Graham Gano’s Historically-Significant Leg

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Late last week, the Redskins announced that they had tendered a contract to kicker Graham Gano, bringing him back for a fourth season in Washington.

The ‘Graham-Champion’ of a brief kicking competition with Shayne Graham in training camp, Gano improved on his 2010 numbers and accounted for a career-high 119 points.

Along the way, he also broke the franchise record for longest field goal, with a 59-yard boom from midfield against the 49ers at FedExField.  In an otherwise up-and-down year for the Redskins’ field goal team, everything came together on a perfect play, allowing Gano to do what he does best: crush kicks from downtown.

Don’t believe me?  Check the Florida state football record book.

In high school at J. M. Tate High School, Gano was a three-star prospect and the third-ranked kicker in the country.  He kicked a 50-yard field goal in the CaliFlorida All-Star Game in 2005.

As a senior at Tate, he nailed three kicks from beyond 55 yards: 57, 64 and 65.  The second two kicks broke the Florida state kicking record, and remain in place today.

Technically, Gano should have a 67-yarder on high school résumé, but an offensive penalty on the play negated the kick.  His 18-year-old self will be forced to settle for a record kick longer than any in NFL history.

[FYI: High school students are permitted to use tees on field goal kicks, a practice banned by both the NCAA and NFL. The national high school record was set by Dirk Borgognone’s 68-yarder in Nevada in 1985.]

Before anyone questions the integrity of the numbers or demands to know why his kicks have gotten shorter with age, remember that high schoolers are permitted to use tees on field goals.  Both the NCAA and NFL have banned such practices.

No question, Gano has had his ups and downs in Washington, just like every young kicker with every team in the pros.  With each passing season, Gano has found better accuracy and greater consistency.

If he can combine that with his well-documented power, he has the makings of the first Redskins franchise kicker in nearly 20 years.

0 thoughts on “Graham Gano’s Historically-Significant Leg

  1. Sorry, he is not near to being a mature, proficient kicker.’ ‘Pop’ and touch are more important than distance alone, and he hasn’t scratched the serface of that art form as yet. At the glacial pace he’s picking up those abiilities, he’ll be 35 before he becomes a proficient kicker. This may seem harsh, but it’s correct. At least, one old straight-on kicker thinks so. Sorry, I’m not particularly thrilled by his presence in burgandy and gold.

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    • @007–

      I think history has shown the league, and the Redskins especially, that patience is necessary with kickers. At this point, the Redskins have waited through the learning curve. Is now any time to ditch him, when he’s likely turned the proverbial corner? He’s a low-risk investment and will probably get competition in training camp again this year

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  2. I wasn’t sold on Gano after his first season, but I noticed that Shanahan still had great confidence in the guy, so I let it go. To me, his 2011 season was very good. I’m not gonna hold the five blocks against the guy because on each of those plays there were inexperienced guys on the line. Look, I saw Mosely kick, Lohmiller too. They were great kickers. I soured on Suisham and he has some pretty good numbers as far as Redskin kickers go as well. I have no problem sticking with Gano whatsoever. And trust me, I will bring up the 67 yarder that wasn’t on twitter every chance I get!

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  3. My real problem as a fan is that I have to watch him develop his play in crucial game situations. I can’t understand why he didn’t hone his craft in high school. That and why the REDSKINS would have him on their team as a raw ‘leg’ only.

    But if DAVID AKERS is any example, the REDSKINS should have learned that patience is necessary with kickers. I still prefer CONNER BARTH.

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  4. Talking bad about a kicker when you’ve had no experience yourself says a lot about you. He’s doing what you’re not and you dog on him when he does bad. He’s had his bad moments and he’s had his glory moments. I’m truly glad they are keeping him another year. He has the heart and determination and is an outstanding player.

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  5. Allen:

    You talking to me? You talkin’ to ME?

    I was a kicker in high school, and I was only a moderately successful one. But i know what it takes to be a good one even if i wasn’t. So don’t tell me what I know and I don’t. Not reading what I said about my background says a lot about YOU my friend. And i had just as much determination and heart, just no real ability.

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  6. 007:
    key words: high school
    sit back down on the bench, wannabe. NFL is a total different game compared to high school. you don’t know what it takes because you didn’t have what it takes. take your trolling somewhere else.

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  7. ALLEN:

    Even been a kicker at any level ,troll? Thought not. You wouldn’t post drivel like you have if you did. So don’t talk about what you know and you don’t please.

    And you’re probably stupid enough to think this three for one RG3 deal is great too.

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  8. 009:
    i know, ohhh i know…that you don’t know what you’re talking about.
    idiot, i applaud your tenacity, but you fail every time. 🙂

    Like

  9. Pingback: The Redskins Blog | Gano Kicking Again After Breaking Back

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