I am sure I don’t have to tell you that its been a long time since the Redskins had a legitimate punter. Before you go telling me a punter won’t make that much of a difference you may want to think again. Some would argue that special teams are the most important aspect on the football field. I wouldn’t go that far but I will say field position should be top priority. This is something Redskins failed to do in 2008. The team would constantly have to dig out of bad field position and it’s hard to get the offense going if you’re constantly backed up. It’s no secret we have been in the bottom of the league the last ten years in most of the important punting statistics and last year was one of the worst. Rookie Durant Brooks showed some early signs of promise but he quickly faded and Ryan Plackemeier was about as reliable as a dead parrot.
Finding a punter in the offseason seemed like a no brainer for the Redskins but finding one that we could be confident in is another story. Then we signed ex Indianapolis Colts punter Hunter Smith. This could arguably be our best offseason move next to signing Albert Haynesworth. Smith has been a solid punter through his days with the Colts and they will no doubt miss him. In 2008, he averaged 44.2 and 38.8 net which was near the top in the league. Net punting average is something the team has struggled with for awhile now and hopefully Smith will change all that.
Consider this, not only will the punting game improve but also the kicking game. Special teams coach Danny Smith recently had this to say about him “he may be the best holder in history of the game.” Coach Smith was of course talking about the fact that he held for Adam Vinatieri and Mike Vanderjagt, arguably the two best kickers of all time. Regardless if the kicking game improves or not I think we may finally have a punter we can actually have faith in.