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Pick the Kicker

One of the closest position battles of the Redskins' summer has been between place kickers Shaun Suisham and Dave Rayner. It's still extremely close, with the game in Jacksonville and practices looming large for Coach Jim Zorn and special teams coach Danny Smith.

"The pressure's on. When you're in a competition, it doesn't matter," Zorn told Zach Berman. "To us, it matters that you're on the field kicking. But you got to be out here [at practice] making field goals as well. Because we're not afforded the situations when they come, we have to use our practice time and create a competitive situation as well - and an evaluating situation as well."

Now, we want to know what you think.

By Cindy Boren  |  September 1, 2009; 10:14 AM ET
 
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Next: Sleeper Pick to Make Final Roster? Darrel Young

Comments

Will there be any kickers cut better than these guys? This is a potential disaster area.

Posted by: AdamCr | September 1, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

First to NOT Vote...

Pick up a kicker on waivers....

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 1, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

bostskin,

what about when to use the semicolon, colon, or dash?

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 1, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Giving Rayner a slight edge on this so far. I think they want a kicker who won't choke. Who knew it'd be so hard to find one?

Posted by: pgugino | September 1, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I agree with J-Reid's familiarity theory. Unless Raynor kicks a big one Sunday, the incumbent remains...for now.

Finding a kicker may be a bit of a crap shoot, but the Skins need to be a little more creative in the future.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | September 1, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Suisham missed quite a few kicks last year, did he not?

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

"cL,

If you had to name one area that might prove to be the Achilles heel for the Redskins, what would it be?

Posted by: Chia_Pet

Well the health of our starters on 0-line. But that is a given right?

My pick outside of the obvious is our LB play. That worries me. Is LBF losing a step in pass coverage? Is Rocky Mac Back. Can Po/Wilson hold down the transition. Can youngsters emerge. Can we survive an injury there?

IF the D-line can be as dominant as its potential it may mask this issue but also do we have a LB corps ready to feast on the buffet a good D-line serves up. To me, this is a huge ? mark.

Posted by: chrislarry | September 1, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: chrislarry | September 1, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Apparently Suisham is surprisingly clutch, going 18-20 in the 4th quarter and overtime over his career with the Skins. Somehow I find it hard to believe, but I guess it's the truth.

Posted by: psps23 | September 1, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Suisham should have been gone after the miss in Seattle in the playoffs. Who knows what would have happened if he had made that?

Posted by: Rypien11 | September 1, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Good observation about the cloudy picture at the LB position.

Seems like Fletcher is going to be the rock in the middle for us there. Hard to believe this guy can keep on hitting like he does without compromising his health.

Rocky Mac is still an unknown, and the Chris WIlson experiment has yet to be put to the test, and Orakpo is certainly going to take his lumps...

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 1, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Is it acceptable to suggest that scoring touchdowns is the Redskins' heel of Achilles? And all that represents: play calling, blocking, receivers, Soup... the finishing of drives, yea verily.

What I'm trying to say is that, yeah, I want a competent, reliable kicker of field goals on the roster, meaning someone not named Steve Swissham.

But I'd rather not have our drives fizzle in the maroon zone the way they have tended to fizzle. That thing where Soup lobs the ball to Malcolm or Marko where only he can catch it, where he makes the catch and sticks his tippytoes just inside the end zone... that thing should help. Swissham is money on extra points, yo.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 1, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why people say Rocky Mac is an unknown. The guy has played very, very well as a starter the last 2 years, and has played in 46 out of 48 games for his career. He's actually one of the few guys that the team doesn't need to be concerned about.

Posted by: psps23 | September 1, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Tampa Bay is about to release Matt Bryant who has been sidelined with a hamstring pull.

Posted by: nycskinsfan | September 1, 2009 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I said the LB unit, not Rocky Mac singular. However doesn't have the best knees and the best thing you can say about him is he is solid. Can he take advantage of the sloppy seconds the dline serves up? Can he become a playmaker at LB? Thats a question mark.

Posted by: chrislarry | September 1, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

That thing where Soup lobs the ball to Malcolm or Marko where only he can catch it, where he makes the catch and sticks his tippytoes just inside the end zone... that thing should help. Swissham is money on extra points, yo.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | September 1, 2009 10:46 AM

That "thing" you refer to - the lob pass in the back of the endzone, is one that Soup needs to refine.

Nice to have the two tall fellas for when he does develop that touch.

Watching the replays of some of Soup's passes, I'm impressed with his development - he's seems more decisive back there, and I absolutely love when he airs it out.

It all feels very cuspy to me.

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 1, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Rocky play has been solid, but not noteworthy, hence why he gets overlooked...

Posted by: Chia_Pet | September 1, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"Apparently Suisham is surprisingly clutch, going 18-20 in the 4th quarter and overtime over his career with the Skins. Somehow I find it hard to believe, but I guess it's the truth.Posted by: psps23"

Yeah, there's a reason they hang on to the guy, even if it's not obvious.

But they also want him to hit from outside the 40, and last year he didn't.

Suisham vs Rayner -- is there a third choice?

Posted by: Samson151 | September 1, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

VOTE: MATT STOVER

Posted by: slimbo-Rice | September 1, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't remember swoosh coming through, saving a game for us by kicking a long field goal. Is it my dementia?

Posted by: peaceful2008 | September 1, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

PICKUP SHANE ANDRUS FROM THE COLTS !!!

...when he get released.

Posted by: ATLredskin | September 1, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

I personally like Rocky Mac -- a lot. I think he's a very unheralded player, similar to Griffin and Rogers for this defense (or Ryan Clark and Antonio Pierce before them). We heard rumblings earlier this offseason about the Skins negotiating an extension for Rocky, and that's a very good thing.

As for the LB corp as a whole, if this defense is going to fall off, that's where the questions will lie. I'm less worried about Orakpo/Wilson than I am about Fletcher. Ray Rice burned him on a pass route. Against NE, on their first TD drive, Fletcher had a chance to wrap up Maroney in the backfield on a 3rd and 1 play, but missed the tackled (he semi-made up for it on the next play putting a big lick on Maroney, forcing a fumble). He should still be able to make all the pre-snap calls, but I fear his physical ability may be dwindling (but I sure hope not). That would be a major blow if it holds that way.

Posted by: psps23 | September 1, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Seems like every team but us has a guy who can kick majority of kickoffs to the goal line or even back further. We haven't had a guy consistently do that for YEARS.

Also, I am not too fond of the our special teams guy, Danny Smith. Anybody think he has done a great job over the years.

Posted by: fearturtle44 | September 1, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Steelers are the defending champs. Ostensibly, they should play the toughest schedule. Why do you think it's easier than the Ravens?

Posted by: bostskin | September 1, 2009 10:38 AM

That's pretty overrated...the Steelers and Ravens will play the same schedule, save for 2 games (the conference games determined by where you finished in the division). But if you look at the schedule, they play the AFC West and the NFC North.

I just like the Steelers better in that division because they're air-tight on D and they have the best QB in that division. The Ravens caught some people by surprise last year, which won't happen in '09.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 1, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I am pro Rocky Mac as well, but that doesnt mean we can't hope he raises his level of play to the proverbial "next level" which would be like all pro.

Posted by: chrislarry | September 1, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Also IF rocky mac beasts up from his previous three seasons, than that could lift the entire unit. That is why I include him as part of the ?s at LB.

Posted by: chrislarry | September 1, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

As for the biggest achilles heel, it's not really the offensive line in general, but Chris Samuels specifically. Campbell can deal with getting rushed from one side of the field, so long as he knows the opposite side is protected (similar to how the Skins started last season). He's mobile enough to avoid an obvious rusher once-in-a-while, but when he gets attacked from the blindside is when it becomes ugly. As soon as Samuels became hobbled last season, teams were beating the Skins line from both sides. When he was healthy, they largely weren't. That, on top of the obvious preference to run behind Samuels vs. the right side, is the groundwork for the Redskins offense. Without that, they will not get rolling.

But, I have to say, it's looking good so far.

Posted by: psps23 | September 1, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Samules' health....yeah that really has to be concern #1. I agree psp and not in that I want to bail from back n forth way.

Posted by: chrislarry | September 1, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Why can't we get a decent kicker.

On Rayner:
'Rayner has also been a member of the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals.' Great.

Posted by: nadeemsx | September 1, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

If I gotta pick between the poop salad and the crap sandwich at kicker, I'll take Rayner. At least you'll get better kickoffs with your mediocre field goal kicking. I used to back Suisham, but I'm done with him.

I really hope someone cuts a good kicker this weekend...I'd even take John Carney at this point.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 1, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Kyle Orton cut his finger from the inside out. That is just gruesome. Ew....

Posted by: will_ga | September 1, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I just read that Will. Absolutely awful.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 1, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

let's see we cut Akers and he's one of the best and plays for our division rival.

Suisham was 18th and Rayner was 36th.

Rayner was 36th out of 32 teams.

Stop blaming the kicker and punter and stick with who you know.

Frost was a decent punter who made tackles and executed a sweet fake punt on our last run to the playoffs , and we drafted a BUM and we didn't have a punter all year???

You want Suisham to be better get into field goal range.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Neither...pick up that kid from the Seahawks PK was raving about last week. He is due to get cut any day and he has been KILLING IT in practice apparently.

Posted by: McMetal | September 1, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

67% of you would rather have the 36th best kicker over the 18th best...????

someone explain why this makes any sense at all.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

i think we should keep Rayner.

sincerely,
durant brooks

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

let's see we cut Akers and he's one of the best and plays for our division rival.

Stop blaming the kicker and punter and stick with who you know.


Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:28 AM

I'm foggy on the details of Akers tenure here, but I'm pretty sure he was a training camp body. I don't think he was here for more than a year (if that).

Suisham has had close to 3 years to prove himself, that's more than enough.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 1, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Rayner was 1 for 1 last year, he's never missed, he's great

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: brownwood26

the point is just pick someone and play football, it's BY FAR the least important position

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Found an 'expert' opinion on one of the sites concerning the relative strengths and weaknesses of the NFC East clubs at the end of last season. Agree/disagree?

NYG:
Strengths: Run blocking, pass rush, running backs
Weaknesses: DBs, deep passing game

Philadelphia:
Strengths: QB, pass offense, run defense
Weaknesses: RBs, pass coverage

Dallas:
Strength: Passing offense, pass rush
Weaknesses: RBs, DBs

Washington
Strengths: overall defense, run blocking
Weaknesses: pass rush, kicking game, pass blocking

Posted by: Samson151 | September 1, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

That may be the first time I can ever remember someone sticking up for shanky Frost. He was as terrible as Durant Brooks and Plackemeier.

I think Carney is needed in New Orleans for the first 4 games due to an injury or suspension to their preferred kicker. But he could keep the job if he impresses. I just remember he was good last year until the playoff game and then blew 2 kicks for the Giants. Plus he is old as hell. I find it hard to believe we can't get a better kicker than Suisham or Rayner though.

Posted by: ToddStinkston | September 1, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: brownwood26

Rayner was 1 for 1 what does that prove??

Frost was mediocre, so we replaced him with a guy who was horrible

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Since when was Suisham the 16th best kicker, he was the least accurate in the league and there are more than 16 teams.

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 1, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

That may be the first time I can ever remember someone sticking up for shanky Frost. He was as terrible as Durant Brooks and Plackemeier.

I think Carney is needed in New Orleans for the first 4 games due to an injury or suspension to their preferred kicker. But he could keep the job if he impresses. I just remember he was good last year until the playoff game and then blew 2 kicks for the Giants. Plus he is old as hell. I find it hard to believe we can't get a better kicker than Suisham or Rayner though.

Posted by: ToddStinkston

So based on these facts we do the same stupid dance with our place kicker, or we learn from our mistake and go with the guy we got, and start playing better football

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Chia,

Again, from The Elements of Style:

If two or more clauses, grammatically complete and not joined by a conjunction, are to form a single compound sentence, the proper mark of punctuation is a semicolon.

Stevenson’s romances are entertaining; they are full of exciting adventures.

It is nearly half past five; we cannot reach town before dark.

Quotations. Formal quotations, cited as documentary evidence, are introduced
by a colon and enclosed in quotation marks.
The provision of the Constitution is: “No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state.”

The colon may also be used preceding a list of items, as in: The Redskins found the following players dispensible:
Fincher, Betts and Cartwright.

The dash signifies end of thought-beginning of new thought.

(preceding two are my interpretations )


Posted by: bostskin | September 1, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

career kicking %

suisham - 77.9
rayner - 71.2

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Count me in the Matt Stover group, he doesn't need a preseason, he's used to the area and would be a dependable veteran kicker.

Posted by: zjfr2 | September 1, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

best year kicking %

Suisham - 88.9
Rayner - 71.3

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

RockyMac = Malcolm Kelly ... we're solid as long as the bubble gum and duct tape hold up.

Next year, the Skins should do at the kicker position what they did at the punter position. Go for existing, tried, old, middling, and reliable.

That said, Suisham's FG kicking will improve compared to last season b/c his holder knows how to deal with pressure (i.e., is not Durant Brooks or Ryan Plackemeier).

Posted by: dcsween | September 1, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

i hate beep beep and first. new post up there

Posted by: ToddStinkston | September 1, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

How about neither? It's like picking between 'Bad' and 'Not-so-bad'...

Posted by: mattylight | September 1, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

A case wherein either a dash or a colon may be used:

I like big butts-I cannot lie.

Posted by: bostskin | September 1, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Tough to pick this until after Thursday.

But yeah, is there a third option?

Posted by: SonofNero | September 1, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

the point is just pick someone and play football, it's BY FAR the least important position

Posted by: pabrian2003 | September 1, 2009 11:36 AM

Tell Norv Turner and the 2000 Redskins that. That team was a kicker away from a 12-4 record.

EVERY position on a football team is important.

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 1, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblogs/redskins/2009/sep/01/redskins-53-man-projection/

Redskins 53-man projection By Ryan O'Halloran
Sept. 1, 2009
Redskins 360
Greetings from Redskin Park, where Your Team takes the field at 11 a.m. for a 75-minute practice. They finish the preseason Thursday night in Jacksonville.

The roster is currently at 75. Here's another guess at how the 53-man roster will look.

Using last year's Week 17 roster as a gauge, I used 25 offensive players, 25 defensive players and three specialists.

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks (3)

Jason Campbell, Todd Collins and Colt Brennan. I give Brennan the slight edge over rookie Chase Daniel because he's more familiar with the system.

Running backs (5)

Clinton Portis, Ladell Betts, Rock Cartwright, Anthony Alridge and Mike Sellers. The surprise addition is Alridge. Even though he missed the first two preseason games, I stuck him on the roster after a coach told me, "He's Vinny's guy," referring to Cerrato claiming Alridge off waivers this off season.

Tight ends (3)

Chris Cooley, Todd Yoder and Fred Davis. The easiest position to project.

Receivers (5)

Santana Moss, Antwaan Randle El, Devin Thomas, Malcolm Kelly and Marko Mitchell. I had Marques Hagans on the roster at the start of camp but he did nothing and was cut this week.

Offensive line (9)

Casey Rabach, Chris Samuels, Derrick Dockery, Randy Thomas, Stephon Heyer, Will Montgomery, Chad Rinehart, Mike Williams and Jeremy Bridges. The final roster last year had 10 OL.

DEFENSE

Defensive line (9)

Albert Haynesworth, Cornelius Griffin, Andre Carter, Phillip Daniels, Anthony Montgomery, Kedric Golston, Jeremy Jarmon, Lorenzo Alexander and Renaldo Wynn. The odd guys out are Alex Buzbee and Rob Jackson.

Linebackers (7)

London Fletcher, Rocky McIntosh, Brian Orakpo, H.B. Blades, Robert Thomas, Chris Wilson and Cody Glenn.

Defensive backs (9)

Carlos Rogers, DeAngelo Hall, Fred Smoot, Justin Tryon, Kevin Barnes, LaRon Landry, Chris Horton, Reed Doughty and Kareem Moore. Moore's hamstring injury could impact whether an extra safety is kept for the first few weeks.

Specialists (3)

Hunter Smith, Ethan Albright and Shaun Suisham. The kicker battle rages on and I think if it's a tie, Suisham gets the nod over Dave Rayner.

-- Ryan O'Halloran

Posted by: 4thFloor | September 1, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Ryan O'Halloran's 53-man projection looks pretty good to me...

On offense -- I had OT Clark on making the final roster until he was cut this weekend. I like Alridge a lot and still think Rock could be cut due to the emergence of Thomas on special teams. Perhaps E. Williams has shown enough to make the team vs. the practice squad or the Skins plan on bringing in a recently cut OL. Hard to see them starting the year with only 9 OL given the age/injury history of the linemen.

On defense -- I would keep Jackson over Wynn and I wonder how Westbrook is looking vs. Tryon...

Special Teams -- I'd go with Suisham, however I'd put him on a very short leash if he doesn't hit 40+ yd field goals consistently in real games.

Posted by: siris | September 1, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Rypein11, I wanted that punk swiss ham gone after the chip shot field goal in Seattle. That kept things at 14/13 i believe. He makes it and we are 17/13, putting the pressure on seattle to score a td, rather than having a one point lead and drving with calmness that a field goal would do just fine. Rayner for Kicker!!!

Posted by: BurgwithaU | September 1, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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