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Kicking and Punting Competition

Redskins Coach Jim Zorn said he expects to have competition for kicker Shaun Suisham in training camp next season, and although he did not explicitly say the same about punter Ryan Plackemeier, it's a luxury I'm sure he'd enjoy.

The problem is that, with the NFL's training camp roster limits and no more NFL Europe (and the roster exemptions it provided), it's very difficult to bring four kickers and punters to camp. Last year the Redskins had two punters, and just one kicker (Suisham) in Zorn's first training camp.

Suisham has missed more kicks than anyone in the NFL, ranks last in field goal percentage and has been very shaky in the second half of the season. Plackemeier has been erratic as well ("He was kicking horribly," Zorn said of Plackemeier), but responded with his best outing of the year in Sunday's win over Philadelphia.

Plackemeier, who punted in Seattle when Zorn was on the staff there, is under contract for next season, while Suisham is a restricted free agent. Zorn said he maintains "confidence" in Suisham and thinks he can be an elite kicker, and he spoke of him being around for training camp. So I'd be surprised if the Skins didn't at least give him a low tender offer to retain his rights. Coming off this season, I can't see other teams bidding on him.

But this offense is just robust enough to overcome weak kicking and punting.

Zorn said he believes Suisham will "find his rhythm" again, and has praised the work of special teams coach Danny Smith, believing he can get Suisham straightened out. The Redskins have been unstable at the kicker and punter positions for quite some time, and Zorn maintains that you have to be willing to live with some ups and downs as these specialists establish themselves.

"I'm not ready to move on from Shaun," he said.

By Jason La Canfora  |  December 23, 2008; 10:04 AM ET
 
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Next: Reid on Cerrato

Comments

The Truth has nothing to do at work today, so he's playing GM.

If we trade our 1st for a 2nd and 3rd :


2nd : Phil Loadholt, OT Oklahoma
3rd : Cedrick Docery, OG Texas
3rd : Marcus Freeman, OLB Ohio State
5th : Demonte Bolden, DT Tennessee
7th : Pierre Banks, LB Appalachian State

Bolden might be gone by the 5th, and Banks might be gone by the 7th. But I think you could flip flop the 3rd rounders really.

Truth4GM

Note : I had sweet youtube links for 4 of those guys, but it keeps getting held for approval with the links...Bolden looks interesting though

Posted by: TheTruth11

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 23, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 23, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

And to add to that, anybody wishing to cut Washington, Springs, Griffin, and/or Taylor needs to read this post 5 more times.

These guys should only be cut if absolutely necessary (like if Jordan Gross lands in our lap).

Posted by: psps23 | December 23, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

We need to get younger. We had a nice showing on defense this year, but we aren't going to be able to sign players we need in order to have a nice defense in 2-3 years when our offense finally catches up, and we can make a real run at a title. We need to lock up Hall, maybe try to sign Rogers, we need to address the LB position.

Springs, Griffin, Taylor, et al. have nothing to give this team in 2-3 years. All they are doing at this point is eating up $$ and eating up PT.

This is the problem with our team - no overall plan. We tried to make a run with an expensive veteran defense while installing a new passing game with a bunch of rookies and players who'd never been in a pro West Coast offense.

Posted by: p1funk | December 23, 2008 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, no reason to move on from the worst kicker in the league....and no reason to play the young guys for some experience so keep Rhino on the bench, and healthy scratch Kelly since James Thrash is so integral to the worst special teams units in the league, cause we need to make sure we win when it doesn't matter in order for a better historical look back at Zorn's first season and a worst draft pick for the future. Ugggh give me a break

Posted by: zjfr2 | December 23, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

If we win, do we do a "Hip Hip Hooray"?

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 23, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

zj,

We are in total agreement.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 23, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"This is the problem with our team - no overall plan."

Posted by: p1funk

My proposed plan, which I posted earlier today, was to keep everybody for another year unless we get trade offers.

Cutting these guys would literally be a 1-year fix. Why? Because they can be cut after NEXT season with no impact. Therefore, unless we can find a viable replacement for these guys THIS year, cutting them serves no purpose other than to save Snyder from handing out paychecks. The future value of cutting them this offseason is exactly the same as cutting them next offseason. Might as well keep them around until we have a full slate of draft picks to replace them.

Posted by: psps23 | December 23, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

That stat seems a little misleading--the Skins can't score in the red zone and probably kick more field goals than anybody! Yeah, he's erratic at times but I still think Suisham can be a good one. I'd hate to let him go and have him go to a division rival and become David Akers 2.0...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 23, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

"Both our guys missed the whole training camp. They didn't play in any preseason games."

Cerrato is just a flat out liar, Thomas played in three preseason games.

Posted by: zjfr2 | December 23, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: periculum"

This might be the dumbest serious argument I've ever seen somebody try and make on this blog.

...

(4) I can't believe I'm even arguing this.

Posted by: psps23 | December 22, 2008 10:33 PM

The dumbest SO FAR, psps23, the dumbest SO FAR.* Just wait ... it will get MUCH dumber and MUCH more serious about it. And he is the master at counterargument and rebuttal ... you will notice this when he pulls out the ever incisive "you are an idiot and an imbecile." He's a Godwin's lawyer.

* I can't tell from "so far" how long you've been reading up here, but some of his "best" work is historical, so google periculum and priest holmes (or marshall faulk or dallas sartz) to find some real gems. Also, be very careful around sharp objects ... you may be inspired to stick a fork in your eyes b/c your eyes enabled you to read his stuff.

Posted by: dcsween | December 23, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Because they can be cut after NEXT season with no impact.

There's no guarantee that 2010 will be an uncapped year.

Your entire proposed plan is based around a gamble that the Owners and the NFLPA will not be able to negotiate a new CBA.

Posted by: VTDuffman | December 23, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Why did we let Akers go several years ago?

Posted by: Carl739 | December 23, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

You can really tell that La Canfora is a soccer fan or really enjoys pissin' off the masses with all the kicking/special teams talk.

I don't care about special teams. I don't feel a need to talk or to analyze it because to me it just isn't that important.

All I would ask of my short-bus-riders is to: be consistent with field goals; make the ones that you as an NFL kicker are supposed to make (LOOKING in your grill Suisham), be a consistent punter; good placement or BOOT it when needed, and a return man that is a CONSISTENT threat to take it back everytime he touches the ball.

Special just aren't that dang-on special.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 23, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I think Springs/Jansen/Griffin/Washington are in a different category than Jason Taylor for roster purposes. The structure of Taylor's deal is very different in that it doesn't contain any bonuses, only base salary. Plus, based on last week's performance, in theory he SHOULD be able to be "all that" next season ... plus his position seems like kind of a rover (DE/LB). The nature of the other guys' injuries also seem "chronic" compared to Taylor's acute injury (except for Jansen, whose ankle injury seems to have been as bad as it looked). I dunno, I'd think Taylor has a better shot at holding down a roster spot (esp. b/c the D line seems to rotate much more often than any other position) than the other three.

Note: Forgive my periculiar rant. For the most part, I love everyone up here. For some reason I have a bug up my chute over the posts from Mr. Cuckoo Crazyland.

Posted by: dcsween | December 23, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Your entire proposed plan is based around a gamble that the Owners and the NFLPA will not be able to negotiate a new CBA.

Posted by: VTDuffman"

That's true. But from everything I've read, and from the actions that this FO has taken in the past (like re-signing Jon Jansen long-term for immediate cap relief), this seems to be the plan that we are banking on. And all accounts are that the NFLPA and the owners have significant obstacles to overcome in this negotiation.

Posted by: psps23 | December 23, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

dc,

Me to that guy post some crazy things and then listens to no one when you tall him it can't be done.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 23, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

If you've got an effective defense, a DE is not a high priority.

If you've got an effective group of WRs, WR is not a high priority.

If you've got an effective TE, TE is not a high priority.

If you have an effective kicker, a kicker is not a high priority.


If you have an offense that drops less than 11 points per game, then drafting for the offense IS a high priority.

It's called team management.

Posted by: psps23 | December 23, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse


I guess you and I have different ideas of the word "effective". Effective defenses score points, gets sacks nad turnovers which create short fields, gives you offense short fields and many opportunities with the ball.

Take a look at the sack leaders of the league this year. Most are DE's (or LB's in a 3-4 which act as DE's) From my brief glance it looks as if 9 of 10 of those guys teams are in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Take a look at our front 7 on defense and tell me how many of those guys you see being a starter in 2 years? Monty or Goldston and maybe Rocky mac?

Offense, Defense and Special Teams do not operate in vacuums

Posted by: Gweez | December 23, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Why did we let Akers go several years ago?

Posted by: Carl739 | December 23, 2008 10:22 AM

cue Bean...

Posted by: RedDMV | December 23, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

t1, I'd take that draft in a second, although if they trade out of the first, we'd better get more than a 2nd and third...I'm thinking 2nd and third this year, with a 2nd next year?

Like your picks however...700 pounds of ol in two guys....good stuff...

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 23, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Gweez | December 23, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

red, lol, I think we did that during Festivus, to help the eagles.

They claimed it was a Festivus Miracle.....

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 23, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Well maybe Plaque did very well in the Philly game. But he was consistently awful before that.

Agree, Redskins special teams need to be improved.


Posted by: dpc2003 | December 23, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Gweez - I would love to draft a DE, another DT, a pair of LBs, 5 o-linemen straight across, another WR or two, and a future RB, but unfortunately we only have 4 draft picks.

At some point you have to prioritize your needs. Is our defense perfect? No. But we've been arguably the most consistent defense in the league this season. And we don't let up points.

On the other hand, we have one of the most inconsistent offensive lines in the league, with all of our starters over 30, and all but one of them with serious injury problems within the last 2 years. 4 starters will need to be replaced within the next 3 years, 2 starters in need of immediate replacements. DE simply isn't that big of a priority right now, in comparison to other needs on the team.

Posted by: psps23 | December 23, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

You know this part of the year you do some reflecting on things: the year(s), your life, maybe your future.

I've decided to sit and actually think, not research, the most disappointing 'skins from the '90s. In no particular order:

Heath Shuler
Dana Stubblefield
Sean Gilbert
Alvin Harper
Deion Sanders
Bruce Smith - LMAO
Rod Gardner
Michael Westbrook

feel free to add...

Posted by: RedDMV | December 23, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

leave Bruce Smith alone!

and if anyone says LaVar, I'm smacking 'em!!

Posted by: TheTruth11 | December 23, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

feel free to add...

Posted by: RedDMV


Desmond Howard

Posted by: TWISI | December 23, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Clinton Portis remains third in the NFL in rushing yards despite another modest output Sunday. He also is third in the NFL with 313 carries


JLC you really need to let it go. How you hate on a man that is ranked third? And from all hate you show towards CP in your post that must be a mis print about him being third in carries. The way you tell it you would have thought he was first.

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | December 23, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

lol, HA today IS Festivus - the airing of grievances has to be among my favorite rituals.

hell, where do I begin?

Posted by: RedDMV | December 23, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Don't agree on effective defenses: to me, points allowed are the best measure of a defense.

Look at the Lions last year. The generated all kinds of TO and scored lots of points. They also allowed tons of yards and gave up lots of points Did they have a good defense?

That said, yes it would be nice to get TO's like the one that lead to a TD on Sunday more often. Yes it would be nice to get sacks. It would be nice if #22 could CATCH THE BALL!!! Maybe those things will come with some tweaks of the blitzing schemes.

But where the Redskins lack is not on defense, it's the O putting points on the board. 11 is just not going to cut it and this is the one area that the Redskins absolutely, positively must improve in the off season.

Posted by: dpc2003 | December 23, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

I've decided to sit and actually think, not research, the most disappointing 'skins from the '90s. In no particular order:

Heath Shuler
Dana Stubblefield
Sean Gilbert
Alvin Harper
Deion Sanders
Bruce Smith - LMAO
Rod Gardner
Michael Westbrook

feel free to add...

Posted by: RedDMV | December 23, 2008 10:38 AM

This list sucks if for no other reason because half of these guys played for the Skins in the 2000's. Now, if you'd like to expand the time frame, only 2 names matter: Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato. They trump all others.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 23, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

PSP,

I understand where you are coming from. My feeling is OL and DL are both top priority. I would take the dreaded "best player left on the board" at either of those areas. On 0 we should hopefully be good at the Skill positions for another few years just need some O lineman.

Players I think 80% won't be playing here in two years that are starters or significant contributors:

O:
Jansen
Kendall
Thomas or Rabach
ARE

D:
Carter (maybe)
Griffin
Fletcher
Washington
Taylor

At least on the O-line there is hope for Heyer and Rinehart.

I def agree though and I won't be upset if we go Oline heavy but if we drafted a DE I can't imagine anyone thinking that is a mistake.


Posted by: Gweez | December 23, 2008 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Good morning; happy/merry Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Ramadan....
And, of course, festivus.
beep beep

Posted by: Cindy Boren | December 23, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I think DT is a higher priority than DE, even though the depth at DT is serviceable -- Golsten ... who will require podiatric surgery and should be back at the top of his game ... Lozo (love Lozo) ... Montgomery (trade bait on my ledger) ... and Spaghetti (all heart, SHOULD be ready to arrive soon) -- Cornelius has reached his pinnacle and is on the decline (maybe sharply so). NONE of the DTs compare to Cornelius. The draft seems big and beefy at DT, like plenty of 3-4 ready NT types in this season's crop ... I think that is where we go with the first round pick.

It kills me that we don't have a second round pick. For me, DT slightly edges out OT, but only on a prayer of a return of a healthy Samuels and another offseason up bump from Heyer, esp. in getting his ass down (fancy term for lowering his center of gravity) for run blocking.

At DE, I think that if interior guys are required to always double team at least one of the DTs, then the pocket will collapse and the DE rotators (Carter, Evans, Chris Wilson, maybe Buzbee, Rob Jackson, sometimes Taylor, sometimes Lozo, hell, I'm even willing to hold out for a recovery by Phillip Daniels) can hold down the fort for another year.

Did I mention what a drag it is that we don't have a second round pick?

OLB is also a gaping hole. I don't know where to begin with that. We need to strike gold in undrafted free agency.

Posted by: dcsween | December 23, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

while I'm doing a buck down memory lane, i also noticed that THE Ernie Davis was drafted by Washington in '62!?!?!?!

how beastly he would've been...

Posted by: RedDMV | December 23, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

This list sucks if for no other reason because half of these guys played for the Skins in the 2000's. Now, if you'd like to expand the time frame, only 2 names matter: Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato. They trump all others.

Posted by: brownwood26 |

LMAO!

JM220

Posted by: icetotalpackage | December 23, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

airing grievances towards anyone who brings up the following people:

Marcus Mason
Antonio Pierce
Leigh Torrence
Desean "I borrowed Carlos Rogers hands" Jackson

Posted by: BeantownGreg | December 23, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I got a lot of problems with you people.

1. Lets start with, The Truth.

Dude you had great schtick going for you what happened.

2nd.

The death of SKIPPY!!! That was a sad day.

3. All you poeple who drove off PDX and Dealer.

Posted by: alex35332 | December 23, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why we ever let Antonio go, or Ryan Clark for that matter!

Posted by: Pleepleus | December 23, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The punting situation is one where you don't need a dominant player. What you need is a guy that is consistent and gets high hang time to limit returns. If he averages only 40 yards a kick that's fine. We don't need spend dollars to get a Shane Lechler.

The placekicker here, though, has to be an elite player. Whether it is developing from within or a trade or free agen signing, the Redskins need to acquire a kicker that can be money from within 50 yards.

This year Suisham's misses counted as the margin of loss in the Rams game, and he missed field goals in the second Dallas game and the Bengals game that could have changed the profile of the fourth quarter in both contests.

When you are a team like the Redskins that plays games close, the difference maker is often the field goal kicker.

This year Suisham was the worst kicker in the NFC.

For Zorn to say he thinks Suisham will be an elite kicker is a statement I find difficult to fathom.

How does Zorn know that? I missed the part where he has experience evaluating the position as a scout or GM.

The performance of the PK should be one of Vinny's offseason tasks to evaluate and make the necessary changes.

Posted by: leopard09 | December 23, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

This team needs to hold a Punt, Pass & Kick competition for adults.

Posted by: dashriprock | December 24, 2008 3:56 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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