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Graham Gano shows some rust as emergency punter

When punter Josh Bidwell went down in pregame warm-ups with a hip injury, place kicker Graham Gano inherited the punting duties - something he had done in college at Florida State. But when he got the news Bidwell wouldn't be able to play, Gano had to immediately alter his own preparation.

"I had to watch how many balls I kicked," Gano said. "Josh and [long snapper] Nick [Sundberg] did a good job of kind of pacing me through that."

Gano's first punt of the day was blocked by St. Louis, though the Rams didn't score on the ensuing possession. Gano said Bidwell looked at the replay and said "the timing was good." The results thereafter, though, were spotty: Gano punted four other times for an average of 35.3 yards, including a long of 42 yards and a short of 28.

"As far as being comfortable back there, I'm fine," Gano said. "But I think practice-wise I was rusty, and it showed a couple times. I'm disappointed in the way I punted, because I should've done better."

Gano did convert all three of his field goal attempts and is now 7 for 9 on the year.

By Barry Svrluga  | September 26, 2010; 10:24 PM ET
Categories:  Special teams  
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Next: Veteran punter Hunter Smith to get workout

Comments

Another year; another coaching regime; another punting fiasco.

WTH...wasn't hiring Shanny supposed to be the magic pill for our franchise woes?

I feel lied to.

Posted by: p1funk | September 26, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Shanny is another version of Norv Turner. Great on offense. Excellent quarterbacks coach. Lousy when it comes to hiring DC's and Special Team's coaches ... that is his MO from Denver.

Posted by: periculum | September 26, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

anyone who thought this team was instantly good just cuz of one offseason is only fooling themselves. Yeah, the team sucks right now. So what? There's still 13 more games to go. And I'd rather have reality checks like this early on so that players and coaches realize things for what they are.

Posted by: pgugino | September 26, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

anyone who thought this team was instantly good just cuz of one offseason is only fooling themselves. Yeah, the team sucks right now. So what? There's still 13 more games to go. And I'd rather have reality checks like this early on so that players and coaches realize things for what they are.

Posted by: pgugino | September 26, 2010 10:37 PM

I think you are correct.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 26, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

Shanny is another version of Norv Turner. Great on offense. Excellent quarterbacks coach. Lousy when it comes to hiring DC's and Special Team's coaches ... that is his MO from Denver.

Posted by: periculum | September 26, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse


Except our offense is pretty junky and our QB is an Andy Reid product.

Posted by: p1funk | September 26, 2010 10:41 PM | Report abuse

anyone who thought this team was instantly good just cuz of one offseason is only fooling themselves. Yeah, the team sucks right now. So what? There's still 13 more games to go. And I'd rather have reality checks like this early on so that players and coaches realize things for what they are.

Posted by: pgugino | September 26, 2010 10:37 PM

I think you are correct.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 26, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

"instantly good" - I don't think so.

"Better than last year"- I think that was a reasonable expectation.

The disappointment is not that we aren't instantly good...it's that we don't look much better than last season so far.

Posted by: p1funk | September 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

As long as we have team leaders like Portis, DHall etc., we will lose games like this... Not that I can blame Portis for sitting on the sidelines w/ his lower lip out... WTF were the Shanny's thinking today? Haslett, why are we not blitzing the crap out of this kid? We blitz two of the top 5 rated passers to death the last two weeks, but today play very basic vanilla D?

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | September 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

WTF!
This team couldn't stop the Rams? Shoot, they couldn't cover the Texans; hell, they couldn't cover the Cowpies!
The Def. line needs to be reshuffled. Isn't Phillip Daniels a run stopper? Why is Golston starting on that side and why is our NT getting blown off the ball every play? Why is Young Frankstein still one of our starting LBs? The DBs I have to give a pass to, they made mistakes but bad schemes and coaching had a lot to do with their play.
Somebody by Kyle a F'n clue. When you're running the ball well, you continue to run the ball.
Why was CP on the bench in the 2nd half? yeah the guy has balance problems (they can work on that) but he was running ok.
Shanny needs to get his head out of his butt, this team needs a leader not a petty boss. We also need a defense that can stop a rookie QB, stifle 3rd down conv., create pressure on the QB, stop the run, doesn't over persue every bootleg, practices tackling, etc, etc.....

Posted by: priceisright | September 26, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Haslett, why are we not blitzing the crap out of this kid? We blitz two of the top 5 rated passers to death the last two weeks, but today play very basic vanilla D?

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | September 26, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse


Early Jackson TD got Haslett afraid of the run, so he dialed back the blitz and played more straight up.

Spags out-play-called our guys.

Posted by: p1funk | September 26, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Why was CP on the bench in the 2nd half? yeah the guy has balance problems (they can work on that) but he was running ok.


Posted by: priceisright | September 26, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse


Diving on the ground in the open field b/c you fear contact is not a "balance" problem.

CP has become Shaun Alexander.

Posted by: p1funk | September 26, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

PFunk,

I certainly hope that is not the case... weak reasoning...4th and inches w/ game on the line and we don't have#Fat Albert in there?????? REALLY? Shannahan is looking a lot like Coughlin in 2006 when he was almost fired and was losing the locker room... i could only hope us to be 1 yr out of the Super Bowl!! (a guy can dream can't he?)

CLEGG

Posted by: michael_b_clegg | September 26, 2010 10:55 PM | Report abuse

p1- on freaking point (as any terp should be) but won't address his man love Dhall.

Posted by: Diesel44 | September 26, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

By the way, Albert Haynesworth was credited with the same number of tackles in the game as me and Betty White combined.

Posted by: TheCork | September 26, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I don't get about the whole "CP fears contact" thing...

On one hand, he seems to just flop down on the field.

On the other hand, during pass blocking, it looks like he can't get enough of contact. He looks like he can't wait to get in someone's face and blow them up...

Odd.

Posted by: JohnnyRyde | September 26, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and this vaunted Jim Haslett defense sucks my taint.


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop |

You are flat out crazy. NOBODy ever called Haslet's defense "vaunted"

Posted by: TheCork | September 26, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse


Oh, and this vaunted Jim Haslett defense sucks my taint.


Posted by: Poopy_McPoop |

You are flat out crazy. NOBODy ever called Haslet's defense "vaunted"


Posted by: TheCork | September 26, 2010 11:04 PM |

cosign on both

Posted by: hessone | September 26, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Diving on the ground in the open field b/c you fear contact is not a "balance" problem.

CP has become Shaun Alexander.

Posted by: p1funk
===========================================
Come'on P, the guy falls forward on most of his runs and doesn't maintain his balance on lateral cuts. I wouldn't say he's the next Alexander but he has definately lost that game breaker speed.
Torain looks ok but the bottom line is that Kyle as a play caller needs to run the ball, even when it doesn't seem to be working.

Posted by: priceisright | September 26, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Diving on the ground in the open field b/c you fear contact is not a "balance" problem.

CP has become Shaun Alexander.

Posted by: p1funk
===========================================
Come'on P, the guy falls forward on most of his runs and doesn't maintain his balance on lateral cuts. I wouldn't say he's the next Alexander but he has definately lost that game breaker speed.
Torain looks ok but the bottom line is that Kyle as a play caller needs to run the ball, even when it doesn't seem to be working and especially when it is working.

Posted by: priceisright | September 26, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

So far, all that the Shanahans have managed to do is piss everybody off -- players AND fans alike.

Hope it gets better soon, or we might just as well have kept Jim Zorn for a couple more years.

Posted by: SkinsfaninNebraska | September 26, 2010 11:25 PM | Report abuse

B-Real just called. He said it looked like the Redskins took too many "hits from the bong" before the game.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 26, 2010 11:40 PM | Report abuse

The defensive backs are a joke. They can't cover and they can't tackle.

Didn't Bradford remind you guys of JC? New coaches, new o-line, new system, new receivers, new backs, playing in one of the worse teams in the league - a recipe for failure for a young QB ... oh, wait, did I say a young QB? Ok. so JC wasn't young anymore, but he was still a six-year long rookie ... say what? Bradford looked matured, professional, in command, and destroyed the other team defense? -- Well, ok, so there are a couple of minor differences between the young rookie and the six-year rookie, but still JC is ... ?

Posted by: hock1 | September 26, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Well kids, this team is nerve racking at best. Every year I drink the kool aid all off season and almost every year they smash my thermos in just a couple of weeks. It really sucks to be a Skins fan sometimes but there's nothing I can do about it. Born into it, die bleeding Burgundy and Gold. Peace and HAIL!!!

Posted by: scampbell1975 | September 26, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

The curse of Lil' Danny continues. Gibbs' 2 playoff appearances in 4 years looks more and more impressive by the day...

Posted by: jj250 | September 27, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

The curse of Lil' Danny continues. Gibbs' 2 playoff appearances in 4 years looks more and more impressive by the day...

Posted by: jj250 | September 27, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The Shanny honeymoon is effing over! My man B Mitch said it best. Shanny's ego has to be put aside.

Potis not rarely playing in the second half is BS. I've seen enough of old man Galloway to know its a joke.

This defense is a joke and while offenses make adjustments at the half, we make none.

Posted by: dcwun | September 27, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

When will Shanny admit that the drastic coversion to a 3-4, without the players to implement it, was a mistake??? What's more, such a change was totally unnecessary. Our "D" was a top 10 "D" for years, but Shanny decides "the sky is falling" and we have to change everything. All he's done is to decimate a pretty decent defense, making it into something that looks shell-shocked, week in and week out. Over 1,300 yds against it in 3 games. That is incredibly bad. What was once our strength and kept us in many, many games is now our weakest link and looks pathetic. And don't try to sell me on "be patient" and "wait 2 or 3 years". We've been patiently waiting for "2 or 3 years" for over 10 years now, for God's sake! By then, McNabb and many other good players will be gone. This defense is a monumental failure in every aspect of the game. And believe me, the players know it too, even if they aren't publicly saying so, a la Haynesworth and Hall. Given the choice, I guarantee you most, if not all of them, would vote to return to a 4-3 in a NY minute.

Posted by: teresae878 | September 27, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

This defense instantly takes me back to the not so good old days of Norv Turner.

Seems like Shanny is obsessed with his own genius instead of playing the most talented players.

Posted by: dcwun | September 27, 2010 12:34 AM | Report abuse

Please people....if you are seriously going to whine after 3 games into the season. You are delusional.

This team is still figuring out what it is...and it is still 1000x better than last year's team.

The rebuild of this team is not going to happen overnight and expectations have to be realistic.

A crappy game but they still came back from a big hole and took a lead...but you gotta give credit to the Rams gameplan. They saw a weakness and took advantage.

Any given sunday....this game's over...time to move onto next week. 13 Weeks left.

Posted by: GoonieGooGoo | September 27, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

Well, at least last year's 4-12 team had the decency to beat the frickin Rams, for cryin out loud! The next few weeks look brutal....

Posted by: dmorgan6617 | September 27, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Please people....if you are seriously going to whine after 3 games into the season. You are delusional.

This team is still figuring out what it is...and it is still 1000x better than last year's team.

The rebuild of this team is not going to happen overnight and expectations have to be realistic.

A crappy game but they still came back from a big hole and took a lead...but you gotta give credit to the Rams gameplan. They saw a weakness and took advantage.

Any given sunday....this game's over...time to move onto next week. 13 Weeks left.

Posted by: GoonieGooGoo | September 27, 2010 2:03 AM


Amazing that the worst handle on this thread gives us the best remarks.

This is Week 3. Is this an embarrassing loss? Yes. Is the defense the worst in the league right now? Probably. But this is what happens when you change EVERYTHING. New coach, new QB, new offense, new defense. This ain't Madden. You don't just hit the ground running because the individual pieces look good. It takes time to get everything to gel and it seldom happens in the first month of the season.

While I couldn't have imagined the defense would be THIS bad, I did think they'd take a step back because of the switch to the 3-4. No excuse for giving up 30 to the Rams of all teams, and the upcoming slate of games is less than forgiving for a team that lacks defense. Hopefully they'll improve after the bye week, but right now 8-8 looks to be a best case scenario instead of a conservative estimate...

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 27, 2010 5:42 AM | Report abuse

Wow...if you haven't read Boswell, do so. Dude (as usual) nails it right on the head. One sentence sums the Redskins up perfectly:

"When a 6-10 team thinks it's a 10-6 team, this is what happens."

Well said, Bos.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/26/AR2010092603804.html

Posted by: brownwood26 | September 27, 2010 5:49 AM | Report abuse


While I also give CP credit for his blocking, his days as a featured RB are over. I said this last year and I'll say it again this year, CP falls forward or falls down with no contact whatsoever. It's become embarrassing to watch.

Posted by: hessone | September 27, 2010 6:07 AM | Report abuse


beep peeps to hunter

Posted by: hessone | September 27, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

Well, that didn't work. Here's what to do next:

-I love Ryan Torain in the running game but his pass blocking skills are not so good. Maybe he can be more of the running down back while CP evolves into more of a passing down back.

-When are they going to deem the Galloway experiment a failure? The guy can't get it done and now it's time for another receiver to get some playing time. McNabb is only looking for Cooley and Moss when he drops back to pass and this is not good.

-I thought what the Rams did when Steve Jackson went down is just what Washington should have done when the Rams started blitzing more in the second half: stack or bunch the receivers and start throwing those little wide receiver screens. The Rams were putting eight guys in the box and all Washington did was start taking guys out of the passing game to stay in to block.

-I think having Kareem Moore back helps the pass defense but clearly there was some rust there. He missed a few key tackles and he was playing too deep. This is correctable, but despite his interception, I don't think he had a great game.

-Danny Smith, you are an enigma. If Gano is the backup punter he should get more reps. The blocked punt wasn't Gano's fault. The short punts and the kick out of bounds to start the game were definitely his fault, though. Buchanan muffed a punt return but luckily it went out of bounds. On the flip side, PD's field goal block was a thing of beauty and DT continues to come closer to breaking one in the kick return game.

-Offensive line was offensive. Stephon Heyer, I have met left tackles, and you, sir, are no left tackle. Lichtenstubbie, you are no left guard. Clearly, this whole offensive guard experiment isn't working. Put Dock in and leave him. Get T. Williams healthy. Let Heyer go back to backing up.

-D. Hall, just shut up. You, sir, didn't play very well at all. You let a rookie QB and a bunch of nobodys at receiver beat you. Ditto C. Rogers.

-Haslett, have you ever heard of press coverage?

Posted by: RedSkinHead | September 27, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

Why wouldn't D. Smith keep Gano punting a bit in case this happened? Seems like working out your emergency punter would be a no-brainer.

Bring in Ovechkin!

Posted by: WorstSeat | September 27, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Haslett and "D" is overrated! Hall and Rogers average at best. Carter needs to rush QB only, stiff doing anything else. Moore-Daughty which one can we blame next loss on? Rams whipped us with there back-up offense!

Posted by: billymac1 | September 27, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

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