But it’s all okay, he has always told himself. The game performances carry the most weight.
“I mean, that’s kind of always where I’ve stepped up and made kicks is when games come down to it,” Forbath said on Monday, “so, I’m looking forward to Thursday.”
Forbath, Washington’s place kicker for the past three seasons, doesn’t know how many opportunities he will receive in the preseason opener at Cleveland. But he hopes to rediscover the consistency that has given him job security here after an injury-plagued rookie season in Dallas in 2011, and since losing a training-camp battle in Tampa in 2012.
Forbath in two of the past three seasons has posted the Redskins franchise’s second- and third-highest field goal percentage (94.4 in 2012, 88.9 in 2014, behind only Mark Moseley’s 95.2 in 1982). But he hasn’t looked like the same kicker during training camp.
He has badly shanked kicks from inside 45 yards, and has fallen short on attempts from 50 yards out or longer. Forbath has made only nine of his past 16 field goal attempts, which includes both game simulations and the head-to-head kicking drills. In the head-to-head work against rookie Ty Long, Forbath has made 14 of 20 field goals. Long has made 15 of 21.
“I’ve definitely got to pick up the consistency, you know?” Forbath admitted. “You’ve got some good days and bad days, but I expect to be better. Just trying to come out here today and have a solid day.”
Forbath attributed some of his struggles to the re-acclimation process of kicking behind a line and against a defense again. He also said that he, holder Tress Way and long-snapper Nick Sundberg have made some adjustments to improve timing. Gaining comfort there also takes time, he explained.
“You know, we’re just getting back in the rhythm of it, so hopefully, going into game week, we’ll be there,” Forbath said.
Previous experiences also boost Forbath’s confidence. In previous years, he has had his ups and downs in practice while seemingly getting outkicked by a competitor. But then once the games begin, Forbath seems to hit a switch and locks up the job with clutch performances of his own while his competitors wilt under pressure.
“That’s just knowing I’ve kicked that ball a million times in practice and there’s no reason to miss. Just go out there and do what I’ve always done,” Forbath said, hoping history repeats itself this preseason. “As the game comes up, you’ve got to trust it and just go out there and do it.”