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Kicker Graham Gano looking to secure his spot

Does anyone remember that the Redskins' placekicker secured a championship for his team last season with a 33-yard field goal in overtime? OK, so it was the inaugural UFL Championship Game and he was kicking for the Las Vegas Locomotives.

Graham Gano's impressive season with the Locomotives ended November 27, and the Redskins signed him in Week 13 to replace struggling kicker Shaun Suisham. In four games, Gano was four-for-four on field goal attempts; his only miss came on one of his seven extra point attempts.

With some valuable game experience and an offseason in Washington under his belt, the 2008 Lou Groza award winner out of Florida State said he has rebuilt his confidence after his release by the Ravens in September and is more relaxed this summer.

"From last season, you know, I'm a lot more comfortable," Gano, 23, said.  "It's good getting to know a lot of the guys, getting the camaraderie going and getting in the weight room with all them in the offseason."

Gano is the favorite to suit up at kicker against the Cowboys to open the season, but there is some competition this summer with left-footed Justin Medlock also in the mix. Knowing the league's constant turnover, Gano said he pushed himself in the offseason.

"I've been working real hard trying to get my legs strong and I can definitely tell from kicking out here that I got stronger," he said."I'm more fluid and consistent with my approach to the ball...You can always work on something, but I feel very good
right now."

He added: "Justin's a great kicker. He's doing a good job and it should be a good competition."

Gano also punted in college and said scouts wanted him in that role at the next level. But place kicking always has been his top priority.

Not that he hasn't brought it up with special teams coach Danny Smith. "I tell him that every now and then, try to get me to punt a little bit," Gano joked. "But that's not what I'm here for. I'm here to kick field goals."

By Washington Post editors  |  June 5, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
 
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Comments

First repost of the day...

I haven't heard Haslett jumping on the bandwagon.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 5, 2010 8:30 AM | Report abuse
Well, if Skins are interested, we won't hear a word from Shanny or Haslett until we have him signed. If he is a step up from Doughty, Moore and Horton, I'm all for signing him. I know he has good hands, but I hear he doesn't have a lot of speed. What do you think of him, Samson?

Posted by: frediefritz | June 5, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: frediefritz | June 5, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

"Well, if Skins are interested, we won't hear a word from Shanny or Haslett until we have him signed. If he is a step up from Doughty, Moore and Horton, I'm all for signing him. I know he has good hands, but I hear he doesn't have a lot of speed. What do you think of him, Samson?Posted by: frediefritz"

I think he's has some seasons when he's been effective in forcing turnovers. He had 8 INTs in '07 and 5 in '08 -- 2 last year in 12 games. He's forced fumbles, including 6 in '08 and 3 last season. Both of those are things we could use at FS.

Thing is, he's not a great pass defender, he's average size (maybe 5'11", a little over 200lbs), and he's going to be 29 in a couple weeks. If you could get a deal on him, sure. But I suspect Detroit will outbid anyone. That's the last team that even after the draft, desperately needs help at FS.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 5, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

If this cat can punt and kick that opens a roster spot, I'm just sayin'. Who was the last to do both jobs in the NFL? Didn't Steve Cox do it for part of the season due to an injury?

Posted by: wireman65 | June 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Samson, I'm hearing good things about RDoughty. I'm really hoping to hear more about CHorton. What is he rehabbing from, and how is he looking? And speedwise, how do RD, KM and CH compare?

Posted by: frediefritz | June 5, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

If this cat can punt and kick that opens a roster spot, I'm just sayin'. Who was the last to do both jobs in the NFL? Didn't Steve Cox do it for part of the season due to an injury?

Posted by: wireman65 | June 5, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse
Not sure who did it last. Didn't Lou Groza play OG, and punt and place-kick?

There is no way any team would buy a roster slot by having same guy do both punt and kick. But it would be nice to have him as our back-up punter.

Posted by: frediefritz | June 5, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Do you guys think if Revis demands a trade, we could swap Haynesworth for Revis?

Posted by: regxjin | June 5, 2010 9:18 AM

I think it's going to be tough to trade AH anywhere, even though he's a beast, because he's been working so hard to prove what a selfish player he is.

In any case, he'd never go to the Jets, because Ryan is the king of the 3-4. He'd be no better off. I'd guess that Shanny is waiting for a high-value DT on a 4-3 defense somewhere to tear an ACL or something, then work a deal.

Posted by: SonofNero | June 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Lou groza played guard and did field goals. Paul Hornung played halfback and kicked. Jerry Kramer played guard and kicked. Jeff Hayes punted and kicked off for the sins in 82. Sammy Baugh punted and played quarterback. I don't think anybody has done it on a regular basis since the 60's.

Posted by: rmcpks73 | June 5, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

correction, I think Danny White of the Cowboys played quarterback and punted in the 80's

Posted by: rmcpks73 | June 5, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"And speedwise, how do RD, KM and CH compare?
Posted by: frediefritz"

None of them are speed merchants. Moore is probably the best athlete but maybe the rawest skill-wise. Nobody expected Horton and Doughty to be as good as they are. Personally, I'm surprised the Skins didn't draft or sign another safety this year. Maybe they know something we don't.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Do you guys think if Revis demands a trade, we could swap Haynesworth for Revis?

Posted by: regxjin | June 5, 2010 9:18 AM

I think it's going to be tough to trade AH anywhere, even though he's a beast, because he's been working so hard to prove what a selfish player he is.

In any case, he'd never go to the Jets, because Ryan is the king of the 3-4. He'd be no better off. I'd guess that Shanny is waiting for a high-value DT on a 4-3 defense somewhere to tear an ACL or something, then work a deal.

Posted by: SonofNero | June 5, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I think RRyan would make that trade in a NY minute. But we would be crazy to do it. I think we should see how AH does this year. Is he in top shape coming into training camp, is he a distraction there, how does he perform during regular season. Then we can trade him if he's still a problem. Don't get caught up in all the media hype.

Posted by: frediefritz | June 5, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Both of these guys are very talented but young - it will be the mental aspect that sets one apart.

But, you know... Medlock punts too - he launched a 60+ yarder from the endzone that flipped the field in that same game with the seven field goals last year. Medlock is an amazing kicker and if Gano is good enough to beat him out, then we will be getting a reliable weapon either way. Why not keep both, let one be the punter and the insurance policy?

Also, not to be forgotten, Gano was excellent last year on kick-offs - reaching the endzone and pinning them deep regularly. Medlock was the same way in college. That makes a difference for Special Teams.

Posted by: bigfoot1 | June 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

None of them are speed merchants. Moore is probably the best athlete but maybe the rawest skill-wise. Nobody expected Horton and Doughty to be as good as they are. Personally, I'm surprised the Skins didn't draft or sign another safety this year. Maybe they know something we don't.

Posted by: Samson151 | June 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Doughty is one of the smartest players on the squad, and Horton just seems to have a nose for the football. I hope he is healthy again.

Posted by: frediefritz | June 5, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Scott Milanovich... former terp record setting qb also was an all acc punter for the terps... he also punted and was a longtime back up qb in the nfl (patriots and bucs)...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | June 5, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

If this cat can punt and kick that opens a roster spot, I'm just sayin'. Who was the last to do both jobs in the NFL? Didn't Steve Cox do it for part of the season due to an injury?

Posted by: wireman65 | June 5, 2010 10:02 AM |


Yeah, and if the guy gets hurt, you have to fill two starter spots on short notice with journeymen. Redskins seem to have problems keeping kickers healthy.

Let him be the back up Punter...

Posted by: edvar | June 5, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Do you guys think if Revis demands a trade, we could swap Haynesworth for Revis?

Posted by: regxjin

Here's the reason I wouldn't want that trade. I wouldn't want to trade for a player stupid enough to leave a SB contender and head to a team that was 4-12 last year.

Talent-wise, yeah, its even enough. Revis deserves to get paid, but if the Jets trade him, it won't be to anyone that could get in their way of winning a SB. Get your ring, Revis.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | June 5, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Anyways, sorry about last night ,WP, I was born under the sign "Aggitarius"..Wipe a** me?? Cowsh*t I know?? "The Great Wompmeat Shortage: Day 117"..

Anyways, the Wizard of Time and Space died last night..I'd figured I'd send out gloryvibes towards the 99 year-old coffin-occupant..Those teams with Alcindor and Walton were brutal, dude, and should serve as proof-positive to G. Williams of what the top big man in the NCAA can do for your team..

Jesus, Wooden, Hopper , the dude from Slipknot, we're droppin' like flies over heah..

Posted by: frak | June 5, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

So glad the post has gotten past whining over suisham's release.

Posted by: AdamCr | June 5, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

NFL Network still gurgling the TO to the Skins package..Right , with McNabb, Westbrook and TO, we'll be the "Red Eagles" (as opposed to Ramskins)..Definitely would bring some hype to the team, it's gotta be mulling through Snyder's cerebellum (though sticky and green and slimy and..)

Posted by: frak | June 5, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: AdamCr | June 5, 2010 12:44 PM

mol... we don't face Cleveland in either the pre-season or regular season, so unless both teams go to the SB (!) then we shouldn't have to hear about him again.

maybe "Washington Post editors" are getting chummy with Gano, so when they need someone to wear a wire in the locker room, they'll have their man.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | June 5, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

If atogwe is expected to cost 7 million per season or more, we ain't gonna grab him. We need to get laron up to speed on what he will do in haslett's scheme. Really, horton/doughty don't concern me as much as laron.
i ain't never seen a safety beat on double moves so consistently, that's just money in the bank for other teams- something we can't afford.

Posted by: monkeymayonaise | June 5, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"Do you guys think if Revis demands a trade, we could swap Haynesworth for Revis?"


That's not gonna happen, so give up the wishin' and hopin'.

Plus, with it being so late in the Spring, I'd hazard a guess that AH will be a redskin and Revis a jet.

And in speaking of AH, we need to get our popcorn ready as the mandatory minicamp is just around the corner.

Will AH be in the house?: I'd say, 'yes.'

And this place will have Moe life and energy than a daycare full o' kids loaded up on sugar.

Posted by: MistaMoe | June 5, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

campy beeps

Posted by: RomoLongballs | June 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Somebody mentioned Tom Tupa, right?

Posted by: Samson151 | June 6, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

correction, I think Danny White of the Cowboys played quarterback and punted in the 80's

Posted by: rmcpks73 | June 5, 2010 10:47 AM

Not quite - it was just White couldn't tell if he was passing, or punting, after Dexter rung his bell.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2009/11/dexter_manley_on_making_danny.html

What a day. What a game...

Posted by: stevebeagrie | June 7, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

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