“They’ve both been pretty much equal right now. I know Graham is young and has a strong leg. But Rackers is right there holding his own, a veteran in the game,” he said. “Sometimes experience is a little bit better than youth. It just depends on what you like. . . . It’s a hard decision to say who we should go with right now.”
Gano said he believes he had “a pretty good year” last season.
“Minus the blocked field goals, I was 86 percent,” Gano said. “My goal is always to hit 90 percent of my field goals. . . . I feel like I was in rhythm and I haven’t really lost that going into this season.”
Gano out-kicked veteran Shayne Graham in training camp last year to keep the Redskins’ kicking job. In three seasons with the Redskins, Gano has connected on 73.8 percent of his field goals.
Rackers is a proven veteran who has an 80 percent success rate on field goals in a dozen NFL seasons with the Bengals, Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. He connected on 32 of 38 field goal attempts last season with Houston. But he and the Texans were unable to agree on a new contract and Rackers accepted Shanahan’s offer to compete with Gano, with nothing promised.
“All he said is it’s an opportunity,” Rackers said.
Gano said he wasn’t dismayed at the Redskins’ decision to sign Rackers.
“Competition only makes you better,” Gano said. “I’m looking forward to competing against him for the rest of training camp.”
The practice-field portion of the competition has been even. Rackers made all six of his kicks during a field goal drill Saturday, while Gano missed one of his six tries, leaving each kicker 16 for 19 during training camp. Gano made field goals of 38 and 51 yards Saturday during a final drive drill for the offense, and Rackers connected from 55 yards.
The kicks that count the most probably will come during the four-game preseason that begins when the Redskins play Thursday night at Buffalo.
“You just do your job, do the best that you can,” Rackers said. “And at the end of camp, they’ll tell you who they like.”