To say that I lobbied for former Baltimore Ravens kicker Steve Hauschka would be inaccurate. To say that I waved his banner in a one-man parade, though? That's pretty accurate.
Obviously I'm thrilled with this piece of news, coming as it does mixed with some really bad news for the last game of the season. Chris Houston and Harvey Dahl have been placed on injured reserve, costing the team arguably one of its best cornerbacks and best guards with a critical game against the Bucs looming. To fill those slots, the Falcons signed Hauschka and brought Robert James up off the practice squad. Here's a brief breakdown of the impact of each of these moves, from the brilliant mind of yours truly:
CB Chris Houston: A lot of you don't like Chris Houston, despite orang3b's best efforts to show that he's really not so terrible with the dark art of statistics. It hasn't helped that Brent Grimes and Chris Owens have performed well in his absence. The issue here is that the Bucs are not the Jets and Bills, with their nonexistant passing games, and we could probably use Houston with his size and knowledge of the opponent. Since that's unlikely, here's hoping he's healthy in 2010, whatever role we may have for him.
G Harvey Dahl: Dahl is a mean son-of-a-gun. He's also been a very effective offensive lineman for us the last couple of seasons, and losing him is inevitably going to hurt. That said, he's been hurt for a bit now and the Falcons have managed to keep Matt Ryan (mostly) on his feet, so hopefully our depth continues to shine against the Bucs.
K Steve Hauschka: Depends on Matt Bryant's status. Hauschka is most likely on board for kickoffs and long field goals if Bryant's healing up, and potentially for the Falcons to get a look at him and determine whether they'd like to keep the young kicker aboard in 2010. If Bryant's not healthy, expect to see a lot of him.
LB/S Robert James: He's not going to play unless our laundry list of injuries grows even larger.
Thoughts, my friends?