In honor of the 12s, the dedicated and enthusiastic fans of the Seattle Seahawks, I’m revealing my list of the team’s top 12 players entering the 2014 season. I’ll count down, starting with No. 12, and reveal another player each day.
This is not easy task considering all the talented players on a team that just won the Super Bowl, but it will be a fun topic to debate.
So without further ado, the countdown begins. This is the man who can say he was almost perfect in 2013:
No. 12: Kicker Steven Hauschka. He had his best NFL season in 2013, making 33 of 35 field goals attempts in the regular season, but he really only missed once. The other was a block at Indianapolis that wasn’t his fault.
Hauschka also was 8-for-8 in the playoffs. He was money in 2013 and a big reason Seattle reached the Super Bowl. And it also was a kick he didn’t attempt that showed he wouldn’t allow ego to get in the way of doing the right thing.
When Seattle had a fourth-and-7 at the San Francisco 35 in the NFC Championship Game, Hauschka honestly told Pete Carroll that a 53-yard field-goal attempt in those weather conditions would test the limits of his range.
One area where Hauschka really improved last season was the depth of his kickoffs. He was eighth in the NFL in touchbacks with 48, or 52 percent of his kickoffs in the regular season.
Interesting stat: In Seattle’s first two playoff games last season, Hauschka accounted for more than the difference in the score between the two teams. He had three field goals against New Orleans and the Seahawks won by eight (23-15). He also made three field goals against San Francisco and Seattle won by six (23-17).
Contact status: Hauschka was a free agent after last season, but the Seahawks wisely re-signed him to a three-year deal worth $9.1 million.