I am now FIRMLY convinced that the cutting of Gano was an attempt to cover Danny Smith's ass. Faced with the abject failure of his blocking units and his directional kicking strategy, Smith needed a scapegoat. And what better scapegoat than a guy who struggled his rookie year, who had a legit miss to lose the game against Dallas, and who the fans didn't like? It was easy for the media and fans to simply decide "Graham Gano is a bad kicker" as opposed to "Danny Smith is a bad coach".
I have been as big a supporter of Shanny's tenure as anyone, but the way the STs and defense has been handled, along with some truly baffling personnel moves, makes me wonder if there is still something a tad rotten in Denmark - if roster moves are being made not towards maximizing performance, but to manage egos and agendas. There is no way Jordan Black should have made it over Willie Smith. Cundiff should never have replaced Gano. We should have either drafted or groomed a returner to replace Banks. There is no way Smith and Has should have gotten extensions this offseason. I think Shanahan has certain blind spots that hold him back as the head guy running the football operation, and we're feeling the effects.
I really really really doubt 'roster moves are being made to manage egos'. Let's not complicate and get all conspiracy theory about it. Simple answer's usually the correct one, and it's a simple as this: Gano/Rackers aren't awesome kickers.
The 57 yard attempt makes things look much worse. It's a 'whatever give it a shot' kick at the end of the half, and if anything, it's very UN-egotistical of Shanny to go for it. He doesn't give a rats ass if it makes the stats look worse, it's a better idea than hurling it into the endzone, period. Otherwise, not cool to miss the 30 yarder, and along with his whiff with the Ravens last year, the last thing I'm thinking with Cundiff is 'clutch gene'. That's the second 'what the hell' long kick btw, and let's consider it's a testament to how able the Redskins are to get near field goal range at the end of halves. I mean, they've done it almost every time.
His kickoffs still go through the endzone, and I do believe that's the reason he's here. I'm sure the decision to bring him in played out in very boring fashion, not some dirty Danny Smith conspiracy ring.
Sure, Shannahan does have blind spots. He's not a special teams coach and he's not a defensive coordinator. I'm glad he understands that and is letting those guys do their job. Y'all have it backwards, it would be EGOTISTICAL of Shanny to put his hands on everything and try to to it 'his way'. I'm one of the last people to defend Danny freakin Smith, but it's not any better if Shanny tries to act like a special teams guy and messes with it.
Yea, we're 'feeling the effects'. What you're expecting is a perfect football team. We have Shanny who's doing amazing things with Griffin, is slowly proving he truly does find awesome running backs in late rounds, his zone running style, for that matter, is impressive, and he's otherwise made tons of moves since day one to make the team younger. If we had equally as impressive special teams and defense, we would be in the Superbowl hunt every year. Simply put: I'm sorry everything isn't perfect, but it isn't going to be in 1, 2 or even 3 years considering he had to work with Vinny Cerrato's slop.
I'm FIRMLY convinced Shannahan has the team in the right direction. As always, there will be cause and effect int he NFL. If, at the end of the year, the defense give up league high numbers, Banks loses some fumbles, and some more kicks get blocked - changes are made. But all that Mike Shannahan can do in the meantime is let the guys do their job. He's handling enough things, and you can't just expect him to have the best coordinators. There is pretty much no such thing as a super-coaching staff with all the best coordinators. Instead, he wants continuity, consistency, and building. He wants to build and CREATE a good team, not search for everyone else's supposedly best players/coaches. Isn't that what we were so excited about in the first place? A real coach getting a chance to build the Redskins?
I'm sorry, I'm just really over the 'Shanny's ego' talk. This is exactly what we cheered for when Vinny was fired and Bruce/Shanny came aboard. Things are improving, depth is being built, injuries are being more easily overcome, things are building. There is no Shanny-gate.
It is my sincere hope that Danny Smith is coaching elsewhere next season, but that's certainly not a decision for me or any of us to make here. What is clear to me is that Smith is effective only at coaching coverage. He has no ability to develop specialists, and that has been clear from the time he began coaching as a special teams coordinator. His specialists thrive when they come to Washington with their abilities already developed. A young kicker will not grow and develop under Smith; it is impossible. Neither will a young, inexperienced returner. Some players, of course, will have the benefit of having had especially good special teams coaches in college.
Even if Cundiff made that last kick, I still like Gano and believe he may be back sooner than later
yet another mystery move by Smith right before the season.. but i guess it's all OK because it only NEARLY cost us a football game.
so far the only difference between the kicker Danny failed to develop and the one he's currently ruining is that Cundiff can kick a touchback to the corner.. which seems in danny's world to be a better option than kicking one to the center of the end zone, that it's worth sacrificing any accuracy beyond 40 yards.
dodged another Danny Smith bullet yesterday. 4 games, and so far, there has only been ONE game in which his bullets didn't fly wildly all over the place.
(Was that him telling Shanahan to throw the challenge flag on the ball spot deep in the 4th that cost us a first down and a challenge? What a surprise.. danny thinks we should challenge something SO crystal clearly against us. Whoever runs our challenge system also needs to be fired. We've been horrible at it for several years.)
Its is rather annoying though watching the opposing kicker nail 57 yard attempts with about 10 yards to spare while our kicker push's it wide from inside of 40 yards .....
Our kickers struggled with one of the most consistent long snappers in history and video evidence of good holds. I simply cannot understand it.
Cundiff made the kick that mattered. Period. You cannot argue that.
The Hungry Mann.
A Dallas fan is like a fake Christmas tree........
(you get to put them away come January)
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