RICHMOND -- Sure, it’s just practice (insert Alan Iverson voice here). But Jay Gruden doesn’t like what he has been seeing from kicker Kai Forbath during training camp.
“A little bit, because the strength of Kai’s game is his accuracy,” Gruden said before Monday’s practice when he was asked about Forbath going a cumulative 14 for 20 on field goals at the end of practice (tracked by Mike Jones of the Post). “That’s surprising right now, but we’ve just got to get his confidence up. We’ll have him kick some today and hopefully he knocks them all through. Kai has been a very accurate kicker for this organization for a long time and it’s a little puzzling right now that he’s missed some kicks that he normally makes.”
Forbath expresses some concern about his performance as well.
“I’ve definitely got to pick up the consistency,” he said. “I’ve had some good days and bad days and I expect to be better. Just trying to come out here today and have a solid day.”
Forbath did kick after he and Gruden spoke to the media and he did have a solid day. He was perfect on four kicks from 34, 36, 43, and 45 yards.
But that sill leaves him 18 for 24 since the start of camp, a 75 percent success rate that is considerably below his career 88.1 percent rate.
Even before Forbath’s turnaround performance on Monday, Gruden didn’t seem to be panicking or on the verge of getting Scot McCloughan to get on the phone to line up some free agent kickers for tryouts. Gruden has said that Forbath has a tendency to look bad in practice before coming through during games that count.
The preseason opener against the Browns on Thursday doesn’t really count but Gruden thinks that the atmosphere will help Forbath.
“I think that will help once he knocks a couple through in a game-type situation,” said Gruden. “I think that will help his confidence. Out here he’s struggled a little bit for a starting kicker in the NFL. It’s important for him to get in some kind of rhythm where he gets that confidence back.”
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