also don’t like the comparisons to Harper-Tate (there have been a couple). We’d hear glowing reviews about the athleticism and acrobatic catches Tate would make in practice his rookie year (and second year). We have never heard anything like that from Harper this past camp.

    If this regime drafts someone that they don’t think is good – they get rid of them. I like it.

  46. jawpeace says:

    My guess the 9ers keep Harper on the active roster until Mario and maybe Crabtree get back. The 9ers then probably place Harper on their practice squad/ Then we could sign him back if we wanted to. But at the same time when the 9ers get Mario back. We could be getting Harvin back. As far as Crabtree I am confident that M.C won’t return during the season, an Achilles tear is one of the worst and longest recovery times. If he made it back he would be setting a new precedent for recovery time.

  47. freedom_X says:

    I think Harper could stick with the 49ers. He won’t help them much this year, as hes’s too raw. But the 49ers signing him shows the potential there that Seattle saw in him. Harper’s just too raw and didn’t develop fast enough to make a loaded Seattle roster.

    He’s not Lockette (who I don’t think is a hard worker or very dedicated, seen by how Lockette dogged it on special teams.)

  48. GeorgiaHawk says:

    If the FO didn’t think Harper would be any good they certainly wouldn’t waste a spot on the PS for him.
    Fact is he’s a rookie WR and by rule it takes time for a rookie WR to develop in the NFL.
    He had too much competition from good experienced WRs, especially with Kearse and Williams stepping up.

    And yes I have used Tate as an example being (similar to Harper) in regards that it takes most WRs time to fully develop.

    That’s not in anyway comparing their skill set or potential talent level as rookies. They are totally different in that regard.

    Now Harvin would be a comparison to Tate.

  49. jchawks08 says:

    Harblow? How old are we? Sheesh.
    And it’s Qwest Field, not Quest Field. And it’s Century Link field, not Quest Field. Yeesh people..

  50. jchawks08 says:

    Harbarf. Nice.

  51. jchawks08 says:

    edstang, you and my 12 year old should hang out. He also thinks that Harblow and Harbarf are just absolutely hilarious.

  52. edstang45 says:

    JChawks08…up to you I’m 57 yrs old and it sounds like id like the Kid…if your saying i’m immature your probably right…JC if you don’t think it’s fun stuff then your probably to stiff and to serious … this is a fun place and i’ll mature when I get to the home.
    Go Hawks

  53. GeorgiaHawk says:

    The Seahawks WRs in 2010-


    2010 was a good year to come in as a rookie WR and make the team.

    The Seahawks WRs in 2013-


    2013 not so much a good time to come in as a rookie WR and make the team.

    Wow! Just comparing the whole Seahawks roster from 2010 to 2013 is one of the most amazing and fastest turnarounds of an NFL team that I have ever seen.
    And what’s even more amazing to me is that the team stayed competitive throughout this whole process.

  54. edstang45 says:

    Jchawks please continue to correct me, and guide me as you see fit

  55. jchawks08 says:

    I’m far from being the stiff and serious type. I can’t take anyone who refers to a well respected head coach with names that an 8 year old could come up with serious. I’d be surprised if I was the only one who’s called you out on it. I know you’re not the only one either, so apologies if this seems like a personal attack. As an infrequent poster, I just know that typically, this blog is better than that.

  56. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Come on, let us old farts have some fun once in a while. You know by comparison that this blog is about the most mature, civil one out there and the threads usually don’t degenerate at a fast pace like ESPN and others.

  57. Anyone remember our WR position in ’07? That was ugly! Harper probably could have started for that crew (and he would have been around junior high). lol

  58. chuck_easton says:

    Teams can’t claim a player off another team’s PS. They can sign a player to their active roster from another team’s PS, but that player has to agree to sign. This means Harper chose the 49rs over Seattle.

    Also if/when SF cuts Harper from their active roster Harper has to go through waivers again. Any team can claim him but they must put him on their active roster.

    If no team claims Harper for their active roster Harper is then free to sign with any team either to be on their active roster or PS. The 49rs wouldn’t be allowed to just assign Harper to their PS.

    And the colts didn’t claim Forsett off of Seattle’s PS. They claimed him off waivers which is why they had to put Forsett on their active roster. Once the Colts cut him after a couple of games, Forsett chose to come back to Seattle and join the PS.

  59. jchawks08 says:

    And I thought the stadium name of where the Seattle Seahawks play their home football games at was common knowledge. Inserting a smiley face to show that I’m not so serious and stiff and enjoy a good amount of flipping $hit. :D

  60. jchawks08 says:

    No, you’re 100% spot on, Georgia. The Harbarf and Harblows just struck a nerve is all. IDK why. I can’t stand the guy as much as any of us.

  61. edstang45 says:

    I was just responding to some names I read on the blog Jchawk…I found it very humorous and the guys who actually came up with the good nics which gave me a good laugh are knowledgable posters…they make the blog better with their input… don’t be so judgemental, just enjoy what you like and ignore what you don’t…like my very mature 25 yr old daughter use to say…chill out raindow trout

  62. edstang45 says:

    great pic Georgiahawk,

  63. “In six weeks they get Crabtree and Manningham back off the PUP list, so Harper will likely get cut at that point.”

    I wouldn’t count on that, Stevos. I doubt either is back week 7. They need practice time you’d think, but the Whiners WRs are pathetic after Boldin so maybe they rush them. I’d think that Manningham could likely be physically ready by week 7. Not sure about Crabtree. They have until week 15 according to Eric. I know they have until at least week 12 for sure.

    “I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume that two drops in a preseason game defines Harpers body of work and his future.”

    I don’t think it did, Georgia. He didn’t play well in any of the other preseason games either, though he didn’t have multiple drops. Practice reports weren’t glowing about him, though we don’t know for sure what the coaches thought. I like him as a project. He’s too raw right now though. They probably would’ve had to cut Ware if they wanted to keep Harper. Or one of the young o-lineman.

  64. The Whiners WRs behind Boldin before they signed Harper were Jon Baldwin, Quinton Patton, Marlon Moore, and Kyle Williams. I almost threw up in mouth just typing that.

  65. sluggo42 says:

    I threw up in my diaper…

  66. GeorgiaHawk says:

    nate, I think Harpers only two drops occurred in the last pre season game. And when I said body of work, I meant to include College.

    Remember he hasn’t been a WR that long, so maybe wishful thinking on my part to think he could be the next Boldin-2.

  67. AaronCurryIsBUST says:

    Yawn. Fraudbaugh also said that he sensed Ricardo Lockette was “special” and drafted colossal bust AJ Jenkins in the 1st round. I wouldn’t be too worried considering his track record of evaluating WRs.

    By the way, everyone’s contending the Whiners have no WRs behind Boldin; I’m going to take a step farther and they say they have no WRs even with Boldin. Have we forgotten how slow that old fossil is? He’s only getting slower, and I don’t see why we’d be concerned with him while we have Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner to stop him. You should be more worried about Vernon David and Vance McDonald.

  68. ACIB, well, we only have that midget RW3andOut to face them with. Every team has it’s weaknesses.

    Georgia, I like Harper. He has a lot of physical talent and came from a team that didn’t throw much. He certainly could be a good player in the future. There just wasn’t room for him here unless you wanted to put Ware through waivers. You could make that argument. Regardless, he’s gone. Thus is life.

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