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Specialists Receive Mixed Reviews

Posted by Matt Terl on August 4, 2010 – 2:10 pm

Today was the first practice day that actually FELT like training camp, at least from the oppressive-heat-and-humidity standpoint. A whole mess of players — including Santana Moss, London Fletcher, Clinton Portis, Joey Galloway, Larry Johnson, and Jammal Brown — were given the day off to rest, and watched their teammates from the sidelines. Albert Haynesworth wasn’t practicing today, and I can only hope that some intrepid media outlet will find out why not. As a result, the practice felt a little sluggish at points, a little ragged at others.

The most interesting part, in fact, came afterwards. Special teams coach and all-around excellent talker Danny Smith held court for a bit, and in the process gave the end-of-week-1 reviews of his three specialists. And those reviews were decidedly mixed.

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Josh Bidwell Has To Become Ambidextrous

Posted by Matt Terl on May 24, 2010 – 3:34 pm

The Redskins have two candidates in place for a likely training camp kicker competition (which is always a good time). The incumbent, relatively speaking, is Graham Gano, who kicked 4 field goals in 4 attempts in 4 games with the team last year. Gano is an athlete, a gym rat, and a scotsman.

The challenger is Justin Medlock, signed back in February, and the subject of an in-depth profile by Dan Steinberg a few weeks ago. But one thing that’s not mentioned in the Steinberg profile is that Medlock kicks left-footed. This isn’t a huge problem for Medlock, who has been a successful left-footed kicker his entire life, but it’s presenting something of a hurdle to new punter — and presumptive holder — Josh Bidwell.

“I’ve been holding for fifteen years,” Bidwell says, “through college, high school, and the pros, but I never had to hold for a left-footed guy. It’s coming along, though. It’s definitely awkward and unnatural, but like with everything else, the reps clear everything out for you.”

Awkward and unnatural doesn’t exactly sound encouraging, but Medlock — one of those optimistic West Coast types — claims to be less concerned. Read more »

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Redskins Sign Punter Josh Bidwell

Posted by Matt Terl on March 23, 2010 – 9:52 am

The Redskins today announced the signing of veteran punter Josh Bidwell. Bidwell is entering his 11th NFL season, having spent the the last six years with the Tampa Bay Bucs. And here’s what “entering his 11th NFL season means for practical purposes:

It means that:

  • He played in the Aloha Bowl, an event that hasn’t been held in this millennium. (That 1998 edition wound up being notably high-scoring.)
  • His highlights from that game are as far from HD as is possible while still being a moving picture.
  • His quarterback in that game was Akili Smith, a former first-round pick who hasn’t taken an NFL snap in almost a decade.

It also means that he’s had plenty of NFL experience. Bidwell holds a Buccaneers club record in gross punting average (44.0 avg.), punting attempts (419) and punts inside the 20-yard line (124). as well as the top four single-season gross punting averages in Buccaneers history (2005-08) and three of the top five single-season net punting averages in club history (2005, 2007-08).

(Stats courtesy of the Redskins press release.)

And he’s got an interesting backstory, too.

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