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Shanahan hopes kicking carousel ends with Forbath

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Shanahan hopes kicking carousel ends with Forbath

Kai Forbath has not kicked a field goal in an NFL regular season game, but that didnt bother Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan after he watched the 25-year-old outperform two seasoned veterans Tuesday.

Everybodys got inexperience to start out with, Shanahan said of Forbath, a first-year player out of UCLA. You have to have an opportunity. We had some great competition on this field and he won it through the competition.

Shanahan did not mention the other kickers by name, but Forbath confirmed earlier Tuesday that Olindo Mare and Josh Brown were his challengers. Mare played 13 seasons for three different teams.

We had a couple of other guys that were a little bit more experienced. One in particular was really seasoned, Shanahan continued. Forbath performed in a very tough situation.

In four seasons at UCLA, Forbath made 84.2 percent of his field goal attempts and was named college footballs best kicker in 2009. But he did not kickoff during his tenure with the Bruins.

That, however, was not a problem during Tuesdays tryout.

It was part of the evaluation process how they kickoff as well as how they perform with the field goals, Shanahan said. He won the job for both.

Shanahan said the team did not reach out to Graham Gano, who kicked for the Redskins from 2009-2011 before being released in training camp.Asked to revisit why the team gave up on Gano, Shanahan said, What you do is you get a gut feel from watching him everyday.

Ganos replacement, Billy Cundiff, lasted all but five games. Now its Forbaths chance to nail down a job thats been a revolving door in Washington for the past 18 years. On Sunday, Forbath will become the 19thkicker the Redskins have used in that span.

I was very impressed with the guy we got, Shanahan said of Forbath. Hopefully hell be here for the next 15 years so I dont have to answer any questions about kickers anymore. I know weve had a few in and out of here. Hopefully this is start of something new.

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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 6, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 19; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 26

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Postgame injury report

Last look at Redskins vs. Cardinals

Turning point: I have feeling that Sunday was a pivotal point in the season. When it’s all over the Cardinals game will either be looked at as the beginning of the end of their playoff run or as the low point that preceded a streak that got them into the playoffs.

A one-man show? One question raised on Sunday is whether the Redskins can win without a stellar performance from Kirk Cousins. His completion percentage of 56.8 on Sunday was his worst in any game this season. He made some nice passes but all in all he was not the guy who has carried the team for the past six weeks. If they are going to make the playoffs and perhaps do something when they get there the defense and running game are going to need to pitch in.

Pass happy play calling: The Redskins’ first four plays were passes. Then Rob Kelley went up the middle for 13 yards. The next five plays were passes. It was foreshadowing; during a game they never trailed by more than one score the Redskins called 39 passes and 17 runs. Kelley got 63 yards of 14 carries and Chris Thompson got 24 yards on two. Doing the math, the running backs averaged 5.4 yards per carry. I’m not one to nitpick the play calling but perhaps a few more handoffs would have helped move the ball more effectively.

Snap count spot check: Vernon Davis played every offensive snap but one. On defense, Duke Ihenacho played 64 snaps, his second-highest total of the season. They were in nickel a lot—Kendall Fuller played 55 snaps—but Su’a Cravens played only 37 snaps, about half.

Potpourri: If Dustin Hopkins was in a slump it looks like he’s out of it after booming a 53-yard field goal and pounding all six of his kickoffs for touchbacks . . . Although Davis did catch five passes for 47 yards with Jordan Reed out, he is missed as a second option when Reed can’t play . . . With Tyrann Mathieu, who usually covers the slot receiver, out Cousins tried to go to Jamison Crowder but he caught just three of the eight passes targeted to him . . . Like many games, we could stop all analysis of this game after seeing that the Redskins turned the ball over twice and didn’t manage to take it away.  

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Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Redskins release Dashaun Phillips, again

Cornerback Dashaun Phillips had a very short return to the Redskins’ active roster.

Phillips, who started the season as the nickel cornerback before being benched and eventually released and moved to the practice squad last month, was re-signed to the roster on Friday. He made the trip to Arizona but he was inactive for the game. The Redskins announced today that he has been released again.

It is possible for Phillips to return to the practice squad if he clears through waivers.

The transaction clears a roster spot for the return of offensive tackle Trent Williams, who has been suspended for the last four games.