Kai Forbath hopes to shed inconsistency in practice

Kai Forbath is off to another slow start in camp, but he has overcome them before. AP Photo/Jim Mone

RICHMOND, Va. -- Inconsistency plagued him in previous training camps, putting Kai Forbath on the bubble. It nearly cost him last summer until rookie draft pick Zach Hocker struggled in the final preseason game.

This summer, Forbath's inconsistency again has been an opponent.

"I definitely have to pick up the consistency," Forbath said. "I expect to be better."

The Redskins expect that as well.

"The strength of Kai's game is his accuracy so it's surprising right now," coach Jay Gruden said. "We have to get his confidence up. It's a little puzzling right now that he's missed kicks he normally makes. We have to figure out what it is, timing, confidence. We have to get it back for him. ...It's important for him to get in rhythm to where he gets that confidence back."

Like last summer, Forbath has competition in undrafted kicker Ty Long, who has battled his own consistency issues. The preseason games matter more than what happens in practice, but teams don't want to see a guy going through a day when he makes 3 of 6. That's what happened to Forbath on Saturday. Meanwhile, Long was only 4 of 6.

Earlier in camp, Forbath missed a 50-yard kick with Chris Baker riding him before the attempt. After Baker approached him following the miss, a frustrated Forbath just walked away holding his helmet.

In three seasons with Washington, Forbath has made 88.1 percent of his kicks. His 88.9 percent rate last season was tied for ninth in the NFL.

That's partly why Forbath isn't worried about his performance during the first week of camp. It has happened before; he has survived.

"That's just knowing I've kicked the ball a million times in practice," Forbath said. "There's no reason to miss. Just go out and do what I've always done. ...As the games come up you've got to trust it and just go out there and do it."

Forbath said the field goal unit needed to work on its timing.

"We worked through timing issues," Forbath said. "We picked it up a little bit and getting more game-like. Hopefully that will fix things."

If not ...

"I don't worry about who else is here or what they're doing or what they're making," Forbath said. "I just come out here and try to make kicks."