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Unsung Hero, the Story of Kai Forbath

Rob Carr

There was a graphic on CBS when watching the game this week that listed all of the Redskins starting quarterbacks since the days of Mark Rypien. The TV networks always have something like this up their sleeve, usually coaches, and it gets pretty tiring to see as a Redskins fan. Of course now we can reasonably hope that that list of 20+ quarterbacks stays put for a bit. But in looking at that graphic it made me think... how many freaking kickers have we had?

By my count, the Skins have had 23 kickers since the days of Chip Lohmiller. It's a checkered list with names like Suisham, Akers, Conway, Hall, and plenty of other names nearly lost forever. The Redskins quest for a kicker and the revolving door that it has been for almost twenty years is almost as ridiculous a search for the Redskins franchise quarterback. But the questions is... is that search over on both fronts?

We've been teased before with the likes of Graham Gano, but is the Redskins current 25 year old kicker the real deal? Kai Forbath for all intents and purposes is a rookie in the NFL. Yes, he did have a stint with the Cowboys and the Buccaneers, but there was never a regular season attempt. People do not pay that much attention to kickers but the NFL's current rookie crop may rival the recent quarterbacks to join the league. There is a triumvirate of kickers led by Forbath, the Ravens' Justin Tucker, and "Legatron" Greg Zuerlein who have been unflappable this year.

Be honest, did you flinch a little when Forbath hit the field on Sunday to make a couple of big field goals? Did you get that throw up feeling deep down? Did you not want to watch? I'll admit it, I felt all of those feelings; but do we need to? To say the former UCLA Bruin has been phenomenal this year would be a gross understatement. Of course its easy to glance and see that Forbath is 14 for 14 on the year, but when you dig a little deeper and see that he's 9 for 9 beyond 40 yards things really start to stand out.

Sure there are deficiencies with Forbath as the kickoff guy, but that can be easily fixed in the offseason. A "high" priority this Spring has to be a new punter (who isn't ancient) that can hold, punt, and kickoff. I'd caution making this move at the present time due to the whole kicker-holder-snapper exchange (yes, that is a technical term).

Many thought the Redskins would give Neil Rackers a call, or sign Mare or Brown. But be happy that Mike Shanahan, Danny Smith, whoever went with Forbath. Surely Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris' names pop up at first thought of a team MVP, but Forbath's name cannot be far behind. The Redskins would not be in the midst of a four game winning streak without Kobra Kai.