For the latest edition of Inside Answers, where we've taken questions from fans and brought them to kicker Steve Hauschka .
[Ed. note: Questions may have been edited for clarity.]
Jared Eberlein, New York: Steve, having any sort of continuity with stadiums full of screaming people has to be challenging. How do you stay mentally prepared and energized through the entire game, when you're called on to execute in less than seconds? P.S. Great job against Denver, keep it up.
Hauschka:"I guess at this point in my career, I've figured out the mental state I want to have during the game. It's impossible to focus for an entire game with the intensity, so we have a routine we go through. When the offense gets the ball, we get ready. Then, when they cross the 50-yard line, I'll start hitting balls into the net and mentally preparing myself.
"When I do kick a field goal or kickoff, I'll come back to the sideline to collect myself and relax when the defense is out there. You only need to be focused for those couple minutes before the kick."
Cole Natterman, Reisterstown, Md.: When you heard that the Ravens tried out two kickers did that affect the way you kicked on Sunday?
Hauschka:"I definitely didn't take it personally. The Ravens were just doing what they had to do to put the best team out there. I didn't think twice about it. Any good organization would have done the same thing."
Jason Renner, Spokane, Wash.: Hey Steve. First of all, I wanted to congratulate you on the win, and I must say you were one of our biggest factors in the win [Sunday], seeing as how Denver's red-zone defense was superb for a majority of the game. Was there anything special you did this week in practice, or on film, to make sure you were able to bounce back the way you did and silence all the critics? Thanks man, and good luck the rest of the way from all of us Ravens fans here in Washington State!
Hauschka:"Yeah, we practiced that kick a bunch of times, and sure enough that was where the field goal ended up against the Broncos. I really just think it was two solid weeks of practice. It was a good chance for me to build some confidence after that miss."
Brett Munson, Chatsworth, Calif.: Was it tough only handling kickoffs last year after obviously kicking field goals forever?
Hauschka:"When I was in the moment, it really didn't matter, but looking back, I think it was. I was a long field goal and kickoff guy, so it was all about power on my kicks. You had to basically swing as hard as you could, so that was physically taxing. The swing is differently, too, for a 55-yarder compared to a 40-yarder. I think my form sacrificed and made it harder to hit the shorter ones. But, we worked very hard in the offseason and took care of that, and now I have no problem handling both."
Andrew Varley, Linthicum, Md.: Hey Steve good job kicking on sunday. Since Halloween has just passed I was wondering what your favorite costume you ever wore on Halloween was? Keep up the good work.
Hauschka:"Hmmm… Good one. I was a banana last year at the Ravens' Halloween Party, so I'll say that."
Kurt Gercke, Bel Air, Md.: How many field goals do you kick a day?
Hauschka:"It depends on the practice day. Wednesdays and Thursdays, we kick a lot more than the rest of the week. We have about 5-10 team kicks, so I'll do a lot of warm-up kicks before that, anywhere between 15-20. Then, I usually kick after full-team drills. You can add about five more if we do two-minute drill, and then something like five kickoffs on those days. It adds up."
Perry Schaffer, Millersville, Pa.: Hey Steve. How's it going? Congrats on a great game. Have you been a kicker all your life? What other positions did you play?
Hauschka:"I actually didn't start kicking until my sophomore year in college. Before that I was a midfielder in soccer. I did that until I got too slow to keep playing, but my roommates in college said the football team needed a placekicker, so I thought it was a good chance for me to do that.
"I also played attack in lacrosse, which I'm sure Baltimore knows a lot about. I was a strong right-handed shooter. My team even won the state championship in high school."