Well, that Giants game will be a game we talk about for years to come. It signifies everything wrong and is hopefully the final bad memory of a decade of shenanigans. All that aside, not one single Redskin played well. Perhaps the 2 XP misses were was due to Gano having to practice that awful trick play all week. Thanks to my friend Bruce (from theRavens SB Nation community), I was able to ask Graham a few questions, and he kindly responded. I should note I received his replies just before the Giants game.
What are you thoughts on the Bowden retirement given everything going on at FSU?
Graham: I was lucky to have been part of Coach Bowdens legacy at Florida State. There is no doubt that he is one of the greatest coaches of all time and a remarkable man as well. He has played a huge role in helping build Florida State and their football program into the nationally recognized team they are today. I wish that he could go out on better terms but hopefully the guys can bring home a win against West Virginia.
In the UFL championship game, you kicked the 33-yard game winner in OT after the Tuskers called timeout to ice you. What goes through a kicker'smind on a timeout like that? Did any opposing players say anything pre-kick to try and jinx it?
Graham: Well Im not sure what goes on in other kickers minds during that time but I stay very calm throughout it all. I could really care less if a team decided to "ice" me or not. I am confident that no matter what, I'm going to go out on the field and put it through the pipes. I take the time to focus on what I need to do to make the kick because I know that my teammates will do their jobs as well. You practice all week preparing for these types of situations so that when the time comes, all you have to do is react.
You came into a difficult situation at FSU having to follow-up all the WIDE RIGHT kickers, deal with all the opposing heckling, and you kicked consistently well. What do you think it is why other kickers struggle to kick it straight in clutch situations? Is that something one can coach?
Graham: I can't speak for other guys that have kicked at Florida State but I believe that no matter what you must prepare as if every kick is the most important kick of your life. Throughout the week I prepare myself mentally for these types of situations and by staying calm and collected I know that when the opportunity arises, I will carry myself onto the field with this same mindset, so that when the time comes I've already been there.
Hunter Smith has held for some of the best kickers of all time. What goes in to the initial process of meeting a new place holder?...and how has your interaction with Danny Smith and Hunter been so far?
Graham: Getting used to a new snapper and holder takes time and practice. Coach Smith does a good job preparing us to perform at our best. Every operation is a little different when it comes to a having a new set of guys. I am blessed to have two of the best and most experienced guys in Ethan Albright and Hunter Smith and they make it very easy for me to do my job.
What's more important for say a ball that is on the 35 yard line: Centering the ball in the middle field, or gaining an extra 5 yards (and then having to kick from the hash mark)?
Graham: It really doesnt matter where the ball is on the field. If the ball is in the left, center, or right I just have to adjust my allignment to be square to the target.
Your website still has the Ravens jersey listed, can we expect an update soon? (I included a picture to help out.)
Graham: Hahaha I think that you may be referring to grahamgano.com which I have nothing to do with. I'm not sure if that will change or not but I hope it does! I am honored to be a part of this organization and look forward to contributing!
The website actually has been updated with the picture we sent. Nice. Thanks again to the newest Redskin for taking some time to chat with us.