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Forbath Prepared For Steep Expectations

Forbath_UCLA.jpg


Few positions have earned as much media scrutiny and fan ire in recent years as the kicking position, where the Redskins turn to their fourth kicker since the start of training camp.

Neither newcomer Neil Rackers nor incumbent Graham Gano could win the preseason battle for the job. Billy Cundiff made only 58 percent of his kicks before being released Tuesday afternoon.

Looking for fresh blood at placekicker, the Redskins have turned to first year player Kai Forbath, who spent his first NFL season on the reserve non-football injury list.

"I feel great," he said.  "It's an amazing opportunity they've given me, and I can't wait to just put some points on the board for this team."

At UCLA, Forbath had a four year field goal average of 84.2 percent.  He won the Lou Groza Award to top NCAA kicker in 2009 and was a semifinalist in 2010.

After being such a dominant college kicker, Forbath isn't concerned at all with the kicking market taking longer than expected to give him a shot.

"I've talked to a lot of kickers in the league," Forbath said. "It's taken them team and team and team to get on and stay on a team, so two years, I'm not complaining about that."

Forbath will be the team's 19th kicker since 1994, and head coach Mike Shanahan hopes to keep it at 19 for many more years to come.

"I'm very impressed with the guy we got," Shanahan said.  "Hopefully, he'll have a long future here.  Hopefully, he'll be here for the next 15 years."

Forbath has just four days to synchronize with long snapper Justin Snow and holder Sav Rocca.  Although time is precious, Forbath remains confident in his preparation.

"We're going to work on timing and operation today," he said.  "I'm not one of the kickers that's picky about holds.  I just say get it down and I'll kick it."

Technically speaking, Forbath has experience kicking at FedExField, going one-for-one in a preseason matchup as a member of the Buccaneers.  All eyes are sure to be on Forbath's first kick this Sunday, but he isn't too worried about his first NFL start. 

"Go out there and do what I've been doing for the last eight years I've been kicking," he said.  "Just focus on my technique and not worry about any of the pressure."

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