Kai Forbath on Washington’s kickoff strategy

December 12, 2012
By Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post

 

While everyone loves Kai Forbath for being more reliable than a wheel of Manchego, a few Redskins fans have been frustrated by his kickoffs, which often fail to reach the end zone. His final kickoff of regulation last Sunday, you’ll recall, very nearly went out of bounds, which could have been disastrous.

For the season, the Redskins have touchbacks on 42.5 percent of their kickoffs, with an average kickoff distance of 64.1 yards. Both figures rank in the bottom half of the NFL, although just barely.

Anyhow, Forbath was on ESPN 980 this week, and was asked if he would be able to boot the ball through the back of the end zone consistently, if asked.

“I mean, sure, but that’s not in our game plan,” he replied. “We think our cover team does best when we’re not letting [the other team] know where we’re going with it.”

If true, this is confusing to me, but I’ve never coached special teams. Forbath was also asked if it’s harder to consistently kick deep at home.

“Well, it is tough once the field gets a little torn up, just on your approach to the ball, because it’s not a level surface,” he said, referring to FedEx Field’s bizarre moonscape. “And planting makes it a little tough, because it’s pretty torn up. But distance-wise, if you think about it, if you kick directionally, you’re losing distance on your kicks. You take some kicks that would be three or four yards deep if you kick it directionally; if you kick that same kick down the middle it’s gonna be 7 or 8 yards deep.”

Again, I’ve never coached special teams. So I don’t know. As for that field, Forbath attempted to be diplomatic.

“You know, it’s not like kicking off turf,” he said. “It’s a little torn up. It’s been a long season on it. But it’s not something I’m gonna  complain about, because we’ve had the good results. It’s something we’re gonna get through. We’ve only got one more game there. So, it’s fine for now.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things D.C. sports at the D.C. Sports Bog.
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Sarah Kogod · December 12, 2012

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