Danny Smith Looking For The Best Guy

Posted by Matt Terl on August 15, 2010 – 5:31 pm

When the Redskins added long snapper James Dearth to the roster today, I just sort of naturally assumed that it had meant the release of long snapper Nick Sundberg. This, as you can see from the picture above, was incorrect. “You know, you feel good about veterans,” special teams coach Danny Smith explained, “but I’m not opposed to a rookie if he can do it. All we did was establish competition at the position and we’ll keep the best guy.”

A number of people have asked me if the team has considered bringing back longtime long snapper Ethan Albright, so I put that question to Coach Smith.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really get a firm response; Smith sidestepped the question and noted, “We signed another long snapper, we’re gonna go with the two that we have right now, see if we can get the best guy outta those two.”

This is sort of a rare situation for Smith, who has usually been able to go into camp with a familiarity with at least one of his three specialists. This year, aside from kicker Graham Gano‘s four-game audition at the end of last season, he has an almost entirely new bunch of guys. But, Smith says, no uncertainty.

“I don’t look at it as an uncertainty at all,” he said today. “I look at it just from unfamiliarity; the certainty is there, we’ve got some players that can play. It’s just being unfamiliar with them as players having not been in the heat of the battle and the games.”

And there’s a very simple remedy to that unfamiliarity. “That’s what the preseason gives you in the National Football League,” Smith said. “We’ve got four games, so we’ll get to know each other real well.”

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