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Posted at 4:23 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Mike Shanahan: No thought of going for two Sunday

By Jason Reid

Though the Redskins experienced problems in the kicking game throughout Sunday's 17-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Coach Mike Shanahan never considered trying a two-point conversion after pulling to within a point in the game's final nine seconds.

The Redskins botched the point-after attempt when holder Hunter Smith failed to handle Nick Sundberg's high snap. The ball sailed through Smith hands, which all but ended the game.

Shanahan said Monday he went for two in a similar situation once, but didn't consider it during the closing seconds Sunday because "of the tempo of the game," he said. "We had control of the game."

Shanahan said he figured that the Redskins would make the point-after attempt and win in overtime. Washington dropped its third in a row and lost for the fourth time in five games.

"I've gone for it before there," Shanahan said. "I'm glad I made it the one time I went for it. Let's put it that way."

By Jason Reid  | December 13, 2010; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Graham Gano  
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Comments

does anyone know the backstory behind the Red Snapper's release? solid pro bowl guy, etc.

Posted by: SkinsInSichuan | December 13, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Count me among those (perhaps few?) not anxious to replace Gano. For starters, DC has proven to be a difficult place to kick FGs for everyone -- so its no surprise that he's down near the bottom in FG%. Adam Vinatieri is 18 for 18 in FGs this year vs the rest of the league. At FedEx, he was 2 for 4.

Part of the value of Robbie Gould is that he's able to make kicks in Chicago on a poor field for kickers. We need to understand that DC is rough for all kickers, not just ours. Heck, even Suisham is nailing kicks for Pittsburgh.

Gano is young, has good distance on kickoffs (and underrated part of the job ... if only we'd kickoff more often) and worth seeing if he can become a solid K over the next couple years.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 13, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Cosign, zce's.

Posted by: frediefritz | December 13, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Instead of "going for two" the Skins decided to "go number two".

Is it ironic that just the other day I was laughing about how the botched hold on a place kick was the deciding factor in "North Dallas Forty," and how that reminded me of Romo's famously botched hold on a place kick? Is that ironic, or is it just sad?

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 13, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

zj, banks needs to learn to put his heels on the 15 yd line, and anything that goes over his head to forget about...fielding a punt on the 5 yrd line was a mistake....

torain hasn't made it through an entire season staying healthy.....with him injuries are part of the deal....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 13, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse
BTG, I usually would agree with that. But BB has the potential to break one any time, so I would let him go back inside the 10 on a long booming punt. Those long punts tend to spread out the coverage team, and that's when BB can slice and dice! When the other team is punting from midfield, he shouldn't go back inside the 10.

Posted by: frediefritz | December 13, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know the backstory behind the Red Snapper's release? solid pro bowl guy, etc.

Posted by: SkinsInSichuan | December 13, 2010 4:30 PM

Redskins are trying to get younger. Red Snapper apparently doesn't have much left. The Chargers picked him up, played him one week, and then released him.

Posted by: beep-beep | December 13, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Sichuan, apparently the feeling was (stated up here and felt among the front office, I guess) that Albright's long, quietly glorious career had come to an end. Maybe it was a bad back?

And I think that was borne out by his inability to catch on with anyone this season, despite his long record as a solid guy.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | December 13, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know the backstory behind the Red Snapper's release? solid pro bowl guy, etc.

Posted by: SkinsInSichuan | December 13, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I thought he had back surgery and was not available by the start of the season. Plus he's 39 years old and always signed 1 year contracts.

But I never understood why the center or backup center doesn't handle the long snapping duties... that would save a roster spot for another player.

Posted by: siris | December 13, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

does anyone know the backstory behind the Red Snapper's release? solid pro bowl guy, etc.

Posted by: SkinsInSichuan | December 13, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Offseason back surgery and age. He wasn't ready to go until about week 4 and was cut after 2 weeks w/ SD. His career is over and wasn't an option.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan's 2 point attempt at the end of a game was a 'go for the juggler" move vs SD.

SD had just gotten royally robbed in the final minute vs Denver when the ref called a what was clearly a Cutler fumble ... an incomplete pass. It wasn't even close to being a pass -- but the rules didn't allow for the ref to change the call (and the rules were changed after that because of that call).

It happened at the SD 10 with a minute left -- and a play or 2 later, Denver scored a TD to pull within 1. Shanahan, with the Chargers a mental wreck over the blown call, shocked everyone and went for 2, got it and won -- final was something like 38-37.

This was the sort of Shanahan, go for the kill attitude I expected from him in DC. Still, I think he made the right call to go for 1. In the game vs SD, both teams were moving the ball at will. Yesterday, it took us 4 plays to get those last 3 yards. It would have been tough to convert a 2 pointer. Turns out the 1 pointer was no picnic either ...

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 13, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I understand Shanny being conservative, this being his first year with the team and all. But the situation - wet ball, wet field, shaky kicker - all spelled disaster. Not to mention Gano would probably have to kick again if we go to OT.

At 7-5 you go for the tie. At 5-7 I think it's reasonable to go for the win in regulation.


Posted by: NYPDee | December 13, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"We had control of the game."

what??? What game was Mike speaking of with the above statement?

Any fan of the team KNEW that the Bucs would drive down teh field for the go-ahead score, and, AND that the Redskins would screw up tying the game....and it worked out just as expected....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 13, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I understand the getting younger/cheaper part, but a long snapper not having "much left?" That's a bit of a joke: he snaps the ball on target and then falls down.

Can Albright really be worse? You don't lose your ability in your hands and arms at age 39.

Who cares if he didn't catch on elsewhere so long as he's better than the guy who caught on here.

While you can argue that RS must not be better than Sunberg (sp?) or he would be here, I'm not sure Sunberg's recent performance gives him a leg to stand on.

I can't remember: was there even a competition?

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 13, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

There was no competition and no consideration. Sundberg is Shanahan's guy simple as that. Korey Lichtenstieger couldn't move him.

As for back-up centers practicing long-snapping, not going to happen other than in a injury situation. Long-snapper is the position that must be perfect. Every snap for every field goal and punt must be the same. Thirty-two guys nobody's ever heard of in the league until something like from yesterday happens.

Those who remember January 15, 2000 when Dan Turk had a similar snap to Brad Johnson and the 'skins never kick the game winning 51 yarder against Tampa in the divisional playoffs.

Dan Turk would die later in 2000 from cancer.

Posted by: bangkokben | December 13, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I do recall the Turks, Dan and Matt. One bad play defined Dan's career, then he died. Talk about perspective, first people are saying how awful he is over 1 play, then he has cancer and is gone.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 13, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

There was no competition and no consideration. Sundberg is Shanahan's guy simple as that. Korey Lichtenstieger couldn't move him.

As for back-up centers practicing long-snapping, not going to happen other than in a injury situation. Long-snapper is the position that must be perfect. Every snap for every field goal and punt must be the same. Thirty-two guys nobody's ever heard of in the league until something like from yesterday happens.

Those who remember January 15, 2000 when Dan Turk had a similar snap to Brad Johnson and the 'skins never kick the game winning 51 yarder against Tampa in the divisional playoffs.

Dan Turk would die later in 2000 from cancer.

Posted by: bangkokben | December 13, 2010 5:16 PM

Wrong.

Now a Long Snapper is "Shanahan's guy". Nick Sunberg and James Dearth competed for the position.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Sundberg is not "Shahahan's guy." What a crock. Sundberg was found by the Redskins scouting department and had a good record in college.

Sundberg got off to a bad start and they brought another long snapper in. There was a competition and Sundberg won it.

That snap Sunday was in Smith's hands. He should have gotten it down.

Posted by: beep-beep | December 13, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

On the Red Snapper, I got the sense that Shanahan believes the long snappers job more than getting the ball snapped reliably.

Gibbs could care less about the LS blocking in the middle or his kick coverage -- just get the ball to the holder or punter perfectly, every time. Though I'm sure Shanahan agrees that the snap is the #1 priority, I think Shanahan wants more than just that from his LS.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 13, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Had Shanny gone for 2 and missed the conversion, my reaction would have been: eh.

I could understand if he had. Why extend that miserable game any longer than you needed to?

Win or go home - but put the darn thing out of its misery.

Posted by: p1funk | December 13, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

zeke- You think he's looking for a zone blocking LS?

Bottom-line: Albright was physically not ready to go and his NFL career is over.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

does anyone remember the phrase "competition at every position"?

cause there wasn't comp at K or P, or P has been cut, and our K has the most misses in the league.

I'm not one for BLAMING players who play for a poorly managed team, but perhaps the COACH should have had some competition at K & P, OR don't repeat the phrase above so often.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 13, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

FOX announcers believed Redskins scored on a fifth down

Thanks to confusion in the FOX announcing booth, viewers watching Sunday's game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins thought a potential game-tying touchdown occurred on an extra "fifth" down.

With the Redskins down seven points and driving for the equalizing score, the team gained a first down at the 3-yard line after a Donovan McNabb(notes) pass to Anthony Armstrong(notes). The FOX booth, unaware that the play resulted in a first, believed the next play was second-and-1 instead of first-and-goal. As the plays continued, FOX showed the wrong down and the booth of Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa announced the action as such. So, what they thought was third down was actually second down, and so on.

You can imagine the confusion that ensued:

They never realized what was going on. It wasn't until the Redskins botched the subsequent extra point that the booth figured out the problem was on their end, not on the field. The players and officials knew the proper down. FOX didn't

And a few of the nudniks up here tried to insist that they had 5 downs even after the fact.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh Dies, Dies, Dies . . .

Take a look at Steinberg's rehash.

5 downs vs Got a first down for gaining 9 yards => just splitting hairs.

Refs screwed up. Bottom line.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 13, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Brett Farvra's streak is over..

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

And a few of the nudniks up here tried to insist that they had 5 downs even after the fact.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 5:41 PM

But, you set them straight, didn't you? Couple of those guys have given up RI and are posting now on the Pet Lovers' Blog.

Posted by: beep-beep | December 13, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Season Stats:

Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
G GS Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF

2010 Arizona Cardinals 11 games; 10 game starts; 71 total tackles; 65 solo tackles; 6 tackle assists; 1.0 sack; 0 safety; 8 passes defensed; 1 interception; 0/0.0 int. return yards/average; 0 touchdowns; 2 forced fumbles.

This is the guy our scouts were berating CERRATO for not picking in the third round in 2009. Instead who we got? Right, we got KEVIN BARNES. How's that going?

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 13, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

glarwerence- I assume you're talking about Toler again.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

zeke- You think he's looking for a zone blocking LS?

Bottom-line: Albright was physically not ready to go and his NFL career is over.

Posted by: Diesel44 |

LOL!! I got a sense Shanahan was looking at different criteria than Gibbs. Something like this:

Gibbs criteria for LS:
1. Snaps it accurately every time
2. n/a
3. n/a
4. n/a

Shanny's criteria for LS might look more like this:
1. Snaps it accurately every time
2. kick coverage on PR
3. blocking for PR and placekicks
4. 3rd string C

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 13, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Is it me or has Kareem Moore ever broken up a pass? The Redskins had McIntosh on Winslow on that big play in the fourth when Orakpo was "mugged". Rocky had decent coverage but as usual Moore was late getting over there to make a play. I just don't see anything explosive out of that guy.

Another position of upgrade needed. As if they already have a litany of needs.

Posted by: gallrick | December 13, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan's 2 point attempt at the end of a game was a 'go for the juggler" move vs SD.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | December 13, 2010 4:47 PM


Go for the juggler, stay for the high-wire act.

Posted by: freakzilla | December 13, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Refs screwed up. Bottom line.

Posted by: stevie_in_gp | December 13, 2010 5:52 PM

And this happens 10x a game. Officiating is subjective and there will always be mistakes.

Kind of like the officials failure to call a holding call and Freeman having those few extra seconds to throw a TD to the solider or Alstott's elbow being down short of the goal line and yet the officials ruled it a TD.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to get all up and arms about the team not utilizing Fred Davis more? I can only recall one pass bouncing off his useless hands yesterday.

Posted by: mack1 | December 13, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"Mike Shanahan: No thought of going for two Sunday"


Even without the benefit of hindsight, perhaps he should have.

He had a kicker miss a 34 yard FG, a 24 yarder, and probably would have missed his only other extra point attempt if it were just one yard further out. It was raining, and he's got a LS with a tendency to send the snap high. Seems to me odds were in favor of going for two in that situation.

Personally, I'd rather give Shanahan the business for going for two (and the outright win) and missing it than what we're seeing now--a laughing stock that couldn't nail down what is supposed to be the biggest gimme in all of professional football.

Whateves...it is what is.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 13, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

"Mike Shanahan: No thought of going for two Sunday"


Even without the benefit of hindsight, perhaps he should have.

He had a kicker miss a 34 yard FG, a 24 yarder, and probably would have missed his only other extra point attempt if it were just one yard further out. It was raining, and he's got a LS with a tendency to send the snap high. Seems to me odds were in favor of going for two in that situation.

Personally, I'd rather give Shanahan the business for going for two (and the outright win) and missing it than what we're seeing now--a laughing stock that couldn't nail down what is supposed to be the biggest gimme in all of professional football.

Whateves...it is what it is.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 13, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Anyone want to get all up and arms about the team not utilizing Fred Davis more? I can only recall one pass bouncing off his useless hands yesterday.

Posted by: mack1 | December 13, 2010 6:30 PM

He's a half ass player. He half asses route running, run/pass blocking, and his worthless ass only catches half the passes that come his way.

Posted by: Diesel44 | December 13, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

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