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Forbath Goes Long Twice, Stays Perfect

Posted Oct 31, 2012

Redskins kicker Kai Forbath kept his perfect career line alive, converting from 45 and 48 yards on the wet natural grass surface in Pittsburgh.

The subpar field conditions at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field have hexed many quality kickers over the years, but did not add Redskins rookie kicker Kai Forbath to the list.

Forbath confidently nailed both field-goal attempts – from 48 and 45 yards– on the wet natural grass surface, where kickers have converted just 60 percent of their attempts between 40-49 yards since the stadium opened in 2001.

Forbath’s 48-yard kick ties him with Shaun Suisham and Mike Nugent for the second-longest kick at Heinz Field this season.

After the game, Forbath said he was aware of others’ struggles at Heinz Field, but that his preparation readies him to kick in any environment.

“I heard the field was notoriously bad, but I went out there and it felt fine to me,” Forbath said. “I just don’t worry about it. I just kick it like it’s turf or grass or any other field.”

Last Sunday’s performance against the Steelers continued the perfect start to Forbath’s season and career. Since signing with the team on Oct. 9, he has made all six of his field-goal attempts, including a career-long 50-yarder in Week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Forbath’s performance has been a bit of fresh air for the Redskins and head coach Mike Shanahan, as kicker Billy Cundiff struggled in the first five weeks of the season, converting just 7-of-12 of his field-goal attempts, including misses on five of his final eight kicks.

The Redskins responded by signing Forbath, a former standout at UCLA without any career regular-season kicks to his credit.

“You feel good,” Shanahan said of Forbath after last Sunday’s game. “That’s a guy taking advantage of an opportunity. For a guy to come in and do what he’s done, having never been in the National Football League, is pretty impressive to me.”

Even though Forbath remains perfect on his field-goal attempts this season, he admits there are other aspects of his game – like kickoffs – that are still in the works.

After forcing four touchbacks in his first game against Minnesota, Forbath has forced just three touchbacks in the two games since.

Forbath also had a low extra-point attempt blocked last Sunday against the Steelers, something he said can’t happen.

“There’s always things to work on,” he said. “There’s no excuse for the PAT to be blocked.”

But as far as his No. 1 responsibility – putting points on the scoreboard – Forbath couldn’t be happier with his production.

“I’m just trying to take it one kick at a time right now,” Forbath said. “We needed our points [against the Steelers] and we got a few on the board to help … It’s always one kick at a time and continuing to make them.”