Grade vs. Giants: B
Comment: First-year player Kai Forbath has made folks quickly forget about the Redskins’ early season kicking struggles.
Forbath connected on field goals from 20, 43 and 45 yards. Add to that his 50-yarder against the Vikings and the 25-year-old is a perfect 4 for 4 in his young NFL career.
Forbath seems to have quickly discovered the chemistry and timing with his holder and snapper that eluded Billy Cundiff during his brief tenure in Washington.
On kickoffs Sunday, Forbath put five of six in the end zone but only two resulted in touchbacks. The Giants returned four of Forbath’s kicks for a total of 106 yards (26.5 yards per return). Thirty-two of those yards came on the opening kickoff after an offsides infraction on Chris Wilson forced the Redskins to re-kick.
A major concern entering the game was the health of punter Sav Rocca, who had injured his right knee while jogging on Thursday. It never became a factor because the Redskins went for it on fourth down three times (and converted each of them), leaving Rocca with just one opportunity to punt – a unimpressive 33-yarder in the third quarter. Good coverage, however, forced Rueben Randall to call for a fair catch.
The big story line on special teams has been Forbath’s accuracy. He may not produce touchbacks as often as Cundiff, but as long as he puts the ball between the uprights, he’s a big-time upgrade at an often undervalued position.
Something to monitor: Long snapper Nick Sundberg (broken arm) has been cleared to resume practice and will do so Wednesday. He cannot, however, suit up for a game until Week 11 per NFL rules.
When LSU fired head coach Les Miles, a lot of big-time names were suggested for the job. But what about Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay?
Albert Breer of the MMQB listed McVay as a potential candidate, along with a host of other NFL names to go with obvious college options like Tom Herman or Lane Kiffin. From Breer on McVay:
His star has risen so quickly that the 30-year-old may be an NFL head coach before colleges even get the chance to call, but he’d make a lot of sense for a program looking for energy and buzz.
Watching McVay work it's obvious he has the passion and ability to connect with young players - as he currently runs the Redskins offense that includes some players older than him. But it's worth keeping in mind the Redskins coordinator was raised around the pro game, not the college one, and with his background and offensive acumen the guess here is that McVay will stay in the professional ranks.
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Even while scoring is down for Washington through three games, the Redskins offense is moving the ball well. QB Kirk Cousins is second in the league in passing yards, and the team finished 2015 with the 10th highest scoring offense.
"I’m sure he’ll be a head coach a lot sooner than people think," Washington head coach Jay Gruden said of McVay in an early August MMQB article.
It's clear McVay will get a chance as a head coach, the only question is where. Apparently that list could now include Baton Rouge.
NOTE: Former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan also landed on Breer's list of LSU possibilities. From Breer, "Would Shanahan go? He’s 37 and he’s been an OC for nine years, so it’s possible he’d want to get his feet wet as a head coach. Remember, [Texans coach Bill] O’Brien went to Penn State after knocking on the door for NFL jobs, so it’s not hard to see another rising young guy doing it. Shanahan played at Texas and coached at UCLA, which means he’s not foreign to big college programs."
NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith made a visit to Redskins Park today, and the team elected their union representatives.
Kedric Golston will serve another year as the team's liason to the union. Three alternates were elected as well: Kirk Cousins (an alternate last season), Will Compton and, surprisingly, Josh Norman.
Norman was critical of Smith and the union in an ESPN piece in August. "[The NFL] is a dictatorship, and [NFLPA director] DeMaurice [Smith] is in cahoots with those guys," he claimed.
The cornerback's election today marks what would appear to be a turn of events.
"We always love to have veteran leadership as player representatives, and this team is no different with Kirk and Kedric returning," Smith told CSN Mid-Atlantic. "As for Josh, we love players who are both smart and passionate, and he, as well as the other players, fit that bill."
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