Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seahawks re-sign kicker Steven Hauschka

Hauschka, who has been with the Seahawks since 2011, became an unrestricted free agent following the end of last season.

By Jayson Jenks
April 22, 2013

Kicker Steven Hauschka re-signed with the Seahawks, the team announced Friday.

Terms of the contract were not released.

Hauschka, 27, has made 49 of 57 field-goal attempts (86 percent) since joining the Seahawks in 2011 with a long of 52 yards in each season. He made 23 of 23 field goals inside of 50 yards last season and also made a franchise record-tying five field goals in a 22-17 win against the Ravens in 2011. He did, however, make only 1 of 4 field goals longer than 50 yards last year.

Hauschka, who had become an unrestricted free agent last month, was injured in the playoffs against Washington and didn't play against the Falcons the next week after being placed on injured reserve. Hauschka's return answers one of the questions surrounding the Seahawks this offseason — the kicking game. Hauschka kept Seattle in a handful of games early last season, particularly while the offense struggled. He made three field goals in a 16-12 win against Carolina in Week 5, made another in a 24-23 win against the Patriots the following week and made 3 of 4 field goals to give the Seahawks a chance against Arizona in Week 1, an eventual 20-16 loss.

Hauschka made 11 of 12 field goals last season with the score tied.

The Seahawks claimed Hauschka off waivers after the Denver Broncos cut him before the 2011 season.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Striving to maintain Glenville legacy

April 13, 2013

By Matt Florjancic, Staff Writer

For those who played under Ted Ginn Sr. at Glenville High School, the pride they had while wearing the familiar black and red jerseys stays with them long after they leave the Cleveland school.

Three former Glenville High School football players are looking to carry on the tradition that started with Super Bowl XLVII participants Donte Whitner and Ted Ginn Jr., who were two of the nearly 10 former Tarblooders in the NFL last year.

Hawaii defensive back Mike Edwards, Louisiana Tech safety Jamel Johnson, and Toledo tight end Cordale Scott were three of the 14 Cleveland-area natives who worked out in front of the Cleveland Browns’ scouting department and coaches at the team’s Berea training facility Friday.

“I’m just trying to keep that legacy going,” Scott said. “We’ve got Ted Ginn, Donte Whitner, Troy Smith, legendary guys at Glenville. It’s just an honor to be (mentioned) with those guys. It was God putting me in certain situations to go to Glenville because I could’ve gone any other way, but Glenville’s a great program. Other high schools don’t give what Glenville gives, so it was a great opportunity.”

“As you can see, it’s tattooed on me,” Johnson said as he pointed to his left biceps. “I learned so many lessons there, life lessons, and Glenville is major in developing me as a man. Coach (Ted) Ginn does a great job over there, he and coach Tony Overton. I got the opportunity to grow up around these great men, mentors that want nothing but the best for the kids there.”

Johnson, Edwards and Scott said playing for Glenville’s coach, Ted Ginn Sr., was a unique experience because he represented a father-figure in their lives.

“I just learned to take off that mask, and do the things off the field that you would do on the field,” Edwards said. “I learned a lot about life from Coach Ginn, and it meant a lot for me to play for him. He taught me. When I didn’t have a father, that was my dad. Coach Ginn has always been there in my life, and it’s been a tremendous experience to not only play for him, but to be a part of that man’s life.”

Ginn was a volunteer coach at Glenville from 1976-86, and moved into an assistant’s role in 1986. In 1997, Ginn became the Tarblooders’ head coach, and has taught his charges many lessons since that time.

One of the lessons Ginn passed on to his players is the importance of representing the program and serving as an example for the next generation of Tarblooders.

“That’s huge, just to carry on the torch and have that feeling that it will go on, and more than what it means to me, what it will mean to that guy who’s younger than me to say, ‘He did it. Why can’t I do it?’” Johnson said. “I think it’s more about that visual for the kids and the younger guys to know that it can be done.”

Edwards added, “It means a lot for us, the younger guys to keep the legacy going because that’s all Coach Ginn wants us to do. That’s all Coach Ginn implements in the program, to be the best that you can be. Whether that’s in life, whether that’s in football, I just want to be the best Mike that I can be. That’s what I live my life by every day. It’s not about me anymore. It’s about my two boys, and it’s about the kids that come up under me, the younger boys at Glenville. It’s about them, and it’s up to me to help set the legacy for those boys.”

Monday, April 01, 2013

Ted Ginn Jr. Signing Overlooked and Underrated

March 31, 2013

By Ryan Heckman

The Carolina Panthers made a highly underrated move last week when they signed former San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. An experienced veteran with many previous roles, Ginn Jr. is expected to come in and contribute in multiple aspects right away.

During his career dating back to 2007 when drafted by the Miami Dolphins, Ginn Jr. has done most of his damage as a return specialist. He has great speed and agility in the open field and worked the majority of his plays on this side of the ball during the start of his career.

In San Francisco, Ginn Jr. became only the 12th player in NFL history to return a kick and a punt in the same game in 2011. Last season he was third in the NFC with a 10.3 yard punt return average. Already having a total of six return touchdowns in his still young career with a 23.2 yard average on kickoff and 11.0 yard average on punt returns, Ginn Jr. knows what it takes to succeed on special teams.

What he has been able to do as his career progressed is contribute on the offensive side of the ball when called upon. For his career, he has 161 catches for 2,048 yards and six touchdowns. He will give quarterback Cam Newton a solid option in the slot with Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell lining up on the outside most often.

Ginn Jr. has also shown flashes in the running game, which is the scariest part of this signing. With Newton and Ginn Jr. combined with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers could have quite the rushing attack next year. Not to mention the big fullback/halfback Mike Tolbert coming in on goal line situations, they have many capable bodies in the running game which will prove to keep players fresh in long stretches of the season.

While not being anywhere near the likes of Smith, Ginn Jr. will do some damage for the Panthers next season if used correctly. Carolina fans should be excited about this somewhat overlooked move and looking forward to seeing Ginn Jr. in the end zone a handful of times in 2013.

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