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What About The Kickers, Man?

Wanted to take the pulse of you guys on the kicking and punting situation. We've pretty much ignored or, at the very least, overlooked it, all offseason, but I am still not sure it won't be a topic of conversation come September. Particularly if the same two dudes are holding the job down.

The Skins may have found something in Frost, with "may" being the operative word there. If they felt like he was the answer they would have given him more than the low tender offer he signed, and if another team in the NFL thought he was a sure thing, well, then someone might have waved some money at the free agent as well.

He seemed to turn a corner in 2006, but I can't help thinking I am not the only one who ponders with each fourth-quarter punt about what might go wrong. Eventually I'll probably forget all about the helmet fiasco as well, but probably not anytime soon. I would have assumed the team would sign a veteran punter to push him, but that hasn't been the case. We'll see how it shapes up in camp.

Similarly, Suisham did what he could in 2006 once getting to Washington. He made his kicks and showed a strong leg. Yet he too has much to prove. I know some other teams believed he was on the cups of breaking through the last few years and in this kicking business, you have to get a little lucky sometimes when you take a chance on a dude. Maybe the Skins will get rewarded with a fine young kicker after years of questions at this all-important position. I still have to think that deep down inside Coach Joe yearns for a steady vet who has established himself at this level, but I also think he deserves some credit for looking long-term and giving a younger guy a shot.

But enough of my babbling. What do you guys think? What's your level of comfort/concern on this thing? Have the Skins skimped on a potentially big problem at these positions for two straight offseasons now, or are they out of the woods?

Randoms: FB Nehemiah Broughton and WR Steven Harris had their ACLs repaired recently and are out for the season. Saw Nemo limping around and can't help but feel bad for the kid. This is a tough, tough way to earn a living ... I've been tough on the hiring of Bob Bradley, but admit I love the way he is bleeding so much youth into the National Team. This Gold Cup should be pretty interesting. Great summer of soccer ahead with Gold Cup, Under-20 Cup, Copa America, MLS, Euro qualifying. Trust me people, this is the best sport in the world and there is no real downtime, ever. Even when club seasons are off - which is all of about 6 weeks out of the year in Europe - there is always an international competition going on. You can get a 365-day fix if you need it ...

Want to send some best wishes to my father, Frank, who had to make three trips to the emergency room in a 24-hour span last week for the same injury. Yeah, you read that correctly - three trips; one set of wounds from an accident he had putting in a window. (guess this happens all the time in Canada and Europe, critics of universal health care would say, I presume. not that it isn't happening here). Anyway, he's doing well but has some serious resting up to do, and will probably spend a good bit of it on the computer. So hang in there Pops ...

Calling Red Sox Nation: Anyone else at least a little baffled last night when Tito didn't bunt Pedroia to second with Lugo The Horrid up the with one out and Big Papi on deck? You just knew Papi was going to find a gap in that cavernous park if he got the chance, and you knew Pedroia runs about as fast as Tank Johnson navigating his way through a gauntlet of overstuffed vending machines. So of course Lugo Ks quickly and Pedroia gets nailed at home on Ortiz's double off the wall in dead center. (Perfect relay and all, so kudos to the A's, but Dustin was out by a good 10 feet). Then the skipper had a chance to bunt Youkilis over the next inning with Crisp up and one out passed again. Am I crazy for giving up the out in extra innings after a long day of travel and Sunday night's debacle to try to win the game on a basehit here? It took everything for me not to scream like a maniac watching all of this madness unfold at 2 am while feeding Rocco in the basement, but thankfully I put family first, otherwise I might be sleeping on the back patio tonight. (I love Francona, think he is an awesome manager of personalities and is a great fit for this team, but the tactical stuff keeps me up at night a lot of the time. But he's in my all-time sports HOF for 2004 forever) ...

Wonder if A-Fraud called Kryin' Kobe Bryant last week to find out how big of a diamond ring he needs to buy the wife? I realize why A-Fraud is such an easy guy to dislike - because he flaunts his self love and narcissism like a pair of pink panties. It's written all over his face in everything he does. This dude really truly believes there is a whole different set of rules for him in every facet of life, and there are little-to-no repercussions for any of his pathetic actions (slapping the ball away from Arroyo, the nonsense heading into third base in Toronto last week) . Most of the Yankee fans I know have a healthy dislike of him even despite the pinstripes, and I would too ...

Big props to the Bowie Baysox. Chloe, my father and I loved the 11 am start we went to a few weeks back. Please, add more of the early games. We'll be in the front row whenever you do. Good product on the field and a lot of fun stuff for the kids. Keep up the good work ... Anybody make it to that Elvis Costello show a few weeks back? Would have given a small body part to see that (even with the steep tix price). Years spent going to $10 all-age shows at dives has spoiled me and I get sticker shock whenever I see the prices for proper adult music or arena-rock shows.

By Jason La Canfora  |  June 5, 2007; 11:17 AM ET
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Next: Shawn Springs Had To Leave Early



Posted by: First | June 5, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I've never understood why Snyder and the FO spend millions every year on free agents, etc..., but overlook a position that, if filled correctly, can single-handidly win or lose you a couple games a year. We haven't had a solid, dependable kicker since Lohmiller. Makes no sense to me.

Posted by: Mark Mosley | June 5, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I agree however Suisham has a nasty leg and possibly we can save some money on a young kicker instead of trying to buy the next hot thing, when we could already have it. Frost is okay, I will wait to pass judgment until after the preseason.

Posted by: MR. DLP | June 5, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

yo jason,

welcome back! now i have something to do at work

Posted by: dan | June 5, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I think Suisham showed that with some consistent work, he can be the guy. He was pretty accurate under pressure last year and finally we have a kicker that can boot it past the 10 yard line on kick offs. I think he deserves a shot with no one breathing down his neck. Frost is just inconsistent. They need to get better coaching rather than a new punter.

Posted by: Andrew | June 5, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

They could upgrade at kicker, but the guys they have now are adequate and they have more pressing needs to fix in the off-season. There's always plenty of free agent kickers floating around if these guys don't work out.

Posted by: KK | June 5, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I second the "Mark Mosley" post, especially since JG seems to value special teams more than the average coach.

We should have thrown a bunch of money at Vinatieri last year. (I think Gibbs really liked Hall, but could not have been blind to his persistent injury issues.) I'm hopeful about Suisham though.

Posted by: Flizzo | June 5, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

You have a small body part?

Posted by: Corkczar | June 5, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

In the words of A.I. "We're talking about 'kickers'!"

I like Swisher Sweets, even if he used to wear the star on his head. Frost has been undependable, but so has most of the team.

We need a Brandon Lloyd watch. I know JLa thinks he's a punk (I do too), but I'd like to hear his status - no spin. Though its probably better he's not on the Insider Radar.

Is this Portis injury going to be nagging?

I hate reading on ESPN about how Champ Bailey is the best defender. Too bad we couldn't build some stability around him - he was my favorite.

BTW - there is some real venom going around the Wizards Insider. Very Interesting.

Posted by: WaPoLiveFan16 | June 5, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

re: francona. ever since he didn't pull pedro out in 2004 against the yanks in game 7(the year sox won the series, the year after pedro was left in their two innings too long) i'm kinda on the fence about this dude. i like him et all but his game management is kinda iffy sometimes.

Posted by: dealer | June 5, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The kicker situation is impossible to judge for us average fans. They're just so hard to evaluate in terms of potential...sort of like high school pitchers in the draft.

I'd like a veteran, but I don't want to let another soon to be great kicker out of our organization (Akers). Let's hope the coaches and (gulp) talent evaluators are right on this one.

Posted by: Glass Half Full? | June 5, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

pink panties. LMGO! I am sure Nate enjoyed that one.

I can't believe we are talking about kickers! All Coach Joe needs to do is tell them if they F up. He is going to send the Reaper after them.

Posted by: jm220 | June 5, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

new post....

Posted by: Anonymous | June 5, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse


I've never understood why Snyder and the FO spend millions every year on free agents, etc..., but overlook a position that, if filled correctly, can single-handidly win or lose you a couple games a year. We haven't had a solid, dependable kicker since Lohmiller. Makes no sense to me.

Posted by: Mark Mosley | June 5, 2007 12:08 PM "

we tried that and ended up with john hall who couldnt stay healthy

Posted by: xempt | June 5, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the Saints cut John Carney in favor of a younger guy? Carney fits the veteran mold Gibbs loves, and would probably come pretty least bring him into camp to put the pressure on Suisham....

Posted by: Dan | June 5, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Jason, I just want to say that I am glad you are still on the Redskin beat. I feared you might move on. You told in an email last year that the grind got pretty tough on that assignment. But you are terrific on the beat and I look forward to your stories. Hang in there. I am looking forward to your reports and to the Redskin season, win or lose.

Best regards

Posted by: Rick Gunter | June 5, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I third "Mark Mosley." I was surprised that the Skins didn't do more last offseason to get either a kicker or punter, esp given how important "teams" are to Gibbs.

Suisham seems like he could be the answer, but it's too soon to draw any conclusions with any confidence.

Frost, on the other hand... I think we've seen enough to know that he is NOT the answer! He was terrible in 05, and not much better last year.

Posted by: Starbuck | June 5, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Suisham is on the "cups" of breaking through...and as long as they are DD cups, I'll be happy.

Suisham's "cusps" are running over.

Posted by: DD | June 5, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse


Hi Jason - welcome back. *hugs* How are the little ones and mama?

Your memory is much better than mine - you actually remembered that stuff with Frost? I'de like to keep both of them bacause they are both "Core Redskins", right Joe?

*hugs* to all

Posted by: SallyMae | June 5, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

DD, agreed. I think the only one in danger of breaking through his cups is Grilliams.

On Suisham, I think there is plenty of veteran "insurance" out there now, so there is no need to bring in competition yet (but didn't they just do so with that Fredrickson guy?). Seems like LOTS of vets (Akers, Carney, Morton Andersen, Tynes, others) will be available all season long.

Frost, on the other hand ... I thought that was the reason the Skins were interested in the kicker/punter from Arizona (Nick Folk), who somebody else drafted. Frost seems mentally unstable. I don't think its a Danny Smith problem. Frost just needs to find his inner jm220 to stay centered.

Posted by: dcsween | June 5, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The question could be, is there a benefit to bringing in the competition now versus right before camp? Get to know some other dudes, give them some of the camp workload, and then have them on speed dial in case of meltdown or the yips. I'm all right with waiting, I guess.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | June 5, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

This past offseason, after David Lonie was excused and they were looking for other punters to compete with Frost, JLaC reported on a guy named Travis Dorsch who had all the numbers that I would have wanted to see in a punter. I don't remember why Dorsch never got the call, but he seemed like he coulda/shoulda been the team's guy for yip meltdown purposes (if not Frost's replacement). That said, I was pleasantly surprised by (and eventually shut up about) Frost as the season wore on.

Posted by: dcsween | June 5, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Frost really sucks.

I do like Suisham though -- his work here in Washington leaves no room for criticism. He has been good here. Let's hope it continues.

Posted by: WashingtonWarriors | June 5, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I can't second guess Francona's decision in that situation, Jason. I see it as another example of Tito letting the players work themselves out of situations and slumps. Why else would he keep playing the Man-child Wily-Mo who can't seem to catch anything in center field? They're tired and not exactly the most strategic-minded bunch of players in the world. Ortiz may have had a homer early, but he's still off his game. The rest of the order has been carrying this team (Youk, Pedroia and Lowell). I can't wait until they're firing on all cylinders.

No buzz on the Skins front office situation this off-season? That sure became a "non-topic" quickly.

Posted by: Unconvinced | June 5, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Frosty the shank-man... In my view he's got good distance and hang time, just inconsistent. As I recall, we had problems at that position before he arrived, and he won the job. This is not a glamour position and he does a decent job. Think about it- How many games has he lost for us?

Posted by: rfields | June 5, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

i think frosts biggest problems came when he was taking on kickoff duties...or did they continue after that?

re: kicker...i just think its healthy to bring in competition...what about vanderjact...they should have grabbed him when they had the chance and brought him in...i know he has serious confidence issues now but his track record warranted a look...if that guy gets back on track...he is a diamond in the rough...all these other suggestions (other kickers people threw out there) great ideas...adn why dont we bring guys in to compete and if nothing else push frosty and squishy

Posted by: deadskin | June 5, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Dear Fellow Redskins Fans

Being a Redskin in Denmark (Europe) can be frustrating with the limited news coverage, but it warms my heart with all the informative comments you give here and a special thanks to Jason for writing this blog.

On the question about the kicker position I think that the Skins could need a veteran to ad stability and as a Dane my suggestion is Morten Anderson. His leadership, ability to adapt, his consistency, and personality will fit in to the Skins family and the looker room. Am I affected by the fact that M. Andersen is Danish? Yes - but it does not eliminate the fact that he could ad stability and with every one saying that Gibbs likes veterans, M. Andersen should be a perfect fit.

"Call him Snyder"

Redskins fan forever

Posted by: Nyeland from Denmark | June 5, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Hello, Nyeland, welcome to RI! I saw your fellow Danes the Raveonettes last night, here in Portland, Oregon. Fantastic show.

How old is Morten now? And if I recall, his glory years were primarily spent in the comfort of the Superdome, correct? He'd certainly be worth a look for the reasons you cite, though.

Posted by: Nate in the PDX | June 5, 2007 10:59 PM | Report abuse

My bro. is a HUGE Costello fan and caught him in Philly a few weeks ago...

Posted by: Pink C.C.- | June 5, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse

My bro. is a HUGE Costello fan and caught him in Philly a few weeks ago...

Posted by: Pink C.C.- | June 5, 2007 11:00 PM | Report abuse


True about Mr. Andersen that he has primarily played for teams with a dome, which of cause is an important consideration. Dome or not, he had one of his best seasons last year, I think he only missed two FG, and one of them was blocked. With the many close games the Skins have played the past seasons, it would be nice with Mr. Automatic

Posted by: Nyeland from Denmark | June 6, 2007 3:56 AM | Report abuse

Is M. Vanderjadt still available? (Hope I spelled his name right)

Posted by: Redskin Born | June 6, 2007 7:36 AM | Report abuse

I always thought that field goal kicking was a crap shot and that NFL teams had to be lukcy rather than good in acquiring good, consistent kickers but the Skins seemed to have stumbled on luck when they found Suisham. I like Suisham and think that he will pick up from where he left off last year. I still think that competition in training camp is healthy. It keeps players from taking their position/job for granted. For example, look at the RB position this year with Portis having to battle Ladell to keep his starting position. Kickers need that kind of competition to prepare them for the regular season.

What bugs me and truely confuses me is how the Skins could let David Lonie go when he was booming 50+ punts consistently mind you in favor of an inconsistent Frost. What competition was Gibbs and company was looking at. Lonie clearly beat out Frost.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 6, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

C'mon guys...

Kickers...we're talkin about kickers!!!

I waste no more blog juice on kickers!

Posted by: sicwidit | June 6, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

The ticket price for Elvis might've looked steep to start with, but it was worth twice or three times that. Killer sound, a lot of early Attractions material he hasn't done live in a long time, plus the Allen Toussaint guest bit at the end. Excellent, excellent show.

As far as kickers go, why, instead of wasting all that money on Archuleta, couldn't the Danny have written Vinatieri a big old free agency check instead? That might actually have done us some good.

Posted by: hannnah | June 8, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

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