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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Graham Gano still kickin' -- at least for now

By Jason Reid

Place kicker Graham Gano has retained his job despite struggling throughout the season on field-goal attempts and missing two short ones in Sunday's 17-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Washington released veteran punter and holder Hunter Smith after his role in the costly botched extra-point attempt in the final nine seconds at FedEx Field. After auditioning punters and place kickers Tuesday at Redskins Park, the Redskins determined that Gano was still their best option. They brought back punter and holder Sam Paulescu, who was with them for one game last season.

Paulescu is mechanically sound and quick, but he doesn't provide long punts consistently, said a person who has reviewed his game tape. He's considered a "fill-in guy," so add punter to the Redskins' long list of offseason personnel needs.

Gano, 23, has missed 10 field-goal attempts. He received another reprieve, however, because he's young, has a strong leg, and there was no one better out there, according to person familiar with the situation. Gano has been in the league for about 370 days, and the Redskins believe he has a bright future.

But Danny Smith, Washington's special teams coordinator, is not satisfied with Gano's performance. And neither is Gano, who is under the microscope because Coach Mike Shanahan, with the team eliminated from playoff contention, has intensified his roster analysis for the 2011 season.

Even if Gano finishes strong, the Redskins are expected to bring in kickers to challenge him in the offseason and preseason.

By Jason Reid  | December 15, 2010; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  Graham Gano  
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Next: Opponents are limiting Brandon Banks's chances

Comments

Sam Paulescu... huh. I have no memory of this dude. Good luck to him, of course. Here's hoping he doesn't become the fall guy for another terrible loss, like his predecessor.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 15, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Didn't know Gano is only 23 years old. With time (hopefully soon) he'll become reliable.

Still doesn't explain misses from point blank range. Those are damn "gimmies"!

Posted by: RedDMV | December 15, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Red - Last nights crowd at the Wizards game were Kobe Fans 1st, LAker Fans 2nd, the Wizard Fans. And there are alot of Redskins fans who are not Wizard fans. A whole lot.

I would say the usually proportionate amount of fans last night would have been less Redskins than usual because of the Kobe effect.

That being said, I think the ones that were booing prob were Skins fans and showing their displeasure of the season in general vs it being just at McNabb....

I still advacate keeping McNabb atleast one more year, while Cam Newton is learning the offense.....maybe 2 years even....

But with the 7th - 10th pick, we should be able to still get him....

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 15, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Paulescu is mechanically sound and quick, but he doesn't provide long punts consistently, said a person who has reviewed his game tape. He's considered a "fill-in guy," so add punter to the Redskins' long list of offseason personnel needs.

By Jason Reid | December 15, 2010; 11:05 AM ET


So we replaced one inconsistent punter with another?

OK. Looking forward to seeing the new shanker.

Posted by: Alan4 | December 15, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

They need to get rid of Danny Smith and find a real special teams coach - one who can develop punters instead of finishing off the career of someone else's punters...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 15, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Amazed that Danny Smith is still here.

Posted by: 4-12 | December 15, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Josh Bidwell will be the punter next year.

Posted by: kerzon417 | December 15, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

great, a vote of confidence from the ex-punter.

Posted by: hessone |

An ex-punter canned for doing something Albert Haynesworth never did--accepting responsibility for his errors. But Albert sticks around for most the season, as a living bad example, making mistake after mistake, distracting, fighting with coaches and embarrassing the franchise on the field.

But be a man and protect two kids (Subndberg and Gano) by taking full responsibilty like Hunter did and it's off with his head.

Trust me, Shanahan did NOT do the right thing here. He showed himself as an unconfident, easily influenced, unsure leader, who embodied the saying "no good deed goes unpunished," (and vice versa.)

Posted by: TheCork | December 15, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Amazed that Danny Smith is still here.
Posted by: 4-12 | December 15, 2010 11:25 AM

Co-sign. Wonder how many return TD’s we have under smith vs how many return TD’s that have been called back due to stupid penalties. And blocking opponents punts/kicks vs how many of ours have been blocked?

Posted by: dlhaze1 | December 15, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Booing players during a game when their play deserves it is one thing, but booing them outside of game time is low class.

As a frequent boo-er, I feel I deserve the right to BOO whenever I see the following people:

--the jets' strenght coach

--Cris Collingsworth

--Jimmy Johnson, not the race car driver

--the blonde dude in the playstation commercials

--John McClain

--Josh Beckett

--the entire ESPN footbll production team

--Dane Cook

--Oprah (she won't return my calls or remove that restraining order)

--whoever Nicki Minaj is

--crappy pop music preformed by a half-naked woman named Gaga (yeah, she reallymakes you want to gag)

--A Rod (yeah, I'm a yanks' fan and hate the guy)

--finally, anything that resembles a pair of red stockings on a baseball uniform

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 15, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

hunter smith was having a bad year, and would not have been back next year. gano has pontential too. skins cut akers too and look at him for he beagles.

Posted by: poulosjoe | December 15, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

hunter smith was having a bad year, and would not have been back next year. gano has pontential too. skins cut akers too and look at him for he beagles.

Posted by: poulosjoe | December 15, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Didn't know Gano is only 23 years old. With time (hopefully soon) he'll become reliable.

Still doesn't explain misses from point blank range. Those are damn "gimmies"!

Posted by: RedDMV


No, but what does is the same reason why an offensive line with top notch talent sometimes doesn't produce, and vice versa. Needs time to work together as a confident unitl.

There's a subtle difference between the snaps of Sundberg and the holds of Hunter and knowing, for instance, that Red Snapper would put the ball in exactly the same place, so the holder would be consistent.

Just the split second of difference can throw off the most important thing a kicker needs--confidence.

I say that not to attack Sundberg--because Red Snapper was hurt, I better understand the decision to switch--but to suggest Gano should be kept around for at least the rest of the year.

Posted by: TheCork | December 15, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

No, he isn't the problem, but he is a problem. And don't throw the stats my way, please. I was reading earlier somewhere today they're "lies, damn lies, and statistics" with the latter being the most misleading.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 15, 2010 10:52 AM


First of all, no need to explain to me that Wiz fans can also be Skins fans...I fancy myself both, although I've soured on the NBA over the last decade.

Second, I defend McNabb because the REAL "blithering idiots" up here act like the team's problems start and finish with McNabb and that's about as misguided a view as there is. Yes, he's inaccurate at times. Yes, he's blown some games with his play. But everybody knew this guy was a streaky passer going into this marriage, so the least you could do is put a line in front of the guy. Streaky/inaccurate passer + porous O-line - steady rushing attack = disaster. Simple math...

I just don't get why so many people can't judge a player anywhere between "amazing" and "sucks". Let some up here tell it, every QB in the league sucks not named Manning, Brees, or Brady. McNabb has been mediocre this year, but to say he "sucks" is plain stupid.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

They just don't want to make another David Akers mistake.

Posted by: 54465446 | December 15, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 15, 2010 11:32 AM

I get it Moe, some guys just don’t deserve it though. I wouldn’t think you’ll see Cliff Lee at any Knicks games in the near future. And if it had been Haynesworth at the Wizards game, yeah, I would expect that he would get boo’d…..

Posted by: dlhaze1 | December 15, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

4th, I don't know... I guess we roll in different circles. Most people I know (All six of 'em), if they're Redskins fans, they're Wizards fans. Most people I know follow the teams that represent the city or region they were raised in.


Agree though, it seems like whenever big market teams (LAL or NYK) or names (Lebron, Wade, etc.) are visiting D.C. the HOME crowd mostly supports them.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 15, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I just don't get why so many people can't judge a player anywhere between "amazing" and "sucks". Let some up here tell it, every QB in the league sucks not named Manning, Brees, or Brady. McNabb has been mediocre this year, but to say he "sucks" is plain stupid.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 11:36 AM

RI is not a place for subtle distinctions. Everything is either black or white, good or bad, great or suck.

Your post is great, but you can't sign it brownwood. Too subtle. Couldn't you change it to blackwood or whitewood?

Posted by: beep-beep | December 15, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

moe, becks is my boy....guy does need to have a bounce back year this year however...

brown, don't sour on the NBA, become a Celtics fan...embrace the rich history...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 15, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Maybe yes maybe no…I just thought the Smith cut was sending the wrong message…If I make a mistake will be here tomorrow? When do you start thinking about not making a mistake instead of playing the game as hard as you can. That’s all.

Posted by: fat_back | December 15, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn’t think you’ll see Cliff Lee at any Knicks games in the near future.


F Cliff Lee.

Seattle's King Felix is the pitcher who'll be in pinstripes come March.

(He's younger, cheaper, and has a sexy nickname--this stuff beats Cliff Lee's Arkansas cornpone act.)

BOOK IT!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 15, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

"Most people I know (All six of 'em)"

I don't care who you are, thats some funny stuff....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 15, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

moe, ha, that ain't happening...Seattle is gonna ask for the farm...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 15, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"At least at the moment, the Redskins are the big winner. "

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Second, I defend McNabb because the REAL "blithering idiots" up here act like the team's problems start and finish with McNabb and that's about as misguided a view as there is...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 11:36 AM

Those are mostly the same blithering idiots who thought the team's problems started and finished with the miscast but steadily improving 28 year old QB we gave away last year... I have to give them credit for being consistent in their blithering.

Mini-Snyders, every one of them.

Posted by: Alan4 | December 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"whoever Nicki Minaj is..."

New chic on the block. Singed with Lil Wayne's 'Young Money Entertainment'. Probably a talentless bi-sexual broad who uses way too much make-up to the point she looks synthetic at times.


I'd still lay several lines of pipe to that ass, no questions asked.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"Most people I know (All six of 'em)"

I don't care who you are, thats some funny stuff....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 15, 2010 11:47 AM

Not if it had been posted by pabrian2003. Of course, if he'd posted it no one would have read it since he's ITA to everyone up here except p1funk.

Posted by: beep-beep | December 15, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Amazed that Danny Smith is still here.

Posted by: 4-12 | December 15, 2010 11:25 AM

He still had a year (I think) on his contract...you see they gave him an 'Asst ST Coach' who will prob be our ST coach next year.

@Red - My circle as well is all Skins/Wiz. But I am just speaking in general because I notice there are alot of people who are Celtics/Lakers/Bulls and are local....

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 15, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I'd boo the sh*t out of some Ke$ha.

Posted by: Original_etrod | December 15, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Graham Gano still kickin' -- at least for now
By Jason Reid


Funny, this can also be doubled as the headline they'll use when he's an old man and on his death bed!

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Sam Paulescu... huh. I have no memory of this dude. Good luck to him, of course. Here's hoping he doesn't become the fall guy for another terrible loss, like his predecessor.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 15, 2010 11:14 AM
*&^^**^^&^*^&*^^&&^^&*&^&^^&^*^&&^^&^&^^&^^*^&&*^&^^^*&^^&&^&^

he punted for the skins for 1 game in 2007 or 2007... another tampa/denver product...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | December 15, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

We've trained Wimp Lo wrong, and taught him that losing is winning, as a joke.

Ah, how do you like the 'my face to your foot technique'? You had enough?

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 15, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Get the poison out...

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 15, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Rnd 1 aj green/julio/jones/nick fairley

Rnd 2 pouncey, hudson, wisenefski, jon baldwin

We need to trade hayney, carter, n maybe cooley

We need picks n we need them now

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | December 15, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

beantown

ha, that ain't happening...Seattle is gonna ask for the farm...


Here's the trade:

Joba Chamberlain--pitcher

Francisco Cervelli--catcher

Eduardo Nunez--minor league pitcher

Brett Gardner--starting left fielder


That's a 4 for 1 deal with 3 guys having shown they can play in the major leagues.

Joba will be a #2 type starter and will pitch better in a nother city.

Gardner's speed and defense are a plus.

Cervelli can't hit, but is an excellent defensive catcher.

Nunez is a gritty pitcher who might make a nice #4 starter one day.

All these guys are cheap.

Trust me, Seattle would make that trade.


Posted by: MistaMoe | December 15, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

brown, don't sour on the NBA, become a Celtics fan...embrace the rich history...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 15, 2010 11:43 AM


Haha Greg...I was into the NBA hot and heavy in the 90s, big Jordan/Bulls fan, loved Shaq and Penny in Orlando, loved it when the Bullets/Wizards got Webber and Howard...the lockout kinda ruined it for me because it was around that time that A) I got more into football (had to do something to fill the void) and B) it was more and more high school kids and Europeans coming out in the NBA draft. It was to the point where I hadn't heard of any of the top 10 picks in the draft. The NFL was more competitive and unpredictable...way more interesting to see a Rams team come from nowhere to win it all instead of going into a season knowing full well that some combination of the Lakers, Spurs, or Pistons would be hoisting the trophy at season's end...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, Shanahan did NOT do the right thing here. He showed himself as an unconfident, easily influenced, unsure leader, who embodied the saying "no good deed goes unpunished," (and vice versa.)

Posted by: TheCork | December 15, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting something so lame that i had to respond.

Cork, you are still a f'ing idiot.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | December 15, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

he punted for the skins for 1 game in 2007 or 2007... another tampa/denver product...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | December 15, 2010 11:54 AM

Actually it wasn't 2007 or 2007...it was last season...but the dude can do it all...

"In addition to kicking, Paulescu also played wide receiver, running back and defensive back. As a junior, he scored three touchdowns, intercepted two passes and kicked a 43-yard field goal in one game."

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I just don't get why so many people can't judge a player anywhere between "amazing" and "sucks". Let some up here tell it, every QB in the league sucks not named Manning, Brees, or Brady. McNabb has been mediocre this year, but to say he "sucks" is plain stupid.

Posted by: brownwood26

He is 25th in the league in Passer Rating. He has the 5th most INTs with 15. He is 20th in TD passes. He has more INTs than Tds. He is 27th in the league in comp %.
It is fair to say that McNabb sucks this year. There may be reasons why he sucks. Like poor oline and receivers but at the end of the day his stats and the Redskins record show that he does suck.

I still laugh when I think back to all of the posters thinking he was the missing link. The posters that got upset when I questioned his accuracy. Now the almighty McNabb is endanger of getting replaced by Rex Grossman.

Those draft picks sure would have been nice right about now.

Posted by: srobert1117 | December 15, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

We need to trade hayney, carter, n maybe cooley

We need picks n we need them now

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | December 15, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I agree with trading Hayney. Carter just needs to wave his no trade clause and then I'd agree with trading him. Not so sure about trading Cooley. Even if we upgrade at WR and running back he'll still be one of our top 2 weapons on offense. I'd be for trading Fred Davis though. Let's just send tapes from the last 8 games of last year for teams to look at, no one wants to see what he's done this year. Just say they got lost in the mail!

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | December 15, 2010 11:54 AM

Actually it wasn't 2007 or 2007...it was last season...but the dude can do it all...

Posted by: PlayAction | December 15, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I've narrowed it down to 4 possible years he was here. It was either:

A. 2009
B. 2009
C. 2009
D. 2009

It also could have been in 2009. Not sure which one though, might want to check that out!

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

They need to get rid of Danny Smith and find a real special teams coach - one who can develop punters instead of finishing off the career of someone else's punters...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 15, 2010 11:23 AM
********************************************************

smith has great coverage units... smith doesn't punt, kick, or snap the ball!!!

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | December 15, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

F Cliff Lee.

Seattle's King Felix is the pitcher who'll be in pinstripes come March.

(He's younger, cheaper, and has a sexy nickname--this stuff beats Cliff Lee's Arkansas cornpone act.)

BOOK IT!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 15, 2010 11:44 AM |
-----------------------------------
good call...i like that Moe...good call

Posted by: BootneyFarnsworth | December 15, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Dive ass 'P*ssies kicking away from Banks' beeps.

Posted by: monk811 | December 15, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

A hahah monk I think the idea.. we could say that our dog haynesworth ate em!!

Hahahah I'm for trading either of the too. I do like fred davis more after the cathc tho.... no homo

We should be able to add atleast 2 more picks this offseason hopefully

Posted by: brandon_in_cali | December 15, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Where is Rusty Tillman when you need him!

Posted by: 1of9000 | December 15, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

And in hot new news off the press, Danny Snyder announced that he would be the punter for the rest of the season, saying "I can shank them with the best of them and am just as old." Paulescu was announced as interim general manager, saying "I can pick lousy players with the best of them and overpay them as well."

Posted by: jbkulp | December 15, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I just don't get why so many people can't judge a player anywhere between "amazing" and "sucks". Let some up here tell it, every QB in the league sucks not named Manning, Brees, or Brady. McNabb has been mediocre this year, but to say he "sucks" is plain stupid.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 15, 2010 11:36 AM
-----------------------------------------
How bad is "sucks"? How good is "amazing"? See, I don't think "sucks" is rock bottom. Although I agree that McNabb, on occasion this season, had indeed "sucked", I would strongly argue that he has never "double-dog sucked". On the other hand, although Brady has played "amazing" football, I wouldn't dream of classifying his performance as "better-than-sex amazing".

Queue the stats guy. We need a suckability index for all of these quarterbacks.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 15, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

They need to get rid of Danny Smith and find a real special teams coach - one who can develop punters instead of finishing off the career of someone else's punters...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 15, 2010 11:23 AM
********************************************************

smith has great coverage units... smith doesn't punt, kick, or snap the ball!!!

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | December 15, 2010 12:14 PM
------------------------------------------
Smith doesn't cover on kicks or punts so why is that relevant?

As to the coverage units being good, I am tired of hearing that. Why is that statistic the only defining statistic for this special teams coach? It's like he can be totally off the hook for every other aspect of special teams play. Doesn't he coach the guy who has made only 2/3 of his field goals? Didn't he coach the punter who couldn't hold on kicks and who had a miserable 40.5 yard punt average? Doesn't he coach the long snapper who can't seem to snap with any accuracy or consistency? No, in my book, you have to bring the complete package and Danny Smith doesn't bring the complete package.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | December 15, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Back in Gibbs era 1, Joe Theismann used to hold for field goals, the thinking being that they need the best hands in that position, and someone who can make a play if something goes wrong. Why don't they have McNabb or Grossman hold for field goals?

Posted by: ledoux89 | December 15, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Great call on a QB holding for FG's. Theismann was great, and it gives an option for a fake FG and the QB throwing the ball. It's obvious it's bad coaching if they don't do this....so there's your answer. Speaking of bad coaching, how does Danny Smith still have a job? I'd have broomed him years ago.....seriously, the guy is a joke.

Posted by: Riggo2 | December 15, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Gano is going to be a great kicker. He's got an awesome attitude for it. He's young, with a cannon for a leg. He needs some experience which he's getting now. It's also the perfect tiime because it doesn't matter, since we suck and won't be going to any playoffs for a few years. Let him be.....that being said, Shanny will probably broom him and in 3 years the kid will be kicking in the SuperBowl for Bill Belichick. Suisham is looking great with Pittsburgh. Keep Gano, Orakpo, Fletch ( for leadership ) T. Williams, Landry, Torain and broom the whole rest of the friggin team...

Posted by: Riggo2 | December 15, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Another reason to give Gano some extra time.......David Akers.

Posted by: rdondero123 | December 15, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

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