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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Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:16 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

So....let me understand this....the redskins lose the game on a botched snap, which happen from time to they cut the holder....yet they keep the kicker who missed 2 chip-shot field goals that could've won them the game?

Last week he missed two easy field goals from 34 and 24 yards on the first three Redskin drives.

Against Houston he missed the FG in OT that could've won them the game

Against Indy he missed the FG that would've left the game tied at 23 after the Colts made their 4th quarter FG

Pittsburg cut Jeff Reed for missing field goals that didnt matter, but the Redskins are keeping the kicker who cost them games? As bad as this team is, if Gano had made his damn field goals they're be a 8-5 or 7-6 team looking for a playoff spot. Instead, he's inability to kick field goals has cost the Redskins at least 2 games, maybe 3...he's missed 10 total on the year, and it's the punter who gets the axe? Sure he may not have been the best punter in the NFL, but on a team with a 300+lb baby and an incompitant you really think cutting Hunter is going to help?

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:05 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

The bad teams always try to blame the kicker, punter or holder as the reason why they totally suck.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 5:02 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

The Redskins are so funny

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 4:54 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

May I paraphrase a famous athlete from another sport?   " Were talking about a punter man. We’re talking about a punter. We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about a punter. When you come to the arena, and you see me play, you’ve seen me play right, you’ve seen me give everything I’ve got, but we’re talking about a punter right now. … Hey I hear you, it’s funny to me too, hey it’s strange to me too but we’re talking about a punter man, we’re not even talking about the game, when it actually matters, we’re talking about a punter ”
  On another note, anything that Shanahan says to the media is a lie.  Because the media is the enemy, and this week the media might as well be working for the Cowboys.  Next week they'll be working for the Jags.  The media doesn't care about the team......and hating the Redskins is not a challenge.  We are the cure to what ails you.  Haven't won a road game in two years?  Here ya go.  Just fired your head coach?  Here ya go.  Your owner just died?  Here ya go.  Got an ex-Redskin on your team who wants his revenge?  Here ya go.  Your job is to write articles but you're not good at it?  Here ya go.  Just know one thing.  Bill Belicheck doesn't take the week off when game planning for the Skins and his opinion is the only one that matters.  Next year we will break your face, because Shanahan is an expert at breaking faces.  I think he broke his own.   

Since: Dec 15, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 4:27 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

He's a terrible punter and just unreliable.  I don't think any of his punts went over 40 yards or even had the average hang time in the NFL.  If anything he did lose the game for the us skins fan because making that extra point and having that TD really turns things around and maybe win in OT who knows.  This is just a terrible year for the skins just as it has been and a lot of the blame I have to say goes to everyone on the team including the coaches.  I'm a huge skins fan, but I think Shanahan is a bit stuborn and plays too much to favortism.  I don't mind seeing us lose a lot more the next 3-4 years if we're gonna rebuild with YOUNGER potential players.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 4:10 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

absolutely greatfan but there are no headlines in that story,some journos just want to make every story seem as if the Skins are totally directionless

Since: Sep 16, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 3:43 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Hunter was cut because his punts had no hang time and continually hurt the skins field position.   The rest just hurried the possess.

Since: Jun 13, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 3:31 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Big deal!  He's a punter!  Why is this a big story?  The Redskins are a bad team and have bigger issues than their kicking game.  I honestly feel bad for their fans.  Even the Bill McPeak days seem like the golden era compared to this team.  At least under McPeak, they got Sonny Jurgenson and Charley Taylor for the future.  This team is going to circle the drain for a few years.  Who could have ever thought this team would go into the dumper after winning it all following the 1991 season?  Shanahan may get the job done, but it is going to take a long time.

Since: Jun 24, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 3:27 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

I agree, but I believe he was the first person the Bills met with when Jauron was fired. They met with him at his home the week following the Jauron firing during the season.

Since: Aug 31, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 3:14 pm

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

So glad that coach was not interviewed for the Bills job.  He never was much good.  The 'skins can have him.

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