As a native of St. Louis, Derrick Frost has been looking forward to the Redskins' Week 13 trip to his home city all season long. But Frost has been all business in his preparations for Sunday's game against the Rams.
The 6-2, 202-pound punter is hoping for a happy homecoming as he seeks to overcome recent struggles and develop consistency.
Last Sunday, Frost punted nine times for a 37.9-yard average, including three punts under 40 yards in the fourth quarter. In the Week 11 game against Oakland, he had six punts for a 36.2-yard average, including a 30-yarder that gave the Raiders the ball at midfield in a tie game late in the fourth quarter.
Overall this season, Frost has a 40.3-yard average on 46 punts, with 14 inside the 20 and a long of 55.
Asked to evaluate his performance this season, Frost replied: "I think I had played really well, up until the last two weeks. Last Sunday's game, I think I was a little too relaxed. I think I need to gear up a little bit more and put more into the ball.
"When I say relaxed, I don't mean my mentality, but it's more my stance and certain things I need to do in my technique. I'm basically going to try and attack the football more when I punt."
Frost arrived at Redskins Park after the Redskins' bye week. He replaced Andy Groom, who won the punting job coming out of training camp when veteran Tom Tupa was placed on injured reserve with a back injury.
Frost had turned in a solid 2004 rookie season in the NFL with Cleveland, appearing in all 16 regular season games and totaling 85 punts for a 40.0-yard average. But he was beaten out by veteran Kyle Richardson in the Browns' 2005 training camp.
After his exit in Cleveland, Frost decided that it would be best to move to St. Louis, where his father Larry coaches at Kirkland High School. Frost felt that working out near hid dad would keep him closer to facilities and connections that could bring him back to the NFL.
Larry Frost is in his second year at Kirkland after coaching at cross-town Clayton High for 26 years. He also has some ties to the Redskins' coaching staff.
In the mid-1970s, the elder Frost was in St. Louis Cardinals training camp when Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs was the St. Louis offensive backfield coach. Just a few years later, Frost was a graduate assistant on a Northeast Missouri State team that featured current Redskins assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams as the quarterback.
Last September, Redskins special teams coordinator Danny Smith called Derrick Frost and asked him to come in for a tryout. Frost joined the team in the days after the Redskins' dramatic 14-13 victory at Dallas.
Frost also has served as the holder for place kickers John Hall and Nick Novak this season.
Despite his recent struggles, Frost believes he is improving his game.
"I think I'm a better punter than I was last year, but I'm still not where I want to be," he said.
As for returning to St. Louis, Frost added: "Hopefully there'll be a lot of family and friends there, but I'm not worried about that. They watch me play on TV, so it's not really that different. I just need to play well, no matter where I'm playing at."