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: Jun 26, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:51 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Well put. I am done with this team and I would NEVER of thought I would feel this way but send the whole package(Danny, Shanny,Bruce, Mcnabb)
to the west coast I can wait for the expansion team.




Since: Nov 16, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:32 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

I've never understood why any team makes a punter the FG/PAT holder rather than a backup QB.  Not only should a QB have better hands than a punter, but having the punter hold instead of a QB also takes away the possibility of any type of passing fake field goal play.



Since: Dec 17, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:29 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Maybe Rex Grossman should have not just been doing the holding for Hunter Smith, he should have been punting as well. Could not have been worse than Hunter Smith.

If there was a political or reactionary move to be made, that would be cutting the kicker Graham Gano. Anyone who watched the game would know that the two short field goals he missed were more to blame for their loss than the botched snap.

I think it shows constraint and things quite opposite what the author implies in this article to not cut the Kicker, who has missed quite a few field goals this season.

For Hunter the Punter this was the last straw as previous poster said and was probably overdue.



Since: Nov 11, 2007
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:25 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

That would only work if the owner was sent to LA as well.  Heck, keep the players, just let Danny Boy buy the LA team if he gives up ownership of the Skins.



Since: Dec 24, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:15 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Cut Haynesworth instead.



Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:10 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

Maybe it's just the influence of Capitol Hill, but if the Washington Redskins haven't captured the title of Most Dysfunctional Franchise in All of Professional Sports they have to be at least a contender.

As a life-long Redskins fan, I am fed up with the entire organization from inept ownership, management, coaches and players.

L.A. wants a team? My solution is to send them the Redskins but do as was done in Cleveland when their team moved to Baltimore to become the Ravens. D.C. would keep the team name, colors and so forth. Another franchise or expansion team would then become the Redskins when they arrived in Washington.





Since: Dec 11, 2010
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:07 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

"It is the owner fault"

No it can't be, thats a too logical conclusion for the Redskins!



Since: Dec 23, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2010 1:01 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

I think Hunter Smith also negotiated McNabb's contract, signed Haynesworth, and hired that goofy jerk Shanahan to coach the team.  You could write a whole damn novel on how bad the Redskins suck.



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:45 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

"This years draft will go along way in determining if the Redskins are on the right path, or if they are destined to languish in mediocrity or below...the poverty line.."

Do the Skins have any draft picks in the next 5 years they have not traded away?



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2010 12:39 pm
 

Hunter Smith cut for 'political' reasons?

As a lifelong Redskins fan I can say  that they might be the worst run franchise in professional sports. Their owner wants to win, but doesn't know how. Evidence by some of the hirings he has made( Jim Zorn.. really.. Steve Spurrier... etc). How about some of his free agent signings? Bruce Smith.. Jeff George.. Deoin Sanders..Adam Archuleta..to name a few. All wqorked out reall well.. right? Umm no..Now he seems to have found a GM Bruce Allen who has a clue as to what needs to be done. Jim Zorn was a joke of a hire. He was way in over his head. And his football teams proved that. Does anybody remember the "swinging gate" play against the Gmen last year. Ok I give you credit for trying to be creative, BUT when the opposing team calls time-out to  defend the play and you come out and try to run it again. I'm sorry a high school coach would realize that particular play wasn't going to work. I'm beginning to wonder about Shanahans approach to fixing the Redskins. This years draft will go along way in determining if the Redskins are on the right path, or if they are destined to languish in mediocrity or below...the poverty line..


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