By Rich Tandler
For the past few days here on Real Redskins we have been looking at the 2011 Washington Redskins position by position and player by player. Earlier, we looked at the offense (quarterbacks, offensive line, wide receivers, running backs and tight ends). And then we covered the defense (defensive line and linebackers and defensive backs). The specialists are the last to go under the microscope.
The NFL’s most erratic kicker last year was perfect during the preseason, going 10 for 10 in field goals. Of course, booting kicks through the uprights in August in meaningless games is no guarantee that you can do the same when the December winds are swirling and the kick might help keep your team in the playoff hunt. We will see how he does there. We know he can boom his kickoffs and with the new rules, Danny Smith can either have him boom it too deep to be returned or have him place it near the goal line and see if the coverage can stop the other team deep in its own territory.
The Aussie can boom the ball, no doubt about it. And he doesn’t always hit a 50-yard punt when his team is on the other team’s 40. Rocca has been doing a good job holding for Gano as well.
He had his ups and downs last year, as in high snaps and low snaps. But he settled down as the year went on and he has been sharp in practice. Sundberg will get noticed only if he makes a mistake and if he makes too many, the fans again will be longing for the good old days with Ethan Albright.
“Dynamic” is the word most often used to describe Banks. He can change field position in a hurry. His balky knee is hindering his cutting ability but if he gets an opening, he can rocket through it for a huge gain as he did going 95 yards against the Bucs last week. It is almost certain that he will be given the green light to take it out from deep in the end zone on kickoffs, possibly minimizing the effects of the new kickoff rules.