Forbath plans on improved kickoffs

Forbath plans on improved kickoffs
May 30, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Redskins kicker Kai Forbath looked sharp during Organized Team Activities on Thursday, drilling five of six field goal attempts. His only miss came from 54 yards out, and he nailed the kick on a second try.

After an impressive rookie season that saw Forbath make 17 of 18 kicks, the team has few concerns about the former UCLA kicker’s accuracy.

Where the team does have questions come on Forbath’s kickoffs. In 11 games last season, Forbath ranked No. 24 on kickoffs with an average distance of 63.2 yards.

On 62 kickoffs, Forbath registered just 15 touchbacks. To compare, the NFL’s No. 1 ranked kickoff man, Blair Walsh of the Minnesota Vikings, registered 53 touchbacks on 86 kicks.

“It’s definitely been something I’ve been working on all offseason,” Forbath said when asked about his kickoffs.

Throughout the offseason, Forbath and coach Ignacio “Nacho” Brache worked out in Southern California, focused on getting kickoffs higher and deeper.

“Hangtime and distance [are] key to kickoffs,” Forbath said. “You get both of those better and everything goes well.”

Last season the Redskins gave up an average of 23 yards per kickoff, though the special teams unit was able to keep opposing kickoff returners out of the end zone.

Forbath would like to improve on last year’s numbers.

“They’re looking a lot better right now,” he said. “I’m just going to keep on getting better.”

Asked if improving kickoffs was his main priority of the offseason, long snapper Nick Sundberg jumped in before Forbath could answer.

“We hope,” Sundberg said, smiling at the kicker.

On field goals, Forbath gave the Redskins the most dependable option in recent memory.

“Anytime my name gets called I’m going to go out there and try to be consistent and get some points,” Forbath said. “Putting points on the board when I can, that’s what I’m here to do, that’s what I’m going to work on.”

Getting to work with Sundberg for a full offseason will help Forbath as well. Last year, the rookie joined the team in Week 6.

“Anytime you get snap and hold together before the season starts it’s a huge advantage,” Forbath said. “We’ve had a great offseason so far together.”

With their media session concluding, Sundberg had another joke for Forbath, this time a piece of advice.

“You should have said, ‘This year I’m trying to be 100 percent, not 95 percent.’”

Forbath, dubbed the “Silent Assassin” by his teammates, just smiled.

“We’re going to keep on working.”