Shanahan hopes kicking carousel ends with Forbath


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.

McCloughan bulks up secondary by drafting Fuller


McCloughan bulks up secondary by drafting Fuller

After the Redskins signed Josh Norman, Scot McCloughan told everyone that he would not hesitate to draft another cornerback this week.

Nobody really believed him. But he made believers out of everybody in the third round tonight when he took Virginia Tech cornerback Kendall Fuller.

He immediately jumps into a cornerback depth chart that has gone from shaky to strong in the last week. Norman and Bashaud Breeland will be the starters. Fuller could come in for nickel situations. Chris Culliver is still on the mend from a knee injury he suffered last November and his status for training cap is very much up in the air. Second-year player Quinton Dunbar will work

Spinning it forward to 2017, Fuller should be able to fit in with Breeland and Norman to form a formidable starting group of cornerbacks.

Many had Fuller rated as a first-round talent before he suffered a knee injury last season. Even after that, some thought he might be talented enough to be worth a late second- or early third-round pick. Fuller is a solid value as a late third-round pick.


Redskins draft Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller in the third round


Redskins draft Virginia Tech's Kendall Fuller in the third round

Scot McCloughan continued to bolster the Redskins' secondary late Friday, selecting cornerback Kendall Fuller out of Virginia Tech in the third round.

Fuller, who is listed at 5 foot 11, 187-pounds, recorded eight interceptions for the Hokies during his first two seasons in Blacksburg, Va. A knee injury, however, cut short his 2015 season, limiting him to three games as junior. 

He'll become the fourth Fuller brother to play in the NFL, joining Corey, Kyle and Vincent. He's also joins fellow Hokies DeAngelo Hall and Kyshoen Jarrett in Washington's secondary.

More important, though, Fuller becomes the second significant addition to the Redskins' remodeled defensive backfield, joining All-Pro corner Josh Norman, who was signed to a five-year, $75 million contract a week ago today. 

Before attending Virginia Tech, Fuller also played at Good Counsel High in Olney, Md.


Where will Cravens play for the Redskins?


Where will Cravens play for the Redskins?

A day after adding a playmaker on offense, the Redskins bolstered the defense, signing USC linebacker-safety Su’a Cravens in the second round.

Cravens, who is listed at 6 foot 1, 226 pounds, recorded 86 tackles, including 15 for loss, to go along with 5.5 sacks last season. He also made two interceptions in 2015, giving him a total of nine in three years with the Trojans.

There was much intrigue surrounding Cravens entering the draft because of his flexibility. The Redskins, however, have told the Los Angeles native that he’ll play dime linebacker in Washington. 

“Probably every question at the combine was, ‘What positon do you want to play?’” Cravens said on a conference call with Redskins beat writers. “I’d say half of it was safety, half of it was Will linebacker. Not too many teams spoke to me about the dime linebacker position, so the fact that Washington called me, which I wasn’t expecting, and told me that’s where they wanted me to play …that’s a spot where I can fit right in the defense.”

Cravens added: “[At USC] I played 3-4 Sam ‘backer, so I was out in space a lot, covering the slot and making plays in open space.”

Cravens boasts a number of NFL family ties. His extended family includes Dolphins tight end Jordan Cameron, a cousin, Chargers linebacker Manti Te'o, a distant cousin, and former Bengals safety David Fulcher, his mother's second cousin.

Cravens has another key NFL connection: Redskins defensive coordinator Joe Barry recruited him at USC when Barry was an assistant with the Trojans in 2010.

“Joe, he recruited me when I was in high school,” Cravens said. “He left before I got to SC, but me and him built a relationship before he had left and he knows my family inside and out, so I got a real good feel from him when I met with Washington at the combine.”

Because of his size, Cravens is somewhat of a tweener—too small to play outside linebacker but a bit bigger than a typical strong safety. A recent trend in the pass-happy NFL has seen teams pursue these types of players because they can be deployed in the box and they can be used to cover tight end and running backs, as well. The prototype is Deone Buccanon; Cravens said he patterns his game after the Cardinals’ linebacker.

“I like that you can be a playmaker,” he said. “I like to be in space, I like to rush off the edge or defend the run. I think those are [the] things I do the best, and things that I excel at.”