Patience Is Key For Redskins Kicking Success
- Updated: October 10, 2012
When it comes to being patient, the Washington Redskins are one team that never crosses ones mind. Over the last 10 plus seasons, fans and management have expected results immediately, resulting in last place finishes and non-rebuilds.
We are yet again seeing this with the kickers, a group whom the Redskins have been notorious for replacing after not giving them much of an opportunity. Since 1994 the Washington Redskins have had 19 kickers, the most of any team in the NFL. Of those 19 kickers, only four of them have had tenures with the team of more than two seasons; Chip Lohmiller (6), Brett Conway (3), John Hall (3), and Shaun Suisham (3).
Up until recently one could argue the position that has been a detriment to the team the longest would be the quarterback position, but with Robert Griffin III shining, that obviously is no longer a problem, leaving the runner-up, kicking, to take the crown. There’s no denying that kicking has been a huge problem for the team since Lohmiller, who last kicked for the team in 1994 was a starter.
The Redskins just cut Graham Gano, who had been with the team since 2009, for a kicker released by the Baltimore Ravens, Billy Cundiff, whom the Redskins cut Wednesday for UCLA Bruin, Kai Forbath. Bit of a domino effect huh?
Patience is the problem with the Redskins. They expect to see results immediately by younger kickers, instead of giving them a chance to prove themselves. Take Graham Gano for example. Gano had his struggling moments in 2010, but in 2011 he didn’t make nearly the same amount of mistakes as he did in 2010. In fact, the majority of his kicks that were missed were at the hands of the line not being able to block for him.
In fact, Graham Gano (73.8%) has been one of the better Redskins kickers since Mark Moseley kicked for the team. The only kickers to have kicked better than him were Shaun Suisham (80.4%) who the Redskins ironically allowed to walk due to lack of patience and Brett Conway (75.4%).
Does that mean Gano was an elite kicker or clutch, not at all, but cutting him for a one-time Pro Bowl kicker who the Ravens cut should have set off a big red flag. If that didn’t, then clearing his 58.3% success rate did, the worst of all the kickers since 1994 with at least 10 or more field goal attempts (Akers went 0-2 before being released).
Instead of having two kickers who are dependable (Gano and Suisham), the Redskins now are resorting to taking a gamble on a kicker who has not once kicked in the NFL regular season. A kicker who will most likely be cut in less than two-years if he has anything less than an 80% success rate.
If the Redskins want a kicker that will “be here for the next 15 years,” as Mike Shanahan said he would like, they must give Forbath time to succeed in the NFL, otherwise this merry-go-round will continue to go round.