Washington Redskins Kicking Battle:
The Washington Redskins announced that they will be holding workouts for kickers this week, and the Washington Post confirmed the names. The 3 kickers who will be in for tryouts tomorrow will be, veteran Olindo Mare, veteran Josh Brown, and youngster Kai Fobath. Interestingly the Redskins kicker the past couple of years, and the guy who “won” the preseason competition, Graham Gano is not on this list. Perhaps the Redskins could still sign Gano without working him out, but it does seem to be an odd situation. As it stands though Billy Cundiff,has to worry about surviving these three kickers, given the level of competition he might not have much to worry about.
Olindo Mare: Mare is a 15 year veteran, who was once a really good kicker for the Miami Dolphins. Since laving South Beach, he’s bounced around a number of teams doing a solid job. He made just 78% of his kicks last year in Carolina, including missing three kicks between 30-39 yards. While his distance numbers aren’t as bad as Cundiff’s he’s been pretty inconsistent from 50+ these last 5 years. He’s not really a kickoff specialist, but he’s very solid in the area.
Josh Brown: Brown is a 9 year veteran of the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams. Brown has a career percentage mark of 80.9%, and has twice in the last four years in St. Louis been below the 80% mark, despite kicking his home games in a dome. Brown does offer a big leg capable of hitting 50+ yarders, as he is 28 for 43 (65%). Brown should do fairly well on kickoffs, though he is not as good as Cundiff in this department.
Kai Forbath: Forbath is the most interesting name as he was the Lou Groza winner as a junior and a semi-finalist as a senior in 2010. He’s bounched around a couple NFL teams, but has yet to kick in the regular season. In college though he 84% of his kicks, which is very impressive considering the wider hashes at that level. Forbath was near perfect inside 50 yards, and once had a streak of 40 straight inside 50 yards. He wasn’t horrible from distance, but he is more limited than some kickers (though again remember the wider hashes make 50+ yarders a rarity). He missed just three 50 yard field goals, but his long was just 54 showing a bit of a limit on his range. Forbath was also not much of a kickoff specialist in college, and may struggle some in that area.
Conclusion: Outside of Graham Gano coming back without working out (which if that was your target, why even bother working out these guys), the Redskins don’t seem to have a great chance of truly upgrading on Billy Cundiff. Gano was by no means a perfect kicker, but is probably good enough. His overall accuracy is a bit questionable, though blocked kicks factor in greatly in that area. He struggled some with the Redskins directional kicking program on kick-offs, but they have been having Billy Cundiff go for the touchback and Gano is definitely capable of that. Gano also has deep range and could hit a 55+ yard kick.
If they don’t go with Gano, the Washington Redskins do need to make a decision, because keeping Billy Cundiff would be a mistake. Their best option would be to find some way to keep all three kickers without the NFL noticing and using only one roster spot. Olindo Mare is probably the best at kick-offs, Josh Brown is the best at distance, while Forbath is young and also probably the most accurate overall. Of the three I’d say Forbath is the best choice, in the hope that he develops into something special, but there is a concern if it could lead to better field position for the opposing offense (something the Washington Redskins defense can ill afford).
Who do you like and are you hoping signs with the Washington Redskins to replace Billy Cundiff?
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