Players may not officially re-assemble at Redskins Park for another two weeks, but the intrigue of the new Redskins practice bubble has led to a steady stream of players through the facilities to check it out.
One player who has been a regular for rehab purposes is kicker Graham Gano, who cracked three vertebrae in a first-half scrum against the Eagles in Week 17. As you may remember, he was visibly hobbled during the game, but continued to play through the pain. It was not until after the game that the prognosis was delivered, and he has been carefully working his way back since the season ended.
This story comes with a happy development today, however, as Gano got to try out the brand new bubble for the first time, complete with the sweet hanging goal posts. Gano gave his own analysis of the workout, complete with a Twitter photo (@GrahamGano):
The results of his first workout were even more impressive, as rust does not seem to have crept in:
If my math is correct, that’s 20-for-20 in the new Redskins bubble.
Gano will only get stronger and more accurate as the offseason continues, so it’s good to see him starting in a comfortable place. And for those of you that worry about Gano’s accuracy, consider these stats:
–Before 2011, Gano had attempted only three career kicks from beyond 50 yards, hitting zero of them. In 2011, Gano attempted six kicks, landing four, including a franchise-record 59-yarder.
–While somewhat pedestrian, his 75.6 percent field goal conversion percentage in 2011 was seven percentage points higher than 2010. And if you factor out the blocked field goals–which Gano cannot control–his percentage rises to a very respectable 86.1 percent.
With a new holder and makeshift line in 2011, Gano was in a constant state of adjustment, and still managed to improve across the board. And even though the Redskins don’t play in a dome, the practice bubble should be a big asset to his preparation in 2012.