Gano on missed FGs: "They felt good off my foot"
During warm-ups before Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins kicker Graham Gano said he felt as good as he had all season long. Despite the rain and cold weather at FedEx Field, Gano said he was nailing his practice attempts.
That pre-game success failed to translate onto the field, however.
Gano missed two field goals in the first half of the Redskins 17-16 loss, a 34-yard attempt that clanked off the left upright and a 24-yard attempt that missed wide left. The misses proved to be critical in a game that was decided by just one point on a botched extra point at the end of the game.
After the game, Gano said he was not sure what caused the misses.
"I thought they were good both times, they felt good off my foot," Gano said. "Normally I can tell if it's not a good kick, so when I looked up on both of the ones I missed, I was shocked. I thought they were good kicks."
The rainy weather might have played a role in the misses. Gano, in the midst of his first full NFL season, wore a new cleat on his plant foot with longer studs to deal with the soft turf, and he said he had to adjust the way he put that foot down in order to deal with the slick field.
But Gano, who also hit a 25-yard field goal just before halftime, refused to use either of those excuses as a reason for the missed attempts.
"I was slipping pretty consistently throughout the whole game," Gano said. "That's just what happens when the field is so soggy. That's something you can't control. You just have to go out there and make them."
On the deciding play of the game, a snap on the extra point that went through holder Hunter Smith's hands, Gano said he did not see what happened because he keeps his head down on attempts. Gano seemed to be injured trying to pick up the fumbled snap, but he said he only aggravated a rib injury suffered against the Detroit Lions earlier this season and that he was "fine."
Asked if he was worried about his job security, Gano said he would "love to still be here," and Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan did not sound as if the Redskins were immediately considering releasing the kicker - who is 22 of 32 on field goals this season and 26 of 36 for his career.
"I wouldn't even talk about that at this time anyhow," Shanahan said. "Like I told you from the beginning, it was a tough game today, it was rough, missed a couple short field goals and an extra point, everybody's disappointed. He's been very consistent for us in practice, he's young. I think he's got a great future. Hopefully he can put this behind him and when he gets in the same situation put it through the uprights."
Smith added: "People are gonna call for Graham's head. ...If anybody needs to lose their job, it's me. It's certainly not one of those guys. They're both young, promising people, who have an opportunity to be the best at what they do. And I certainly accept the blame and hope that I receive the blame for this one."
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