Non-Special Teams

Punting improves and worsens with two moves

It was a good news/bad news kinda day for Redskins fans, with two moves involving the team's beleaguered punting unit.

First, the good: They plopped their portly punter, Ryan Plackemeier, on the waiver wire, giving him his release.

Muffin Top was the last in a long run of terrible Skins punters this season.  He replaced the terrible Durant Brooks -- great pick there, Vinny! -- who replaced the terrible Derrick Frost who replaced the terrible ... Hey, wait a minute.  Maybe it's something in the Ashburn water?

The Skins were fourth-worst in punting yardage, and third-worst in net yardage.  Those numbers were virtually the same whether it was Brooks or Plucky having the ball roll weakly off the side of their foot.

The only punting candidate so far is ZacAtterberry, who has as many career NFL punts as you do.  (Unless you're reading this, Mr. Plackemeier, in which case, please ignore the Muffin Top jokes.)

The bright side: their punting can't get much worse.  Theoretically.

Now for the bad punting news.  The other big move of the day was the extension to punt returner extraordinaire, AtwaanRandle El.  His deal was set to expire in 2012, but they reworked it so as to lower his cap hit for this coming season, by extending it through 2015.  By then, there's a tiny chance he'll have broken for 20 yards on a punt return at least once.

Randle El had a dismal 6.5 yards per return total, which isn't all that far off from what he'd have had if he just fell forward every time he got his hands on the ball.

He also showed a propensity to fair catch the ball if he sensed that there was a defender within 50 yards or so.  (Only one team in football had more fair catches on the season.)

Take away Santana Moss's 80-yard TD return, and the team had a 6.8 yards per return average, which would've been good for 28th.  Ouch. 

Fans will hope they find someone else for returns, but if not, they get Randle El for another 40 years or so, all because of the team's wonderful salary cap management.

Isn't being a Skins fan fun?

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