Rex Robinson makes a good point here:
“Once they choose a guy, he needs to be the guy,” Robinson told me. “You don’t want to go back and forth. You don’t want to do that at any position, particularly at quarterback and kicker. You don’t want that in the back of his mind: ‘Hey, if I miss a kick I might get pulled, or if I throw an interception I might get pulled.’ They need to have confidence that they’re going to be the guy. However that plays out, whoever wins the job, I hope they stick with them for a while.”
The trick is finding the sweet spot of keeping a player properly motivated to perform his best while not promoting the mind set of having someone constantly looking over his shoulder. An even bigger trick is having to recognize that every player has a different sweet spot.
Chip Towers goes on to doubt that Robinson’s advice will be heeded by the coaching staff.
That’s good in theory for sure, but it’s doubtful that’s the way Smart and company will handle it. That certainly hasn’t been this staff’s M.O. so far. I’m sure Blankenship’s job is going to be only as secure as his last game performance.
Now, if it turns out that’s the best way to motivate Rodrigo, all well and good. (It certainly is similar to the way the place kicking job was managed early last season.) Nobody would argue that honest competition shouldn’t bring out the best in competitors. It just seems to me that if you want your players playing fast and not overthinking their roles, you have to know how far you can push them.