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So far, so good for Forbath

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So far, so good for Forbath

It’s an admittedly small sample size, but Kai Forbath has proven to be a shrewd pickup for the Redskins.

Although the 25-year-old California native had never kicked a field goal in an NFL regular season game, the Redskins signed him Oct. 9 to replace struggling veteran Billy Cundiff. And so far, all the first-year kicker has done is make every kick he’s attempted.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity,” Forbath said of his perfect start. “I didn’t know if it was going to come this year or next year or when. I’m just trying to go out there and take advantage of every chance I get and keep this streak going.” 

It’s quite a turnaround for a player who, just a few weeks ago, didn’t know when – or if – he would get his first legitimate crack at a fulltime job in the NFL.

Named college’s top kicker in 2009 as a junior at UCLA, Forbath was released by Tampa Bay after connecting on all five of his preseason attempts, including a 55-yarder. Despite his stellar performance, the Buccaneers kept standout veteran Connor Barth.

Although Tampa Bay’s decision didn’t stun Forbath, it didn’t make getting cut any less disappointing. In some ways, he said, it inspired him.

“I hadn’t picked a year where it was going to be like, ‘Okay, that’s it. I’m giving up,’” he said. “But it definitely was hard that first week after playing in the preseason and now I was back on the couch watching. That was the hardest time.” 

He added: "It hurt at first. Then it kind of motivated me."

So Forbath continued to practice and wait for his opportunity. Then he got the call from the Redskins, who decided to jettison Cundiff after he made only two of six attempts over a two game span.

Six days after arriving in Washington, Forbath’s first field goal attempt in a regular season game was a 50-yarder goal against the Vikings. The kick backed up his reputation for owning a strong leg. Against the Giants last Sunday, he showed his knack for accuracy, connecting on kicks of 20, 43 and 45 yards. 

Although Cundiff never seemed to get into a rhythm with long snapper Justin Snow and holder Sav Rocca, Forbath has developed chemistry with the veterans right away. 

“I just know these guys have been doing it a long time, a lot longer than I have,” Forbath said. “I know they’re good and they’ll get the ball down. I just have to trust that, just like I would with anybody else, and kick it like I normally do.”

Forbath said kickoffs are the area where he would like to improve. At Metlife Stadium last week, he put five of his six kicks into the end zone. But the Giants’ David Wilson returned four of them for a total of 106 yards, including a 32-yarder.

“We’ve had some success on field goals but we’ve got some work to do on kickoffs,” Forbath said. “You have to have a combination of hang time, distance and direction. That would be a perfect kick. We’re working on getting all that working.”

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Redskins agree to terms with former Rams wide receiver Brian Quick

Redskins agree to terms with former Rams wide receiver Brian Quick

The Redskins agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver Brian Quick. 

Quick has spent his entire five-year NFL career with the Rams franchise, moving with the team from St. Louis to Los Angeles last season. A second-round pick in 2012 out of Appalachian State, Quick's best season came last year when he caught 41 passes for 564 yards and three touchdowns. 

In five seasons, Quick has started 24 games and racked up nearly 1,500 receiving yards on 105 catches and 14 TDs.

The Redskins lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garçon earlier this offseason to free agency, and those departures leave a big hole in the Washington offense. Jackson and Garçon accounted for more than 40 percent of Kirk Cousins' passing yards in 2016.

Quick's arrival will not offset those losses, but he does continue a trend for Washington this offseason: big receivers. The 'Skins signed Terrelle Pryor earlier in free agency. Pryor goes 6-foot-6. Quick is listed at 6-foot-4. Remember, Josh Doctson should be healthy this fall, and he runs 6-foot-2. 

Of the departed wideouts, Garçon was taller, still just 6-foot. Jackson was generously listed at 5-foot-10.

MORE REDSKINS: Examining the Redskins' roster locks and bubble dwellers

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Redskins draft countdown: Can Temple's Haason Reddick make the move from end to LB?

Redskins draft countdown: Can Temple's Haason Reddick make the move from end to LB?

Redskins draft countdown

The NFL draft is 34 days away and there is plenty of speculation as to what players the Redskins will select to wear the burgundy and gold. Between now and the draft we’ll look at some of the players who might be of interest to the Redskins and discuss how they might fit in Washington.

I am not a scout but I will pass along my observations from watching some game tape of each of the players profiled here.

Haason Reddick

Inside linebacker
Temple

Height: 6-1
Weight: 237
40-yard dash: 4.52

Projected draft round: 1

What they’re saying

Explosive, quick-twitch athlete. Great flexibility with loose hips to turn, twist, and chase. Excellent reactive quickness and change-of-direction agility. Dynamic playmaker in space. Locks onto targets and instantly accelerates to the ball. Finished 2016 regular season with 21.5 tackles for loss. Fluid mover around field. Has chase range over extended territory.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins have devoted major resources to the edges of their defense with free agent dollars and high draft picks going to get Ryan Kerrigan, Preston Smith, and Josh Norman. But the middle—nose tackle, inside linebacker, and safety—remains shaky at best. Reddick could give them an immediate boost in the core of the defense.

At 185 pounds, he walked on at Temple as a safety, bulked up and finished as a two-year starter. Reddick played defensive end and dominated in many games, recording 10.5 sacks and 22.5 tackles for a loss. But he doesn’t have the bulk to compete on the edge in the NFL so he will be either an outside linebacker in a 4-3 or an inside backer in a 3-4. The Redskins would have him on the inside in base defense and could have him roam when the go to a four-man line.

Film review: vs. Cincinnati, vs. USF

Reddick played on both sides of the line in two- and three-point stance. He seemed to be more effective standing up; he lacked the size to tangle with the Cincinnati and USF offensive tackles.

He seemed to be a bit slow in recognition. There were times where he reacted after the play already was by him.

Reddick wasn’t asked to cover often but he can drop back and cover a zone. I did not see any man coverage. His backpedal will need work.

He showed good hustle and pursuit, got in on a few plays when lined up on the right side and play went wide to the left.

Against USF he played off the line of scrimmage on about 30 percent of the snaps. He didn’t do anything notable good or bad from there but it was a small sample size.

The bottom line is that it’s hard to see how well he could play at inside linebacker based on the tape. It will take a lot of projection by the scouts, something that I will readily admit is beyond the scope of my capabilities.

Potential issues: After playing defensive end at Temple, Reddick needs to adjust to playing on two feet. Inside linebacker in a 3-4 is a complex position to master and there could be a substantial learning curve involved.

There is a little bit of off-field trouble in his past. He was suspended from the program for three months in 2015 following an off-campus fight but assault charges were later dropped. That appears to be a blip on the radar with no issues reported before or since.

Bottom line: Reddick certainly has great athleticism. Among defensive linemen and linebackers who tested at the combine, Reddick had the best performances in the 40 (4.52 seconds) and in the broad jump (11 feet, 1 inch). It seems that he has the potential to be a good linebacker. And with Will Compton and Mason Foster in place now, Reddick could get some time to develop in Washington.

However, the Redskins defense needs some instant impact. If they want an inside linebacker they might prefer to go with one who is better prepared to contribute now like Zach Cunningham of Vanderbilt or, if he’s available, Reuben Foster of Alabama.

Jay Gruden has expressed frustration about the lack of impact he has been able to get from the team’s last two first-round picks. He could be complaining about a third if Reddick is the pick.

However, if other teams decide to pass on Reddick and he is available in the second round (which seems unlikely after his combine performance but in the draft you never know), the Redskins should give him a hard look.

In his own words:

Reddick on changing from defensive end to playing in space as a linebacker:

I feel really comfortable. At the end of the day, I’m a competitor. That’s what I like to do. That’s what I do. There’s no question about that. It doesn’t matter who they put in front of me, or what they ask me to do. I’m just going to try to do it as best as I can. That’s the approach I took at Senior Bowl.

Previously in Redskins draft countdown:

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.