By Stephen Whyno
No field goal attempts in the Redskins’ first preseason game could mean more pressure on kickers Graham Gano and Neil Rackers on Saturday at the Chicago Bears and beyond. Or it might not.
“I really don’t know. If you look at the lines on my face in the past I’ve worried about what other people were thinking,” 36-year-old Neil Rackers said. “At this point I just try to go do my job and see what happens.”
Rackers went 9-for-9 in practice Tuesday, while Gano went 5-for-9. His misses came from 32, 49, 53 and 57 yards.
Each kicked off in the preseason opener against Buffalo. Gano’s kick landed 4 yards deep in the end zone, and the first-string coverage unit limited the return to 13 yards.
Rackers’ kickoff landed 8 yards deep, but the return went for 18 yards against the backup coverage unit.
“For Graham and I both, we just have to control what we do,” Rackers said. “As far as the competition, you do your job and let them make a decision. You can’t say, ‘Oh, that person missed or ‘This person made.’ you can’t worry about what the other person does. You do your job and at the end of camp, they’ll see who they like.”
Rackers has been a mainstay in the NFL since 2000, but given that Gano is the incumbent, he came into camp as the underdog. Even amid a strong showing so far on the practice field, the veteran isn’t sounding too confident.
“I have a lot of work to do,” he said. “It’s a long season and I’m preparing like I’m going to be someplace, hopefully here.”