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Posted at 12:58 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Graham Gano film study aims to correct flaws

By Jason Reid

Long after most Redskins coaches and players had left their workday behind, place kicker Graham Gano reviewed his disappointing performance in Sunday's 17-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedEx Field.

Shortly after returning home with his wife, Gano went to Redskins Park to watch film, hoping to determine what went wrong on his pair of short missed field-goal attempts in the first half. Gano's problems played a big part in the Redskins' third consecutive loss and fifth in six games, and he put in overtime in an attempt to improve.


"I watched a lot of film from the beginning of the season, when I was hitting the ball real well, and compared it to last night's game," said Gano, who said he spent several hours at the complex to review his leg swing. "I really had to break it down, go into detail, because my form looked the same."

On a 34-yard attempt in the first quarter, holder Hunter Smith did a nice job of handling long snapper Nick Sundberg's low snap and setting the ball set for Gano, who sent it off the left upright. On a 24-yard field goal early in the second quarter, Gano hooked the ball left. Gano made a 25-yarder shortly before halftime.

Smith failed to handle Sundberg's high snap after the Redskins scored a touchdown to pull within a point with nine seconds remaining in the game. The ball sailed through Smith's hands, which all but ended the game.

Initially, while reviewing film, Gano was unsure where his missteps occurred because "the first one that hit the post, my form looked the same as when I was making all my kicks, so I really had to look at it.

"I think it came down to my plant foot, just being maybe a little bit too far behind the ball. It may have been the cleats I was wearing. Just digging into the ground a little bit more and not sliding as much."

And on the shorter attempt that Gano hooked left, "I couldn't really see anything there, either."

Gano said he watched film from Washington's season opener against the Dallas Cowboys through a Week 5 victory in overtime against the Green Bay Packers, which Gano capped with a game-winning 33-yarder. In Week 10, Gano nailed a 48-yarder to give the Redskins a 19-16 victory in overtime against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field.

"As soon as the game was over, I was looking to get better," Gano said of Sunday's game against Tampa Bay. "I'm sure everybody's upset about it, but no one more than me.

"I was just ready to put it behind me and figure out what I was doing wrong. I've never had a game that poor since I've played football. I think the last time I missed a 20-yarder was my first game on varsity in high school, so it's been a while."

Gano has missed 10 field goals (22 of 32) and has a 68.8 percentage. Although Coach Mike Shanahan has been supportive of the 23-year-old, strong-legged kicker, Gano has struggled while missing three of his last four field-goal attempts.

In the NFL, when place kickers struggle on field-goal attempts, teams usually conduct kicking tryouts on Tuesdays, when players are off. The Redskins are expected to do so tomorrow.

Gano, who has a base salary of $395,000 this season, is in his first full season in the league, but he understands how things work.

"I wouldn't be surprised if they brought some guys in," said Gano, who is under contract for 2011. "But as far as I'm concerned, I am young, and I'm learning from every game. I think I'll just keep getting better.

"I believe I'll be in the league for a long time. I'm just having some growing pains now. I need to fix 'em quick, and I think I will."

By Jason Reid  | December 13, 2010; 12:58 PM ET
Categories:  Graham Gano  
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Next: Redskins fade in season's second half--again


Maybe we should cut him...just for kicks!

Posted by: iubiquity | December 13, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe Mike Shanahan's clock management in the first half.

We saw this when our dear Joe Gibbs who was wonderful in his 12 years, returned much older and not as quick and aware...

ARe we seeing this again?

Plus, how embarrassing that he was wasting time showing refs a picture on a holding call he knows can never be reversed.

It had an air of desperation, being a whiner etc.

Not pretty

Posted by: RedskinRay1 | December 13, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

With the exception of the 2nd half last drive, was it just me or was Donovan McNabb erratic, inaccurate, fundamentals were horrible [foot work, short passes badly missed]??

This is our QB for next season?
I was so excited when we signed DM#5
Now, I am thinking, "I was so wrong"

Posted by: RedskinRay1 | December 13, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

So he's not sure what the problem is? That's cool.

Posted by: PlayAction | December 13, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you on all your comments greg. I know you and many other posters disagree with me, but snyder is the major problem with this team. he's the one who does the hiring and firing. why does he get a pass ? is it becuase he wants to "win badly and spends tons of money" ?again, he's the one who put this HC and GM in place and so far they get failing grades across the board.

Posted by: hessone | December 13, 2010 12:43 PM |

He doesn't get a pass but to keep harping on the owner and wanting him to sell the team is a waste of time.

Snyder will own this team long after most of us are dead or sucking are food through a straw.

So while I agree with you that Snyder has been terible in the past, hiring Shanny is not a bad move and if you would give it a few years instead of thinking the Vinny mistakes can be fixed in one year you will see that it was the right choice.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 13, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I think changes at both Guard spots immediately helps out Rabach in the middle, so we can wait to replace him until 2012's draft. G and NT should be the 1st and 2nd round picks (not necessarily in that order), period, end of discussion.
Posted by: monk811 | December 13, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Its gonna be quite a dilemma. I've read some raving reports from an NFL scout about Cam Newton in the good ole fashion newspaper. If he's there when we pick, I say take him and go G/NT in the 2nd round. Scout says dude is surprisingly accurate on his throws and has good arm strength. Also depends in Luck comes out whether Newton can fall to the Skins.

Its not going to hurt giving McNabb another year especially if they do draft a young QB. Whether people like it or not, I doubt the Skins will just discard a player after one year that they invested a 2nd and fourth rounder in.

Posted by: ga8085 | December 13, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm inclined to agree, Ray. Would not be surprized if if they opt out of DM#5's contract next year.

Posted by: iubiquity | December 13, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Justin Blackmon is a redshirt Sophmore. 6'1 205 and only one less DUI than VJax. It would be pretty sweet to have those two on the team. I'm sure they would quickly become drinking buddies.

Top 5 WRs in the 2010 draft
1.A.J. Green, WR, Georgia - 6'4 - 212
2.Julio Jones, WR, Alabama - 6'4 - 220
3.Justin Blackmon, WR OSU - 6'1 - 205
3.Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh - 6'5 - 230
4.Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - 6-3 - 227
5.Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU - 6'5 - 204

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

the best guess is we will finish only 5-11!

A once proud franchise of winning / championship teams is one that now had only 60,000 fans yesterday [if that] in a December home game!

Is shanahan too old?
Recall last week when he threw out the red flag and soon thereafter son, Kyle, was stooping down picking up that flag.

What would have transpired, had that assistant coach not been Kyle Shanahan?

Posted by: RedskinRay1 | December 13, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

It is funny that we have an entire article here on Gano's misses and not one mention of the special teams coach. Danny Smith might have great coverage units but he doesn't know squat about kicks and punts. Give him enough time and he'll ruin Gano. I say keep Gano and fire Danny Smith.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 13, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

dies, do you have 40 times for those guys??

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 13, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who misses JC17 even a little bit?

Posted by: CheyenneWY | December 13, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

maybe they need washed

Posted by: hessone | December 13, 2010 12:47 PM

Every week!

Posted by: freakzilla | December 13, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

In this age of ever increasing, extremely close, down to the wire games...a dependable placekicker is paramount. Even with all of our glaring weaknesses this year, there were too many games we let slip away.

I wonder how our friends over at Caps Insider are doing right now?

Posted by: PlayAction | December 13, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It's games like these that make me wish we had traded for that Swedish soccer player Hamm Sandvich, man that dude could kick.

Posted by: monk811 | December 13, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Gano- Laces out..

bean- no 40's, not until the combine. Anything they have in print now is exaggerated.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Top 5 WRs in the 2010 draft
1.A.J. Green, WR, Georgia - 6'4 - 212
2.Julio Jones, WR, Alabama - 6'4 - 220
3.Justin Blackmon, WR OSU - 6'1 - 205
3.Jonathan Baldwin, WR, Pittsburgh - 6'5 - 230
4.Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame - 6-3 - 227
5.Terrence Toliver, WR, LSU - 6'5 - 204

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 1:16 PM

Here's the thing, if the juniors come out, you can get a talented WR at the end of the 2nd round, beginning of the 3rd. You're looking at guys like:

Fuller (A&M)
Criner (Arizona)
Cunningham (Mich State)

all of whom have size and talent this team needs.

Posted by: TWISI | December 13, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who thinks that Sundberg's snaps this season have been total GARBAGE? I guess we were just spoiled by EA's perfect snaps year after year. Hunter the Punter can take the blame for the extra point, but that wet, high rocket would've been hard for any holder to catch and place. FIRE THE SNAPPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: rich20ssu | December 13, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Kinda interesting stats...

Mark Moseley Career

Field Goals 65%

Extra Points 94% (WTF)

Posted by: PlayAction | December 13, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

dies, do you have 40 times for those guys??

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 13, 2010 1:19 PM

Why Bean? Do you think one of them might be worth drafting, signing, then trading for a draft pick one year later?

Posted by: mack1 | December 13, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: CheyenneWY

Am I the only one who misses JC17 even a little bit?


We have an older version of JC17--his name is McNabb.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 13, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Kickers are head cases. Like golfers they are about a grooved swing. But UNLIKE golfers there are two other elements at work. The Snap and the Hold.

Like others here, I warned the penny-wise cutting of Red Snapper would cost the Redskins at least one game. It did.

Just becasue Hunter says he SHOULD have caught it doesn't excuse for the fact it was a "Bad" snap. Red Snapper did't do bad snaps;. He was perfect time after time.That builds a kicker's confidence, and establishes his groove.

It may be why he missed teh earlier kicks, too. Lack of confidence.

Posted by: TheCork | December 13, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Just rip the Metrodome roof off and let's have an ol' Bud Grant Frostee Bowl...

Blackmon is the diamond of that group , Diesel, he's only a sophomore, can we FedEx him a package to get him to declare?? But, I think Cam Newton has clearly emerged as the true diamond of the batch..

Posted by: frak | December 13, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who misses JC17 even a little bit?

Posted by: CheyenneWY | December 13, 2010 1:20 PM
Nah. There's you and PABrian.

The guy I miss is Chris Samuels. Nothing against TW, but Samuels dominated in ways TW has not been able to.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 13, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: PlayAction | December 13, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Why are you guys talking about drafting receivers? This team needs to draft big offensive linemen and nose tackles. Start witht he guys up front in any rebuilding project.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 13, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

So do we get rid of the rookie snapper that we've invested a year in, or do we give him a chance to win his job again in Training Camp and bring in some cometition?

Posted by: monk811 | December 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

mack..what?? dude, seriously, you need to get over me, start ignoring my posts, or're friggin creepy...I'm the only cat on here you respond to...whatever you're into is your business....go creep craigslist or something...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 13, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The tough part about being a kicker is he's the only guy whose success dramatically depends on field conditions. When a running back slips and falls, it's "Oh, man, the field killed him"! When a kicker's plant foot slips and he misses, it's "The (#*@Q( kicker!"

Throw in other elements beyond his control: quality of the snap, quality of the hold, angle of the ball when it's placed, the quality of the blocking on the line... it's not brain surgery, but kicking a field goal in poor conditions isn't easy, either.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | December 13, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Heh, actually what mack wrote was kinda funny, Beant.

I'm sure he kids b/c he loves . . .

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 13, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

enough with questioning Donvoan Mcnabb already! He has no line. The running game is erratic. Receivers drop balls consistently. If the guy had time he would be more accurate and wouldn't rush his throws with dLinemen in his face all game. Plus, I bet he would better wheels if hadn't been pounded into the turf week after week. Sick of the criticism being laid on the QB.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 13, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Dude keeps playing the tape over and over, each time hoping for a different result.


Posted by: Vic1 | December 13, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

IF is such a big word, ain't it?

I say, IF the whole team had played better throughout the season, would yesterday's game meant as much? Not really.

After the loss last week, which killed almost any hopes of playoffs, the 'skins are now just playing to finish season, checking players to keep for next year, etc. In yesterday's game, we could blame Gano's 2 missed field goals and/or Hunter's missed extra point snap for the loss. Yeah, ok, IF the extra point is made, they go into overtime. But what about all the other games? IF the rest of the game stayed the same and IF Gano made either of the field goals, the 'skins win. True, but we shouldn't have to live on the IF factor.

The Redskins need to play better, period. Then we don't have to rely on IF's. They must get better in every area in the upcoming off-season, or we'll live in the land of IF for a whole lot longer.

Posted by: davedeltawhiskeybravo | December 13, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Is he reviewing film by himself? What are the coaches doing to help the kicking game improve. The new LS has been inconsistent all year.

Posted by: siris | December 13, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Graham Gano Must Go!

Posted by: Beltwayboy7 | December 13, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The snap was high, but it was also way inside, which forced Hunter to twist his torso and have to reach back for the ball. From what I could see, Hunter the punter didn't have much of a chance. Lousy snap!

One thing that bothers me about the offense is that the Skins seemed too willing to settle for "easy" field goals instead of touchdowns. It sure would be nice to have a nice tall, athletic receiver like Darnerian McCants to give them another option in the red zone. Two touchdowns on a good day isn't getting it done, especially after racking up over 150 yards rushing in the 1st half.

That said, yesterday proved once again the importance of good line play. Based on the line play yesterday, the Skins were in a position to win. I agree with B Mitch that the team needs to continue addressing the line before anything else. Rebuild the lines first. Everything else will take care of itself.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | December 13, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

If he hits the film room like his kicks it'll be wide left.

Posted by: jmdewitt | December 13, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

the man's a kicker. Why do you have to watch film for that???? What's there to analyze?

Posted by: tigger0705 | December 14, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I hear Gano missed the film room too!

Posted by: rlomax67 | December 14, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing that this guy wasn't the one cut. A pro kicker has to make those kicks.

Posted by: Chigliak | December 15, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

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