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Mike Shanahan Explains The Release Of Hunter Smith

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2010 – 4:51 pm

There has been a pretty widespread assumption that Hunter Smith was released because of the botched hold at the end of the Buccaneers game. You would think that, at the very least, it didn’t help. But Mike Shanahan today claimed that it was Smith’s entire body of work, not just one costly play.

In fact, Shanahan said, Smith’s response to his miscue almost bought the punter a little more time on the squad. “I told Hunter, I said I admired the way he stepped up and blamed it on himself. 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.'”

But Shanahan is the head coach, which means that a player being a stand-up guy is all well and good, but his ability to do what the coaches need takes precedence. “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.” Read more »

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Mike Shanahan Declines To Commit To A Starting Lineup

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2010 – 4:12 pm

Look at those three happy, carefree guys. Jogging, grinning, a whole season of hope and possibility stretching out in front of them. Little do they realize that they are just four scant months away from a THREE-PRONGED QB CONTROVERSY!!!!!!!!

Okay, I exaggerate slightly. But head coach Mike Shanahan today was repeatedly offered opportunities to squash rumors that Rex Grossman would start ahead of (and/or receive more playing time than) Donovan McNabb in this week’s game at Dallas, and Shanahan repeatedly batted those opportunities aside. In fact, Shanahan was the one who added John Beck‘s name to the mix. He did all of this light-heartedly and claimed that it was entirely strategic, but one never knows for sure. ere are his quotes.

Here are his quotes; you judge his seriousness for yourselves. Read more »

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What DeAngelo Hall And Kobe Bryant Chatted About

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2010 – 12:29 pm

This picture from last night’s Wizards/Lakers game at Verizon Center showed up on The Basketball Jones today; they (for obvious reasons) care more about Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, but Redskins fans pretty much immediately noticed the teal-hatted gentleman in the background: cornerback DeAngelo Hall.

Hall was just one of a bunch of Redskins players at the game. He wasn’t the most notorious — that would be Donovan McNabb and/or Mike Sellers getting somewhat booed, which has drawn the most ink — but (as is his way) Hall did manage to irritate at least one person: MC JK over at DC Landing Strip found himself infuriated by Hall’s seat near the Lakers bench, and by his apparent conversation with Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Hall’s seat didn’t inspire quite that level of irritation in me — or any at all, to be honest — but I was certainly curious to know what he and Bryant had been talking about.

“Just basketball,” Hall told me today, looking slightly surprised that I was asking. Then he elaborated a bit further. Read more »

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Redskins Release Hunter Smith, Bring Back Sam Paulescu

Posted by Matt Terl on December 15, 2010 – 10:43 am

The big advance news heading into yesterday was that the Redskins were bringing in kickers for a tryout, but they all left the building unsigned. Which is not to say that the specialists group remained intact: the team instead released one punter, Hunter Smith, and planned to sign another, Sam Paulescu. This isn’t the first time that the Redskins have brought in Paulescu to replace Smith, either.

When Smith was suffering a hip injury midway through last season, Paulescu filled in for him for one game, at Atlanta. He punted three times, averaging 50 yards a punt. (“For myself, I couldn’t ask for a better game,” he said at the time. “I had three punts; it wasn’t a lot, but still, you wanna get good hits every time. That’s the bottom line: you wanna be consistent, and I thank God for that.”)

Oddly, though, no one seems to remember the guy. Brian Murphy of Homer McFanboy actually took the photograph of Paulescu that was posted on top of the article linked above, and STILL claims that he has no recollection of Paulescu or his time as a Redskins punter.

So here’s the bloggy Cliffs Notes on him beyond those one-game stats: Read more »

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