Yesterday, the Redskins cut veteran kicker Neil Rackers, seemingly handing the job to Graham Gano. Great news for Gano, a fourth-year player whose starting job has never been secure thanks to a niggling habit of, um, missing. Gano was technically perfect on field goals this preseason, considering he didn't attempt a single one. Rackers was 1-for-2. Rackers, gone.
Here are some quotes from Gano, after finding out his competition had been axed. They should all be read with a growing sense of dread.
"To be able to come through and win this job, I'm excited about it."
"I just feel blessed to have this opportunity to be on this team."
"I feel like I've improved for sure. I think I'm more mature as a kicker in this league. I feel like I did a good job last year. But I'm just looking to improve this year and keep getting better…. I think the more and more you play, the more mature you're going to get, the more confident you're going to be in your play."
The afterglow lasted less than a day. Washington has cut Gano and signed Billy Cundiff, who was released by the Ravens on Sunday. Cundiff is accurate if not strong-legged, and that's enough to send the 25-year-old Gano out into the ranks of the itinerant placekickers, wandering the earth and hitting extra points for food.