“I didn’t know the whole history about how many they’ve had over the last 20 years or whatever,” Forbath said this week at Redskins Park. “But people have told me since I’ve been here.”
It has taken only six games for Forbath to give the Redskins some hope that they perhaps have found a kicker, finally, to give them some stability at the position. Forbath has connected on all 10 of his field goal attempts, seven of them 43 yards or longer.
When things appeared to be unraveling for the Redskins during their Thanksgiving game in Dallas, with the Cowboys having rallied from a 28-3 halftime deficit to get to within 35-28 in the fourth quarter, Forbath essentially sealed the outcome by calmly making a 48-yard field goal with just less than three minutes to play. The Redskins won, 38-31, to pull into a second-place tie in the NFC East.
“It’s nice to see that he’s made a lot of kicks in a row but he doesn’t really show it,” Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg said. “He still sees things as he should, in the fact that everything he’s done to this point doesn’t matter. It’s all about the next kick. So he’s already got a veteran’s mentality and he’s a young guy.”
One of the best decisions made by the Redskins this year came when they opted to go with Forbath, 25, to succeed Cundiff. The Redskins had staged a kicking competition during training camp and the preseason between Graham Gano and Neil Rackers. They’d cut both of them to go with Cundiff, who had just been released by the Baltimore Ravens, entering the season. But Cundiff missed 5 of 12 field goal tries, and the Redskins held an early October tryout for Forbath, Olindo Mare and Josh Brown to choose a new kicker.
Forbath is a former winner of the Lou Groza award as the top kicker in college football while at UCLA, and he made all five of his field goal attempts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the preseason this year. But he did not have an NFL résumé resembling that of Mare, who has made 350 field goals in 15 seasons, and Brown, with 220 field goals in 10 seasons.
“Of course you’re thinking they’re bringing these veterans in because they want someone reliable,” Forbath said this week. “Fortunately, I kicked well during the workout and they thought I was deserving of a chance.”
Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan joked recently that the choice of Forbath was “just a great decision a couple weeks ago on our part.”
But he acknowledged that the Redskins, in truth, took a chance on Forbath and have been rewarded for it.