Redskins Park Notes: Groom Cut

Redskins Park, Ashburn, VA 09.26.05--The Redskins cut one inexperienced punter and picked up another. Why? Find out some possible reasons here.

The Redskins' kicking situation looked good entering training camp. It looks like a sticky situation right now, one that could hurt a team expecting to play a lot of close games. The Redskins waived punter Andy Groom and signed Derrick Frost as his replacement, unhappy with Groom's growing inconsistencies. Groom averaged only 39.0 yards per punt.

But Frost struggled in Cleveland as a rookie last season, averaging 40.0 yards per punt and is best remembered for a seven-yard punt against Baltimore, when he was punting from his own end zone. One punt does not symbolize a career, but after a strong preseason, Frost had a poor season.

The Redskins like that he has some experience and that he can serve as an emergency kicker. That's important considering John Hall's health issues. Hall is still nursing a sore quad and has not yet kicked. He'll kick nerf balls Tuesday and will attempt to kick during Wednesday's practice. If Hall returns, but gets hurt in a game -- think David Akers -- then the Redskins are covered with Frost.

Still, it's a perilous situation for the Redskins.

''Hopefully we'll settle down there,'' Redskins coach Joe Gibbs said. ''It's something that you'll continue to look at. We started off the year saying we were all set. It shows you that in the NFL anything can happen at any time.''

. . . Frost looked mediocre, at best, during practice. His punts lacked hangtime and distance. But a stiff wind could have been the problem.

. . . But Groom, after a strong summer, relapsed into his inconsistent ways. The Redskins felt he benefitted from some generous bounces. It also seemed like special teams coach Danny Smith didn't like him from the start. When asked about him after the final cuts, Smith curtly replied, ''he hasn't kicked in a game yet.''

. . . Last piece of Frost: he holds on field goals, which means he was on the field last season when the Browns tried a fake field goal against the Redskins. It failed, prompting Smith to make several obscene gestures toward the Browns' sideline. When a Cleveland coach confronted Smith after the game, Smith turned and bolted to the locker room.

. . . Jon Jansen (thumbs), Lemar Marshall (groin), Walt Harris (strained calf) and Pierson Prioleau (hamstring) did not practice. All but Prioleau are expected to play in the game. Harris hurt his leg in practice last week.

. . .We wish Seattle defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes the best as he recovers from a mild stroke. But we can't say Rhodes was one of our favorites while he worked in D.C. He ignored the local media for some reason -- from the time he arrived and while he was being praised. Yet he'd talk to reporters from Philly, where he had been ripped. Go figure. Rhodes probably spoke with local reporters on three or four occasions. And he was known to disappear for a few days at a time in the offseason, without anyone knowing where he was. Quite an odd guy. At one point, I remember walking past the front desk in the lobby only to hear Rhodes say, ''I wish someone had told me what a circus this place is.''

. . . Shawn Springs on facing Seattle, his former team, ''I was happy to get the hell out of there. I needed a change. It just wasn't working out for me."

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