Sunday, August 31: Some Reaction to the Reaction to the Cuts

While much of the reaction to the cuts here has focused on Justin Tryon’s presence on the 53 man roster — and, wow, the commenters do NOT seem pleased with that choice — the bigger story to the local mainstream media is the Durant Brooks decision, especially given Derrick Frost’s comments after the fact.

Essentially, Frost told both the Post’s Jason LaCanfora and the Times’ David Elfin that the competition was “a sham” and that he was never given a fair chance to make the roster. More specifically, he said to LaCanfora:

I want to thank [special teams coach] Danny Smith for the three years he gave me here, and I feel like he always treated me well, and I will continue to think that. But I think we all know who made the decision, and when you’ve got a draft that isn’t starting to look so good, you’re going to do whatever you can to make it look as good as possible.

Those quotes in turn inspired Mike Wise’s column today, which spins Frost’s comments forward as foreshadowing a locker room revolt against Vinny Cerrato and Redskins management.

The blogs, on the other hand, have not taken the news quite so negatively.

Continue reading

Today’s Position Battle Update: Talking to Derrick Frost

So I’ve spoken to rookie punter Durant Brooks, special teams coach Danny Smith, and yesterday I talked to Shaun Suisham. But I hadn’t had a chance yet to catch up with the guy who’s been the main punter for the Redskins for the last three seasons, Derrick Frost. Today I was able to fix that a bit, getting just a very few minutes with him after practice.

Derrick Frost in holding drills.

Derrick Frost in holding drills.

How did you get into punting? When did you start?

I started playing soccer as a kid. My dad was a high school football coach and I kind of always knew I wanted to play football, but I played soccer most of my youth. In high school, I just started kicking and punting – I played other positions, but I was always kicking and punting.

Did you go to any kicking camps to help you out or anything like that?

I went to a couple. Not a whole lot. Two or three of them. In college, I worked with a guy who played in the NFL, Louie Aguiar. He had been in the league for ten or eleven years, and I worked with him for two or three years. And that’s about it.

All right. Are you kicking in the game this week?

I’ve been told that I am, so I guess I am.

Obviously, they’ve drafted a rookie punter, there’s competition at your position. What should fans look for when you’re punting? Is there something specific to watch for?

I think when I’m hitting the ball well, I get pretty good hangtime to limit the returns. One of my strengths is directional punting. I don’t know if we’ll be doing that in the game or not – we might just be hitting it down the middle – but I do really like to directional punt. I also think that one of my strong points is getting the ball inside the 20.

Is there a way for the fan watching on TV to know if it’s a directional punt?

Yes, there’s a way. I can’t tell you what it is, but there is a way.

Right. It’s just that sometimes the announcers say, “Oh, this guy was out of position,” or “He shanked that,” and they can just be wrong.

Sure, sometimes you can hit a ball that looks like it might try to be directional, but it wasn’t – just wind or you kinda hit it wrong.

But a good directional punt is clearly intentional?

Not always. Not every ball is kicked perfectly, but you can kind of know if you watch closely.

Saw you pushing the sled today during practice. How are you feeling?

Fine, just trying to get a workout in without tiring my legs out too much. I like pushing the sled because it’s low impact and a really nice workout.

How was the rest of practice?

Today I didn’t do a whole lot. Yesterday I kicked and tomorrow I’m going to kick. I don’t think I’m where I want to be right now, my timing’s a little off. For me, though, it’s like one day I could get the timing back and kind of roll from there, so it’s just a matter of time for me.

Hall of Fame Game: Kickers Readying For Battle

As has been thoroughly detailed, one of the main battles in training camp is between the punters.

Shaun Suisham and movement leader Durant Brooks work out pregame in Canton.

Shaun Suisham and movement leader Durant Brooks work out pregame in Canton.

The nice thing about this battle, according to special teams coach Danny Smith, is that it is completely quantifiable: the person who is closest to the numbers he’s looking for will be the punter.

Derrick Frost working out pregame in Canton.

Derrick Frost working out pregame in Canton.

As noted in that post, according to conventional special teams wisdom, a punter should consistently average 42 yards in the air and a 4.5 hangtime. So that’s one thing I’ll be following tonight. LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!

More from AM Practice

As has already been noted, the punting competition between Derrick Frost (4) and Durant Brooks (14) is one of the most heated battles in this year’s training camp.  With that in mind, I set up and captured some of the savage competition for you guys on video.  Get ready for NON-STOP ACTION — you can tell that these guys are at each others’ throats.

Snap drills:

Madness!

Punting and fielding drills:

Feel the fury!

In all seriousness, I’m keeping an eye on it, and I’ll talk to Coach Smith about the competition shortly.

(Posted at 1:55.)