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Old 12-04-2008, 04:07 PM   #1
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"Special" Teams

What's the deal?

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Football analysis and NFL stats for the Moneyball era - Authors of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Well, our punt unit is terrible. That's inexcusable for a team that used a draft pick on a punter, regardless of whether or not he makes the team. Our field goal kicker's struggles are well accounted for in these stats also, although he's doing a better job on kickoffs than most give him credit for.

We know that Joe Gibbs put a high quality on special teams when building his rosters, and perhaps Cerrato didn't get the memo here. But were there signs of trouble in the past?

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Football analysis and NFL stats for the Moneyball era - Authors of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Football analysis and NFL stats for the Moneyball era - Authors of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

Last year, our punt team was one of the better punt teams in the league. This year, we're punting a lot more and have the second worst punt coverage team in the league (thank god for Minnesota), which is a bad combination. We've always had a poor PR unit, and a great KR unit, but it's how we are kicking and covering kicks that is making all the difference.

Ultimately though, this seems more like a gradual decline than something that we just ignored this off-season. We have the same special teams coach, so it looks like the players we currently have on teams aren't getting it done. Considering that we are using a lot of defensive starters on coverage units, it's clearly not a deficiency in the talent of the player, rather how well they do the job that's the issue.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:14 PM   #2
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Re: "Special" Teams

I think Jim Zorn could help the team out more by going for it on 4th downs. I don't think he's currently considering the quality of his punt team when opting to punt on 4nd and 4 or less. He's assuming that he has a league average punt unit which he does not. Therefore, 4th down conversion attempts would help the Redskins far more than an average team thanks to the offensive inconsistencies and punting woes.
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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Re: "Special" Teams

I don't know that is sad to hear. I would expect us to rebound. Our defense fell off one year mainly attributed to injuries but I praise Danny Smith for the units hes put out in the past.

Man, if only we could ressurrect Bryan Mitchell (a 5th rounder) maybe our offense could scrape itself off the bottom. Getting the ball on our 20 yd line is too uphill for us and since all we can do is hope to FG ourselves into wins since we can't score that is way to far to kick. I must say Rock has done a satisfactory job KR not as good as last year but it will suffice till the end of the year, 4 more weeks from now.

But HOW do you coach coverage?????

We have to ALL acknowledge Suisham is not helping the matter. I think I have seen only 5 kickoffs make it to the endzone and that was probably wind gusts.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:52 PM   #4
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Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

I think that consistency is a key component to a long-term winning franchise - especially within the coaching staff. Certainly, the Daniel Snyder era has been characterized by hair-trigger changes - although that seems to be slowing down.

This season though it seems that there is no part of the Special Teams play this season that is going well. Average play at best and some parts are really mediocre or worse. The players have to execute on the field but with the wholesale problems in this area I wonder if Zorn will make a change here in the coach this off season.

To me, the extra point play where the Redskins ST players just gave up on the rush - allowing the Giant placer to take a high snap and replace it was just an indication of a ST program going really downhill. Zorn mentioned the play in his Press Conference.

Coach Danny Smith lobbied for a very rare draft pick selection for a punter. Brookes won the competition but was gone by 2/3 of his rookie season. Plack [his replacement] is inconsistent.

Susiham is now very inconsistent and has missed 3 of the last 5 FG. Two games ago a KO was fielded on the 20 yd line - a horrible kick.

ARE is now a toothless PR specialist. No threat of any kind now for the money thrown in this area.

I like Rock Cartwright but he's also lost some steam in the KO. He had a monster hole earlier this season but didn't have the speed to carry it for a TD.

Rock and Thrash still make big efforts in the St but age has cut them back in their contribution. We need new blood.

Danny Smith is a Gibbs II guy - not a Zorn guy. Easy to make an example of him - right now he's the lowest hanging fruit. What does everyone else think in this area? Not a rant but simply a discussion of a critical area that is not helping this team in any way. What say you?

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Old 12-04-2008, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

Sure, and you could have the same debate over Stan Hixon (receiver coach). Actually the best debate is which of the two units has performed worse, respective of talent of course.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:04 PM   #6
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

Exactly. In this question I can see both being let go. Zorn has to be loyal to his staff but not when they aren't his coach selections. Not when they are dragging the team down this way.

I just thought that the horrible PT play with the Giants might have broken the camel's back regarding the ST play. Mistakes are one thing. Total lack of heart? Not excusable.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:20 PM   #7
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

Zorn may not have picked Danny but they are friends. I think he would probably give him another year considering the personell changes they've gone through on ST's. Leigh Torrance was the gunner, he's gone, neither punter that started out here are still here and a lot of rookies are on ST's now. I don't know what his relationship with Hixon is but he should be re-evaluated after the season.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:24 PM   #8
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Re: "Special" Teams

Mods, can we merge this with the "Should we fire Danny Smith" thread??

This is an interesting subject. We let a bunch of veterans go to make room for all 10 of our draft picks, many of whom are expected to contribute on special teams.

Kareem Moore has been solid, however I wonder if all the rookies on teams plays a part...

Clearly Suisham is falling off lately, and both punt units suck.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:50 PM   #9
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

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Zorn may not have picked Danny but they are friends. I think he would probably give him another year considering the personell changes they've gone through on ST's. Leigh Torrance was the gunner, he's gone, neither punter that started out here are still here and a lot of rookies are on ST's now. I don't know what his relationship with Hixon is but he should be re-evaluated after the season.
I didn't know about this friendship between Zorn and Smith - thanks for the info.

I think the ST stalwarts such as Rock Cartwright, ARE, Suisham, Thrash will be let go this offseason or at least be offered very serious competition. Danny Smith may get another year but he's going to bring in new blood which you need on the ST. The WR rookies are also going to have to produce on the ST. If you can't do much for the offense you better contribute somehow. No free lunch......
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:05 AM   #10
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Re: "Special" Teams

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Mods, can we merge this with the "Should we fire Danny Smith" thread??

This is an interesting subject. We let a bunch of veterans go to make room for all 10 of our draft picks, many of whom are expected to contribute on special teams.

Kareem Moore has been solid, however I wonder if all the rookies on teams plays a part...

Clearly Suisham is falling off lately, and both punt units suck.
Great minds think alike. I think we started these threads about the same time. Let's merge them!

It's easy to pummel the coach, but the ST play for the Redskins is just average or below in every segment of our ST play. We don't have ANY areas in our ST play - except in scaring ourselves as we take a PR or cover a KO.

The PT play in the Giants game was pitiful, unemotional and poor. Don't know how that can't be considered a coaching issue.

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Old 12-05-2008, 12:17 AM   #11
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

I agree. If you can't start, you damn sure better make a difference on ST's.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:09 AM   #12
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

Hell lets throw the head, D Line, O Line, WR's, QB, and mabe I left one off the coaches while we are at it. Heck lets rebel as fans and kick Snyder off the team ourself.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:17 AM   #13
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

There will be times when the camera zooms in on Zorn on the sidelines I think mostly when our Offensive is on the field, and I remember times last year with Gibbs when the Defense was on the field the camera zooms in and Danny Smith is conferencing with our head coach.

What type of input or expertise would our special tems coach possibly be bringing to the discussion that may impact our decision or next play???

Has anyone sitting at home noticed this while watching the game???

Its quite common as it happens often, I have never seen it with any other team and it baffles me to this day. Somebody has seen this. Whats the deal?

All in all I like Danny, but I would understand if someone better is available. I just think KR is good could be better b/c Rock still sucks. KO/FG could be better b/c Suisham kicks like a girl kicking with her bad leg. PR SUCKS b/c ARE is worthless. Punting b/c we did switch our kicker out this year twice. So have a heart on the Danny hating.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:18 AM   #14
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Re: Do Others Wonder if ST Coach Danny Smith will be Replaced in the Off-Season?

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Hell lets throw the head, D Line, O Line, WR's, QB, and mabe I left one off the coaches while we are at it. Heck lets rebel as fans and kick Snyder off the team ourself.
I call DIBS on being the new owner, SWEEEEEETTT !!!!

In your face 1st Down.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:13 AM   #15
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Re: "Special" Teams

Something has to be done on ST because they havent been too special for the last couple of years. I think its a combo of coaching and players and changes need to be made in both areas.
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