Was the Redskins' Special Teams to Blame for Today's Loss?
Just over a month ago I wrote an article asking "Is Danny Smith to Blame?". From the article I received a lot of interesting feedback from Hogs Haven members and even players like Lorenzo Alexander who adamantly defended his coach. But after watching the game again today I have to ask myself... is Danny Smith to blame? He may very well be a good coach, but would a change in personnel help the Redskins. Special Teams clearly cost the team the game today versus the Jets and here's why:
1) The biggest decision that killed the Redskins was the pooch kick after Graham Gano took the lead, which the Jets returned to mid-field. Dan Fouts and Ian Eagle presented the kick as a miss-kick from Gano, but as Grant Paulsen reported after the game, the kick was by design:
Multiple members of Redskins special teams unit said Gano's kickoff was indeed designed to be short. Dragged foot & prevented hang-time.
I don't get it? Why pooch? Who scares you on the Jets special teams? Especially an offense that had sputtered throughout the game.2) Brandon Banks: This is nearly a weekly post for me, but come on Brandon! He had a good return during the end, but negating that one return in garbage time, he again struggled to get it past the 20 yard line. He also had that terrible, negative punt return that Rex and company were able to overcome. And what about Banks' fumble where he didn't even pursue it? This guy needs to go, but I realize he will likely be here the rest of the year.
In short, there were several ST decisions today that had me scratching my head and I think Danny Smith may be at fault. Sometimes, no matter how good a coach is, there has to be a change. Smith may not be working with the best personnel, but it's personnel he's asked for and defended. A straight line returner would benefit this team. Gano booming it straight through the endzone, as he has done so many times this year, would've benefited this team.