Ed B of the PPG tweeted on Monday that the Steelers were granted permission to speak with Danny Smith.
#Steelers get permission from Redskins to talk to their ST coach Danny Smith a Pgh native
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) January 28, 2013
Sounds good at first. The ‘Skins made it to the playoffs and their featured return man, Brandon Banks, had decent averages in both the punt and kick returns. The ‘Skins were also stingy in giving up any special teams TD’s under Smith. That all sounds great to Steeler Nation, who has had to suffer of late to bad special teams play – especially run backs for touchdowns.
However, dig a little deeper, and Steeler Nation might start to scratch their collective heads and begin to be concerned about Danny Smith as a candidate for the special teams coach. As SB Nation reports about Smith, fans and analysts from the Redskin camp have a very different take on who Danny Smith really is a s a coach.
If you ask Redskins fans, they generally are not too fond of Danny Smith. He consistently beat the drum for Brandon Banks to be the starting KR/PR in 2010, 2011, and 2012, which was a coveted roster spot since Banks couldn’t play WR really. Well, that did not pay off as it is now three full seasons with Banks and he only has one career TD in all returns. ESPN and Yahoo! only have one career fumble for Banks, but he has many more than that (none lost though).
Eeek. Sounds like a coach who is A) Stubborn and B) Misguided loyalties to certain players. Hmmmm that sounds a little familiar……
SB Redskins also had this to say,
While Danny Smith has been very successful in preventing special teams TDs, the past few years have been a revolving door of punters and kickers. Shaun Suisham, Graham Gano, Billy Cundiff, Derrick Frost, it goes on and on. The Redskins allowed five blocked FGs in 2011. That’s outrageous. Players vehemently defended Danny Smith saying it was poor execution, which the film validated with missed assignments, but someone has to take blame, right?
Tomlin, Haley, and now possibly Smith. Add Tony Sparano in there as a WR coach for good measure, and you just might have the four horsemen of the apocalypse on one team. Ok, so maybe it’s not that bad. But it seems that for a team that is struggling in evolving in this league – defensively and offensively – you would think that you would want a coach who’s a little more apt to say oohhhh I don’t knowwww… CHANGE WHEN THINGS AREN’T WORKING!
Smith isn’t a for sure thing. He obviously must pass through the Rooney’s before he’s given the green light, and he needs to want to be here as well. We’ll see how this one plays out, but it looks like the special teams will be one of influx for some time.