The Kicker battle is over and the incumbent has held onto the job. In a very close battle this summer, Kai Forbath beats out Zach Hocker for the kicking job. Forbath's biggest issue has been his kickoff distance and hang time. His field goal accuracy has been very good since joining the team in 2012. Last season he had a groin injury that many people speculate was from trying to change his kickoff technique to increase the distance.
This year, Forbath's have been longer, but the hang time was still not as good as Hocker's. Forbath went 4 for 5 on FGs in the preseason, missing a 46 yard FG(He also would have missed a 39 yard FG, but it was rekicked due to a penalty). Hocker missed badly on a 39 yard FG on Thursday against Tampa Bay, and Gruden said he missed a real opportunity after the game. The kickers were close all offseason, and Hocker would have had to have a phenomenal showing to beat out Forbath. The coaches didn't see that so Forbath stays. Hocker should be able to find a job in the NFL(just not the Eagles please).
Source says Zach hocker has been released. #redskins— John Keim (@john_keim) August 30, 2014
Veteran K Kai Forbath remained cool under pressure on FGs. Has improved distance on kickoffs as well.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) August 30, 2014
What I wonder on Forbath: Hangtime on kickoffs still subpar. Returns always longer off his KO's. True this summer too. Needs good coverage— John Keim (@john_keim) August 30, 2014
Final kickoff stats: Hocker 12 KO’s, 3 touchbacks, 6 inside 20. Forbath 8 KO’s, 1 TB, 1 in 20, 1 out of bounds. Clear advantage to rookie.— Rich Tandler (@Rich_TandlerCSN) August 29, 2014