We've seen our less than stellar kickoff coverage this pre-season. We're aware of our projected roster's poor special teams talent. We know we have to keep a lot of depth at RB and we want to keep a lot of receivers. But our current running backs and receivers, for the most part, lack the ability to perform well, if at all, in kickoff coverage. On top of that, one of our coverage unit's gunners, Anthony Armstrong, is in jeopardy of losing his roster spot to a guy who can't play gunner.
Yep, "novel" is one way to put it. But consider:
Cundiff's kickoffs, on average, travel a full 5 yards farther than Gano's. 83 of Cundiff's 154 kicks (53.8 percent) resulted in touchbacks the past two years. Gano? His percentage of touchbacks is half that, 27.8 percent to be exact.
Yes, Cundiff was the goat of last year's AFC Championship game. But that is how all kickers' careers go. Right? They're All Pros one season and goats the next. It's why even the best kickers have multiple stops over the course of their careers. True to form Cundiff was an All Pro kicker in 2010, converting 90%of his field goals.
Gano is superior to Cundiff on long field goals, but over the past two seasons Cundiff has hit 90% of his field goals from inside 50 yards.
Before believing Cundiff is some kind of choke artist or can't handle pressure situations, consider he was 3-3 during the '09 post-season, 4-4 during the '10 post-season, and 4-5 this most recent post-season. That's 91% accuracy when the heat is on.
Also, before believing a team can't trot Cundiff out there on a desperate long try at the end of a game realize he did kick (and yes, convert) a 62-yarder in college. Also, did anyone else notice his kickoff in the pre-season game hit the upright's cross-bar? That takes some power.
If you're coaching the team, you don't want heroics. You want certainty. That's what Billy Cundiff gives you
(I wish I could say I was diligent enough to come up with all these statistics on my own. But it was Dan Graziano, once again, who nailed some of these.: http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/42425/billy-cundiff-is-the-redskins-new-kicker)