Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Missing Graham Gano

The Skins let go Graham Gano today in favor of Billy Cundiff. Early comments in the Washington Post discussion threads suggest most are happy to see Gano go. But I'll miss him, and I'm not convinced his release was a good move for several reasons.

First, I'm wary of the past. Before Gano the Skins cut Shaun Suisham, who had missed a key FG. Suisham was promptly picked up by the Steelers, and made 14 of his next 15 FGs on the way to the Steelers Super Bowl. Before Suisham (ok, long before), the Skins had a young kicker named David Akers, who they let go and then had a 10+ all-pro caliber run with the Eagles.

Second, I think Gano is all-pro level. Last year he made just 31 of 41, but 5 of those misses were blocks, and by all accounts the blocks were due to poor protection, not poor kicks. So functionally Gano was 31 for 36 (86%). And this high-percentage includes 4 makes from 50+ yards (and a franchise record 59-yarder). And no one questions Gano's leg strength on kick-offs.

Third, Gano is just 25 years old. The more I think about it, the more this feels like David Akers all over again. I made this slightly longer case for keeping Gano last year, and I still feel the same. I believe the Skins will miss Graham Gano; I already do.

1 comment:

  1. Just came across an AdvancedNFLStats.com analysis that *supports* the Cundiff acquisition: http://www.advancednflstats.com/2011/01/kicker-billy-cundiff-had-20-sacks-this.html