Washington Redskins Needed a New Special Teams Coach

John Bibb@@JohnBibbAnalyst IIIFebruary 3, 2013

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan and special teams coach Danny Smith.
Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan and special teams coach Danny Smith.USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins special teams have performed poorly for years, finishing the 2012 NFL season ranked in the bottom third in kicking, punting and kick returning. With special teams coach Danny Smith's departure for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the fans and team should be glad for a change long overdue.

Danny Smith spent nine seasons with the Redskins and 18 years in a coaching capacity in the NFL.

In 2012, the Redskins ranked 25th in the league in kicking—which includes field goals and extra points. Redskins kickers Billy Cundiff and Kai Forbath converted 80 percent of field goals and had it not been for the fantastic season by rookie Forbath, that rank would be significantly lower. 

Punter Sav Rocca ranked 25th in the NFL with a 43.9 yards net average.

The Redskins split the kickoff return duties between Brandon Banks (22), Niles Paul (13), DeAngelo Hall (one) and Evan Royster (two) and punt returns between Banks (27), Richard Crawford (64) and Josh Wilson (one).  As a team they ranked 23rd in the NFL with 892 return yards.

The Redskins did not have a punt or kickoff returned for a touchdown in 2012.

These are the categories the NFL uses to rank the special teams.  The league does not assess the coverage on special teams as a statistical category, although they did allow two blocked punts in 2012.

With the departure of Smith, only the second coaching change in the head coaching tenure of Mike Shanahan (Sean McVay was promoted to tight ends coach in 2010-11), the Redskins can certainly make improvements in the coaching position.

They can add an element to their overall offensive performance that will only build upon what has been established in the 2012 season.


Statistical information provided by ESPN.com

Follow on Twitter @JohnBibb and view previous Bleacher Report articles I have authored on the Washington Redskins here.