Blog Entry

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Posted on: December 15, 2010 11:27 am
Edited on: December 15, 2010 5:24 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson

The Washington Redskins hit an (arguable) low point when a botched extra point cost them a shot at overtime with the Buccaneers on Sunday. The answer to that, clearly, was an organizational facelift cutting punter Hunter Smith, who missed the hold on the play.

It was kind of a dumb move, frankly, because Smith shouldn't be holding the ball on kicks anyway -- that job should go to Rex Grossman. Since, you know, having a backup serve as something more than "rumor machine for Donovan McNabb" is generally a good idea. But Smith was holding and he botched the hold and now he's out of a job.

As he told SportsTalk (via Mike Jones at TBD), his release probably involved Mike Shanahan trying to send a message to his players and it' probably "political."

"I think after you play in the NFL long enough, you realize it's a very political institution," Smith says. "I don't write it off to politics, but someone does have to pay the price in because we would win, or possibly tie the game if I catch the ball."

Smith also wondered if he was a "scapegoat" for the Redskins loss, which certainly seems to be the case in this situation.

"In the NFL, there are a couple of different types of teams out there," Smith said. "There are some teams that display undying loyalty to their coaches and players, and other teams that tend to want to make a statement during a time of tragedy that's going on by making an example of somebody and partially blame them for the loss. I'm not saying the Redskins are like that, but I think in this sense, it does come down to that."

It's pretty obvious that it comes down to that -- the Redskins are losing, losing bad and no one in the D.C. area really cares for them right now.

Unfortunately for Shanahan and the current regime, simply putting a punter out on the street isn't going to do enough to cover up all the other problems with the organization right now. In fact, one could argue it simply accentuates the issues.


UPDATE: On Wednesday, Mike Shanahan’s said Smith’s release had nothing to do with the botched PAT.

“I told Hunter, I said I admired the way he stepped up and blamed it on himself,” Shanahan said, according to the team’s website. “I said it was a combination of the snap and the hold, but Hunter's the type of guy that took full responsibility for it. 'For that,' I said, 'I was gonna keep you just for the way you handled yourself.’”

So why, then, was Smith dismissed?

"Over the last twenty punts I think he's had two that we'd consider the hangtime that we want," Shanahan said, "so that's why we'd make the change. It had nothing to do with the hold."


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Comments

Since: Oct 28, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 11:11 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Good point, why don't someone ask Shanny how the last middle of the season cut punter went (Tom Rouen)? The punter is not the problem, it's your play calling a lack of enthusiasm Shanny, hang it up! Without Elway and Young, would you even get a job coaching?




Since: Aug 28, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 10:32 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

He's no jay feely



Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 10:22 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Shanahan is resembling the coach that was losing in it Denver, and who eventually was fired b/c he wasn't getting it done.  The game may have passed him and his style by.  His team management skills are awful and the team is not good.



Since: Sep 27, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 9:49 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Shanahan is losing it,his daysCool as a head coach are numbered!



Since: Sep 27, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 9:49 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Shanahan is losing it,his daysCool as a head coach are numbered!



Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2010 9:27 pm
 

NOT an isolated incident.

Look at Smiths' body of work this season. The guy is a below average punter to be nice. One can argue he is the worst punter statistically in the NFL. Anyways, the dropped snap was just the icing on the cake. Look, I don't believe a thing that comes out of shanny's mouth, but this guy has been poor for some time.



Since: Jun 9, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2010 7:20 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Why in the world should we believe Shanahan now when he obviously lied in the past... like the McNabb benching?



Since: Jan 8, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2010 6:05 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Smith was a Pro Bowl punter for years with Indianapolis and was lured by big money Washington only to underperform.  Like that ever happens to Washington.  Cutting Smith to "send a message" is like leaving out fabric softener when washing the team towels and seeing if players notice.  Cut McNabb.  Cut (don't suspend) Haynesworth.  Cut Shanahan's son as offensive coordinator.  That would make me sit up and take notice.



Since: Aug 10, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:59 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Why, exactly should Rex Grossman be the holder? 



Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:45 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

No problem. Donovan McNabb as the field goal holder gives them more chances to fake and scramble for yards or throw. Go Rex!


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