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Handling pressure is key as Tyler Bass tries to unseat Stephen Hauschka

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Wild Card Round - Buffalo Bills v Houston TexansPhoto by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Brandon Beane laid out a path to the roster for the Bills’ rookie.

The Buffalo Bills took a kicker in the 2020 NFL Draft, a strong indication they’d like to move on from Stephen Hauschka at the position. Hauschka turns 35 next month and has seen his numbers slide since an injury in 2018, so general manager Brandon Beane brought in Tyler Bass in the fifth round.

During his post-draft press conference, Beane was asked about Bass’s path to the roster. How do you evaluate kickers in a training camp and practice setting? Beane was forthcoming.

“There’s only so many true game-winning situations or pressure situations,” said Beane. “I think that’ll be [head coach] Sean and [special teams coach] Heath [Farwell]’s thing is to give him and Stephen as many variety of pressure situations. Sometimes that’s taking them in the stadium on a windy day, sometimes that’s having the whole team out there and saying ‘Hey, if you make this kick, we end without running sprints.’ So you got 89 guys staring at you and saying ‘please make this kick so I don’t have to run three sprints’ or whatever it is. Some team bonding stuff. You can only simulate game experiences so much, so that’s what you’re trying to do.”

Handling the pressure of the big situations is real, and with only four preseason games, there isn’t even simulated pressure much. Beane brought in a metaphor to help explain.

“It’s the golf analogy, hitting it on the driving range is great, but when you get out there and out of bounds and the water and all that, it is different,” continued Beane. “So, it’s not easy, and to go against a guy with Stephen’s history, you know, Tyler will really have to convince us that he is mentally strong. He’s got all the physical skills but he can handle the pressure.”

While Hauschka can handle the pressure, his power has been falling off. Still the record-holder for consecutive kicks made over 50 yards, Hauschka has dipped considerably in the power department since the end of that streak in 2017. He was just 1-of-5 beyond 50 yards in 2019 and 4-of-7 the year before.

“That’s one of the things we talked about with him. Last year Stephen wasn’t able to kick the 55-plus balls as much. But, we were happy with Stephen’s accuracy at 50 and in,” said Beane.

“We really liked this kicker and my exposure to him was at the Senior Bowl,” said Beane of Bass. “He really did a nice job with his leg. I was there all week because I stay for the BLESTO meeting so really you saw his leg strength. Live leg was banging some long field goals. You know leg strength in Buffalo. We know how windy it is. Kickoffs are super important.”

Beane also explained that Bass was taken because he had a better chance to make the roster in round 6 than other potential picks.

“You’re basing [your board] on position value,” said Beane following the draft. “Okay. Is this in the six round, who’s got a better chance to maybe make our roster - this linebacker here, or this kicker? And then sometimes it’s where you’re at. If where you’re at on the depths of your roster, whatever position is there, versus the kicker. That’s really what questions we had. What guys were on our board versus this kicker? Which guy can you say has the best chance to make our roster when they’re in similar positions on the board? That’s where he was. He was in the sixth round, and we had some other guys hanging around but we just decided that he had impressed us. Before the coronavirus hit that was one of the schools that had their pro day and Heath Farwell went down there and came back and said, you know, Tyler did a really nice job.”

This offseason, the Bills also added Kaare Vedvik, a kicker with NFL experience. Buffalo insists he’s going to be mainly used as a punter and on kickoffs.

“So, first position one punter. Okay, position two. He’s the kickoff guy, and he can compete as a long field goal guy too,” said Beane earlier in the offseason.

With Vedvik mainly competing at punter, the Bills were going to bring in a second kicker either via the draft, free agency, or as a priority undrafted free agent. That doesn’t mean Bass or any other kicker is going to make the roster. On the contrary, the Bills know what they have in Hauschka.

“Stephen is a proven guy,” said Beane. “I extended Stephen a year ago, and still believe in Stephen. He made some big kicks down the stretch. That’s what I told Bass is that us drafting you is nothing more than we were going to [add one]. If we didn’t draft one, we would have signed one after the draft, because Vedvik’s position was going to be punter.”

It’s going to be an interesting position group to watch this offseason. Last year, the Bills signed undrafted free agent Chase McLaughlin. After a tight competition, the Bills chose Hauschka but later in the year, with the veteran struggling, they put in a waiver claim for McLaughlin when he was released. The Indianapolis Colts had waiver priority, so he ended up there instead. But it became clear Buffalo wasn’t happy at the position.

The last time a field goal was made by a Bills player that was drafted by Buffalo was October of 1977. Neil O’Donoghue had a long career in the NFL after being cut during his rookie season in Buffalo. Gary Anderson is the league’s all-time leading scorer, but he didn’t make the Bills after a bad preseason in 1982.

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Hauschka was like 20% kicking over 50 last year.

If Bass can just figure out how to make 50% of those he will be in good shape to take the job.


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On 1/31/2015 at 3:34 PM, IlluminatusUIUC said:

Jungle was one of the worst posters on the site and I'm not backing off that. The guy would say completely ridiculous, indefensible things over and over, and he would misquote and whine about attempts to refute those points as personal attacks. He was also completely devoted to scouting reports. My favorite one was when he tried to use a 2006 draft profile of Tarvaris Jackson as a counterpoint, after the dude had played six years in the league on two different teams.

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Part of the evaluation is like the article said, trying to simulate the pressure he'd feel in a stadium filled with fans, which has more of an effect on some kickers than other.  Beane mentions some interesting ways they can attempt to.  @daryls61 might appreciate the golf analogy he follows those with, about 5 paragraphs in.  

I didn't realize(or remember) the Bills had the GOAT when it comes to scoring, but cut him.  I guess it isn't always easy evaluating rookie kickers, and if preseason is shortened, it isn't likely to get any easier. 

Beane did offer the caveat that myself and maybe others mentioned before the draft that might temper our expectations a bit, that when you get that deep in the draft with the team being at a point it is with depth, the rankings on the board change and become more relative to the chance of making the roster.  On the other hand, it mentions Heath Farwell actually got to see his pro day before the corona virus plague hit, and liked what he saw.  Definitely one of the camp battles I'm looking forward to following.  


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Hauschka has never been the same since that cheap shot he took from that POS Anderson from the Jets. 

His 50+ yard kicks just disappeared. Like fucking magic. He was money and had the leg and then he didn't. Just like that. Very weird

From below 50 he had a rough stretch but closed out the season back in automatic fashion. Gonna be an interesting story line to follow. Clearly this kid Bass has the leg. If he can conquer the nerves, mental part of the gig he'll have SH's seat no questions asked. 

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Unless Bass is absolutely lights out, or SH is pure awful, I don’t see Hausch going anywhere, especially in a shortened off season, which seems inevitable.  If SH struggles on long ones and you keep Vevdik on the roster, you have options.  Bass is up against it IMO, really good vet, guy that can punt and kick off, plus long range options, vs rookie w a big leg and no history of success and not a great percentage in college.  If he has a strong camp, I won’t be shocked if he “tweaks a hammy” before the season and goes to IR, and possibly returns after week 8, depending on SH performance.

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Victor is right. I forgot about that. 


Just my 2 Cents

 

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3 hours ago, Victor7 said:

Hauschka has never been the same since that cheap shot he took from that POS Anderson from the Jets. 

His 50+ yard kicks just disappeared. Like fucking magic. He was money and had the leg and then he didn't. Just like that. Very weird

From below 50 he had a rough stretch but closed out the season back in automatic fashion. Gonna be an interesting story line to follow. Clearly this kid Bass has the leg. If he can conquer the nerves, mental part of the gig he'll have SH's seat no questions asked. 

Hauschka has been automatic for anything inside 40 yards. Anything at 50 yards or more is iffy for him.

Hauschka was 1/9 on 50+ yards last year, 4/7 in 2018, and 7/9 in 2017.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/H/HausSt00.htm

Tyler Bass has a very good chance at winning the kicker battle because he can handle kickoffs, and kick from long distance.

 


L*t is a loser

 

My adapt a Bill is Brandon Beane.

 

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3 hours ago, junglesouljah said:

Hauschka has been automatic for anything inside 40 yards. Anything at 50 yards or more is iffy for him.

Hauschka was 1/9 on 50+ yards last year, 4/7 in 2018, and 7/9 in 2017.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/H/HausSt00.htm

Tyler Bass has a very good chance at winning the kicker battle because he can handle kickoffs, and kick from long distance.

1/9.

Woooooowwwwww.

 


96769446_10102201393347587_5716922665810264064_n.jpg
 

On 1/31/2015 at 3:34 PM, IlluminatusUIUC said:

Jungle was one of the worst posters on the site and I'm not backing off that. The guy would say completely ridiculous, indefensible things over and over, and he would misquote and whine about attempts to refute those points as personal attacks. He was also completely devoted to scouting reports. My favorite one was when he tried to use a 2006 draft profile of Tarvaris Jackson as a counterpoint, after the dude had played six years in the league on two different teams.

945D802F-8FEC-4EF8-90CA-6D6166161CB4.jpeg

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I'm guessing barring injuries, Bass would need an entire camp to unseat Hauschka. He may not get a fair chance to become our kicker. 


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5 hours ago, LiterateStylish said:

1/9.

Woooooowwwwww.

Those numbers make me feel like I have a chance.  :niterider:

 

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Shut the fuck up dark cloud pussy

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29 minutes ago, Woody said:

Those numbers make me feel like I have a chance.  :niterider:

Or.... that if SH maintains his spot the Bills will employ a different strategy when situations of over 50 yards come up....   which would bother many fans, but actually might excite the crowd who tends to exclaim "Go for it!". :)  The addition of Zack Moss could certainly factor into the decision making on those "and short" situations as well, especially if he validates himself early on.

Just giving a heads up on different possibilities that could play out, especially if the narrative of the coach being "too conservative" is true, being SH is proven and the rookie apparently is a ways from it, despite a stronger leg(think of Bojo's boom, but lack of consistency as a very loose potential comparison).


"I don't think I'm easy to talk about. I've got a very irregular head. And I'm not anything that you think I am anyway".

-Syd Barrett, founder of Pink Floyd. Rolling Stone, December 1971

 

https://oathkeepers.org/about/

 

Europa: The last Battle is possibly the most useful documentary in existence in terms of understanding how society came to be like it currently is: https://search.bitchute.com/renderer?use=bitchute-json&name=Search&login=bcadmin&key=7ea2d72b62aa4f762cc5a348ef6642b8&query=Europa+The+Last+Battle

 

https://nativeamericanchurches.org/

 

My Adopt A Bill is Stefon Diggs

My 2nd Adopt A Bill is Christian Wade(he gets an exemption and doesn't require a spot) :)

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