We’re counting down to the start of training camp here by looking at some numbers that will be keys to the Redskins’ 2014 season.
20—Kickoffs inside the 20
While Kai Forbath will get some serious competition from Zach Hocker for the job as the Redskins’ kicker, it seems likely that when all is said and done Forbath will be lining up to kickoff when the Redskins open the season on Houston on September 7. Unless Forbath gets a bionic leg installed between now and then it is unlikely that he will consistently pound balls into the end zone for touchbacks. He was 31st in the NFL last year with 14 touchbacks and that isn’t going to improve significantly.
The Redskins will have to work with Forbath’s limitations but that doesn’t mean that they have to give up field position every time they kickoff. There are other ways to get the job done like directional kicks with solid coverage that pins the other team inside the 20 yard line.
A goal of 20 kickoffs inside the 20 is an ambitious one. Last year Forbath had nine in 13 games. Only one kicker, Phil Dawson of the 49ers (23), had more than 20 kickoffs inside the 20. But eight kickers had more than 15 such kicks so it’s not unrealistic.