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.