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Statistically, Danny Smith Should Stay as Redskins ST Coach

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Danny Smith has been the Redskins Special Teams coach since 2004, and it's clear then when it comes to defending punts and kick-offs, he is a top-5 ST coach. I throw out the 2008 year since Danny Smith had Durant "Thank you Vinny Cerrato" Brooks and Ryan Todd "Muffin Top" Plackemeier kicking their 35-yard line drives. Their punts had as much hang time as Charles Barkley does dunking now. With how those 2 punters kicked, that's an automatic 6 yards the KR got before having to make their first move. Let's not talk about those two anymore.

Things get REALLY hairy for Coach Smith when we flip to the other side of the ball, the Kickoff/Punt return. We as fans have been SCREAMING to get Randle El out of the PR position, yet he's always back there. It's idiotic not to have Moss, Hall, or Thomas back there at least 50% of the time...and the stats prove it. The Head Coach makes the decision to put the KR/PR back there, so how much of this falls on Danny Smith?

I really don't know that answer.

Either way, the Redskins special teams have been solid. Not giving up any punt or kick returns this year is no easy feat. The frustration is not just because the Redskins didn't score a TD, we all know they never had a CHANCE to. Ugh. The argument was that DeAngelo Hall and Devin Thomas didn't have enough reps to make them reliable enough to put back there consistently. I can buy that, but what I don't get is: After 3 years of being in the bottom of return yards, why don't you sign a free agent or get someone that can??? That is not Danny Smith's fault.

Full matrix of Coach's Smith's Special Teams NFL ranking stats for the last 4 years after the jump:

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Kickoffs (defending)

Return Yards

TDs Allowed

Kicker

2009

3rd (19.7 yards)

Tied 1st (0)

Suisham/Gano

2008

3rd (20.1)

Tied 1st (0)

Suisham

2007

4th (19.8)

Tied 3rd (1)

Suisham

2006

4th (20.8)

Tied 1st (0)

Suisham/Hall/Novak

Punting

Avg.

# Blocked

Inside 20

Return Avg

Punter

2009

31st (40.6)

0

10th (28)

6th (7.1)

H. Smith/Pakulak

2008

29th (41.0)

1

10th (24)

27th (11.7)

Brooks/Plackemeier

2007

28th (41.0)

0

18th (23)

6th (6.3)

Frost

2006

20th (42.9)

1

10th (27)

8th (7.1)

Frost

Punt average for 2009, OAK Lechler was #1 with an average of 51.1 yards.


Kick/Punt Returns

Punt Return Avg

Primary Returner


Kick Return Avg

Primary Returner

2009

30th (4.8 yards)

Randle El

24th (21.7 yards)

Rock Cartwright

2008

21st (8.4)

Randle El

4th (25.1)

Rock Cartwright

2007

26th (7.5)

Randle El

8th (23.8)

Rock Cartwright

2006

14th (8.8)

Randle El

19th (22.3)

Rock Cartwright

I'm sure the Mottrams will completely disagree with me as we've had this debate before, but I'd like to hear their argument. My prediction is Shanahan will be doing a full staff over-haul and Coach Smith is out, but we'll see. The big question is did Danny Smith really want ARE and Rock back there? (ie - to play it safe and reduce turnoves/injuries). Zorn made the official announcements, but that doesn't mean Danny Smith wasn't advising him to start them.