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Hunter the punter is man of the moment

Obviously, punter Hunter Smith doesn't play one of the league's glamour positions, but he's becoming quite the special-teams star in his 11th NFL season.

Smith was selected the NFC special teams player of the week after throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass to fullback Mike Sellers off a faked field goal in a 27-17 victory over the Denver Broncos. Guess who's pumped up?

"It's absolutely an honor," said Smith, who was encircled by reporters and television cameras while standing in front of his locker.

"My position doesn't get a tremendous amount of accolades, recognition or really anything like that. ... The whole thing is just a real nice surprise. It's very different. I'm not real sure what to do with all that's come from it. It's nice."

Smith, who rushed for a touchdown in the season-opening loss to the New York Giants, is the first specialist in NFL history to rush and pass for a touchdown in the same season, according to the league. Sidelined in Week 9 because of a recurring groin problem, Smith again delivered as the Redskins succeeded with some special teams trickery in the second quarter to stun the Broncos and tie the score, 14-14.

The Redskins appeared to move into position to give place kicker Shaun Suisham a chance at a 53-yard field goal, but they changed their alignment before the snap - showing a potential fake with Smith lined up to receive the snap - and called a timeout because only 10 men were on the field.

Out of the break, the Redskins again lined up in a field-goal formation - and again switched up things. This time, however, the ball was snapped to Smith, who rolled to his right as the play unfolded with Sellers, who started on the right side, looping around to the left and down the field uncovered.

"We're not opposed to doing more and trying to expand on what we've done already" on special teams, Smith said.

By Jason Reid  |  November 18, 2009; 2:35 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rogers says he doesn't expect to be on bench
Next: Campbell: A big game in Big D



Since I referenced the '85 Skins, check out this short video (3:20) on George Rogers.

What stands out is Russ Grimm's comments at 0:41 about what he said to Rogers after he fumbled. I don't think any Redskins o-linemen in the modern era would ever get on Portis like that after a fumble.

Also, there's a shot of Gibbs being interviewed at 2:24 and he has no shirt on (seriously) for some reason.


Posted by: MrRedskin21 | November 18, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

bean , as we both know up here in NE, they won't just let light walk he has lots of value and they have a penchant for squezzing the last mile out of a nearly over the hill RB....just saying

When they have a rook making rook money who is starting, and a vet, on the bench, making big money, you better believe ML will be shown the door....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 18, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the WCO supposed to be about getting the ball to the WR's and having them get lots of YAC? They should be doing everything they can to get the WR's (Thomas and Kelly in particular) the ball and see what they can do. Kelly flashed last week and Thomas has a few times. It was pretty remarkable to see how much bigger Kelly was than the DB who ended up bringing him down. Hell maybe they can bait a CB into a jumping the route with a double move. I know Moss was wide open with one of those at Atlanta. JC didn't see it though. Make WR-TE-WR a good thing.

Posted by: skinswest | November 18, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yes, YAC is very integral. I think that Thomas would be absolutely deadly on a slant route. He has the frame to take a hit and the elusiveness to break for a big gain. It's also to spread the ball from sideline to sideline to open up running lanes in the middle of the field. I want to see Kelly do more out routes. Now all the short passes are also supposed to draw the defense up closer to the line of scrimmage. When that happens it should open up the occasional deep ball. We are doing a pretty good job of spreading the ball around but i think we can do even better.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | November 18, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Oooh! That '85 clip reminded me of something. I watched "State of Play" the other night (The American movie, not the British mini-series). It wasn't bad. But what really got me about it: There's a prolonged scene w/ Affleck on a Senate panel giving a speech. And guess who's next to him nodding and reacting? Frank Herzog!! WTG Hollywood Frank! hehe.

I think Comcast is also running a special (the ad w/ Shaq & Montgomery Blair's own Ben Stein (Beuhler? Beuhler?)) and they show the clip. It's the ad where they're at some fake awards show. There's Frank! hehe.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 18, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

right except they are not going to give away a probowl calibur starting left tackle, my guess is they will move him for picks in the offseason...i'm just saying portis might look good in red white as opposed to maroon and black

Posted by: OriginalOldschool | November 18, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone is trading for Portis. We could ditch him in the capless year, tho.

Posted by: DikShuttle | November 18, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

while we are on the subject of a well run football operation ...the player many of us thought we would stuggle without has been a healthy scratch or at best third corner for the Pats this season ...yeah that shawn springs....

Posted by: OriginalOldschool | November 18, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

blip, blip

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | November 18, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Now, it's time for him to pull a Jeff Hayes and, after receiving the snap in punt formation, taking off with the ball and running for a first down. Hayes did this a couple of times when he punted for the Redskins in the '80s.

Posted by: stwasm | November 18, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone is trading for Portis. We could ditch him in the capless year, tho.

Posted by: DikShuttle

Wow, ditch portis, they guy who has gotten at least 1200 yards every season he has been here. One subpar season on a sub par team and he is out just like that? How about drafting a couple of people and getting a look at them before we put him out to pasture. But like most blog fans you make your personnel decisions week by week. Fantasy style. If they have a bad game bench them. If they have a couple of bad games trade or cut them. Why arent you working in the NFL as a GM? I dont understand....

Posted by: ged0386 | November 18, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I bet he can tackle better than D. Hall

Posted by: hessone | November 18, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Yes, ditch Portis. Unless you're Payton, or E.Smith or a precious few others, RBs get old in a hurry. Look at LT (a contemporary of Portis). You can't rely on them to be your primary back any more.

I will say this... when you watch that old video of George Rogers rushing for 200+ yds, he was running thru some holes you could drive a tractor trailer thru. Oh to have an O-line even half as good as the original Hogs were...

Posted by: chombie13 | November 18, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Beat Dallas.
Then dump Vinny.
What a great couple of weeks that would be.

Posted by: kls1 | November 18, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

What a weapon!!!! Imagine all the extra stress he's starting to cause other teams to game-plan for. He is the ultimate gadget player. Instead of running a Wild-Cat formation, the Skinz can run the "Wild-Man" formation. Can't you see it? Hunter is in the game...the ball is snapped directly to him.. he fakes the hand-off to Betts...and spins to his right while pump-faking a flanker screen to Moss...look out, he's running a naked bootleg and Moss is coming by for a fake reverse...I can't believe this, Sonny...he's pulled up...and... he's faked a punt...but he fumbles the ball...wait...he's just drop-kicked a game-winning 45 yard FG as time expires... Sam...when did someone last drop-kick a field goal? Flutie, Blanda, Kilmer? Sonny, I thought it was out-lawed when we played. No one tries it and 99% of the players probably never heard of it. Man, that Hunter can do it all...he gets my vote for a show...what a "Wild-Man."

Posted by: SKINZR1 | November 19, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Well, Smith has delivered each time he's been called on -- and he's a pretty good punter, too. What's not to like?

Posted by: SkinsfaninNebraska | November 19, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

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