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From the get-go, Gano seemed headed for NFL

It seems as if Graham Gano has been on an NFL trajectory forever, Dan Steinberg writes.

"It was obvious he was head and shoulders above a normal kid," Charlie Armstrong, Gano's high-school coach, recalled this week. "The way the ball came off his foot, the sound of the ball when he hits it was just different than anything I'd ever seen. Sometimes it sounded like a gun was shot."
Which is why when he was still a high schooler in Pensacola, teammates and coaches were already mentioning the NFL as a realistic possibility. And every step of Gano's career seemed to confirm those expectations: He was named USA Today's national high school kicker of the year as a senior, earned a full scholarship to Florida State as a punter and kicker, won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top place kicker a year ago, and then earned tryouts with more than a half-dozen NFL teams, including a preseason audition with the Baltimore Ravens.
Finally, after the Redskins cut ties with Shaun Suisham earlier this month, Gano was signed to a three-year contract, and told by special teams coach Danny Smith that he could be Washington's long-term answer.
"They said they want me to be the kicker for the future," Gano said. "If I kick well and keep kicking well, hopefully they'll decide to keep me."

The view from Dallas

Anthony Spencer is stepping up, Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes, and making plays now that he was missing before. "In the past four games," Williams writes, "Spencer has 31 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 13 quarterback pressures, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He finally is living up to the expectations the Cowboys had for him when they made him the 26th overall pick in 2007, making Cowboys fans forget about Greg Ellis."

At the Dallas Morning News, David Moore writes about offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and the pressure he's under.

Season's greetings

A very merry day to you all from Jason Reid, Rick Maese, Barry Svrluga, Paul Tenorio and me. It's a little quieter on the beat than usual this morning and we have a moment to catch our breath and thank you for hanging out here with us again this year. We wish you all the best!

It's a typical Friday for the Redskins, which means there'll be a practice and injury update later.

By Cindy Boren  |  December 25, 2009; 10:33 AM ET
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Next: Haynesworth sent home for disciplinary reasons


No problem with the Haynesworth fight. Remember when Jeff George got dragged down the field with no one helping him?

What's this I hear about Shanahan "very interested" in the Bears' job?

Posted by: rickyroge | December 25, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Merry Christmas thanks for the effort!

Posted by: jonthefisherman | December 25, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Merry, Merry Holidays to all!

All I want for Christmas is for the skins to at least take some pride and play TGO against their biggest rivals. . .


Posted by: skinsfan8KaboveMSL | December 25, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Gano should be the answer at kicker. I hope Danny Smith just lets him kick it deep into the endzone each time, none of the short directional kickoffs should be needed. In short, don't screw him up Smith!

Posted by: VegasJim | December 25, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

These may not be the best Redskins but these are my favorite of my era (in no particular order)

Dexter Manley
Mark Murphy
Darryl Green
Art Monk
Kelvin Bryant (I loved that dude!)
Joe Jacoby (damn he was ugly, but do you
remember when he had that club
on his hand)
Joe Theismann
Ken Harvey
Wilbur Marshall
Neil Olkelwitz
Dave Butz (Remember his helmet was all
scratched up)
Virgil Seay (loved that little dude)
Joe Washington (talk about scat back)
Darrell Green
Tre Johnson
Chris Samuels
Sean Taylor
London Fletcher
Doug Williams
"downtown" Charlie Brown
Mark Mosely

Posted by: rickyroge | December 25, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Peace, Joy and Happiness to all.

Posted by: Keyskonnection | December 25, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Cindy didn't post a link to the best Redskins-related article in today's paper. Easy to miss it amid the holidays and the other sports news, but LaVar Arrington's restaurant closed. First Six Flags goes belly up and now the Sideline:

Sorry for all the peeps working for him that he stiffed, and then they lost their jobs on Christmas eve. As a club owner, Arrington makes a great New York Giant.

What a piece of work that man is. He complained that Snyder cheated him and turns around and screws his employees on Christmas eve.

Posted by: League-Source | December 25, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

sure would like to see Suischam shank a couple of kickoffs out of bounds on Sunday

Posted by: coparker5 | December 25, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Murphy's Law got Suisham fired as a scapegoat for the coaches conservative approach of not playing to win when clearly the offense was on a roll in those games and touchdowns would have clearly won the game and given a tremendous confidence to the Team.

You see Murphy's Law says that if anything can go wrong it will. By the coach not doing all he could to win the percentages of Murphy's Law increased and cost the Washington Redskins games.

If Zorn had played for touchdowns instead of field goals who knows whether or not our offense that was in a groove would have scored and thereby eliminated the chance of the field goal kicker becoming a victim of Murphy's Law.

Suisham was the highest percentage field goal kicker the Redskins have ever had. I hope this new guy is better.

But it is clear to me that Suisham is a victim of Zorns pathetic coaching philosophy. Going conservative at the end of games to ensure what you think is a victory is no way to win and it never has been. If it is evident that good offensive play has put you in a position to win games you do not take the ball out of the offense's hands to kick field goals.

The field goal kicker is called upon when the offense has given its best effort to score.

When you play hard to score Murphy's Law is in your favor, but when you eschew the touchdown because you think that a field goal wins the game the God's of Murphy's Law are against you.

I really feel that Jim Zorn eschewed going for the touchdown at the end of games because he wanted to show his control as the HC and not let the wins be attributted to the Bingo Caller.

On numerous times when the offense has been on drive in the redzone he has made terrible decisions. As a HC he has not shown the sense to leave well enough alone.

I hope one of the best kickers the Redskins has ever had does not kick our butts in Fedex field tommorrow.


Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | December 25, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Ricky, no Riggo? Even I know that's a COME ON, MAN!

Posted by: SMACK1 | December 25, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

"What's this I hear about Shanahan "very interested" in the Bears' job?"

I don't doubt this rumor.

After all, Shanahan to the redskins is just as much a rumor.

Before Shanahan to the redskins, it was Shanahan to the bills.

Then, it was Gruden to the redskins, no, then, St Joe coming back, no, it's Shanahan to the redskins.

This rumor mill is fueled by hope and lubricated by desire.

And when you're 4-9 and just got stomped 45-12 on national tv, you got desire and then some.

A dose of unsatisfying reality is what shuts all of this down.

Truth is, Bruce Allen has said that he will evaluate the redskin team from soup to nuts.

This suggests he might conclude that the present coaching structure should remain in place as upgrading the roster over the next two-three seasons is what the true issue is.

No matter what the rumors say.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 25, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I really feel that Jim Zorn eschewed...

Quadruple word score!
But I'd be worried about someone who spent any appreciable time inside Zorn's head. Unless you've loaded up on the egg nog, it's going to cause a headache. At least with the egg nog, you'll have earned the headache.
Hip Hip Whatever.

Posted by: daggar | December 25, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Truth is, Bruce Allen has said that he will evaluate the redskin team from soup to nuts.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 25, 2009 1:09 PM |

He's got every right to evaluate Soup, but he has no standing to evaluate those of us who are posting up here. Only Cindy can do that.

Posted by: League-Source | December 25, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Ricky, how about Clint Didier?

Posted by: shanpryor | December 25, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

happy holidays to all! blogmasters (jason, rick, paul, barry) should take the day off from updating this blog and do their best to get home asap and spend the day with families. been a tough season, but we're stronger for it.
here's hoping 2010 is finally the stepping stone to building a strong franchise for the next decade, as we all have suffered enough through half-ass rebuilds for 17 years.

Posted by: kman2 | December 25, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

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