Billy Cundiff’s recent history of reliably kicking touchbacks won’t necessarily continue in Washington. Directional kickoffs are still very much in play for the Redskins and special teams coach Danny Smith after they waived kicker Graham Gano before the fourth preseason game.
“I think the way that Coach Smith works, maybe not necessarily this game, but I think for the season he wants to do directional kicking,” Cundiff said Thursday. “In Baltimore the way we did it was just try to get touchbacks first, and then second, if there’s wind, kind of play the wind and do it that way.”
Directional kicking takes advantage of the Redskins’ superb coverage unit. They allowed an only 20.8 yards per kickoff return last season, the second-best mark in the NFL.
“I think it’s exciting playing here because the way the special teams mentality is the guys, especially on kickoff cover, they want to cover kicks,” Cundiff said. “I’ve been told by a lot of guys that touchbacks are great, but at the same time they want to see if they can get a tackle inside the 20. Last year they had 18, whereas last year in Baltimore we had three. So it’s a much different situation here.”