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Monday, September 14, 2015

Washington Redskins Kicker, Punter & Snapper News

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September 14, 2015 - kicker Dustin Hopkins signed, Kai Forbath released
"The Washington Redskins plan to release kicker Kai Forbath and sign free agent kicker Dustin Hopkins, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN. The announcement comes on the heels of the Redskins season-opening 17–10 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Forbath went 1-for-2 on his field goal attempts, hitting a 45-yard kick and missing from 46 yards out.... Dustin Hopkins was released by the New Orleans Saints on Sept. 5 after losing the competition to Zach Hocker. Hopkins has yet to attempt a kick in the NFL since being taken by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft." - SI

August 30, 2015 - kicker Ty Long released
The Redskins have cut place kicker Ty Long after an offseason and preseason-long competition with veteran Kai Forbath, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. An undrafted rookie out of Alabama-Birmingham, Long was brought in to challenge Forbath, but never managed to overtake the fourth-year pro.... During preseason games, Long never attempted a field goal. He handled six kickoffs, averaging 65.8 yards per attempt with two touchbacks. Long made two of two extra point attempts." - Washington Post

May 2, 2015 - kicker Ty Long & long snapper Grant Donovan signed
Undrafted kicker Ty Long from UAB and long snapper Grant Donovan from Louisville were signed following the draft.

April 15, 2015 - kicker Kai Forbath signs tender
"Kicker Kai Forbath has signed his restricted free agent tender and will return to Washington for another season. The fourth-year veteran announced the news via social media Wednesday night. 'Contract signed!! Officially putting on the Burgundy & Gold for another year! #HTTR @ Athletes First" - Washington Post

March 6, 2015 - kicker Kai Forbath tendered
"The Washington Redskins have reportedly tendered restricted free agent kicker Kai Forbath, and will not sign him to a long-term deal this year.  There were conflicting reports on if the team had discussed a new deal with Forbath.  Mike Jones of the Washington Post first reported that Forbath would be tendered, and said the team had talked about a new deal.  ESPN's John Keim then confirmed that the team would tender Forbath, but said there had been no discussions about a new deal." - Hogs Heaven

December 20, 2014 - Kai Forbath kicks game winner over Eagles
"Kai Forbath made a 26-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining, handing the Washington Redskins a 27-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday. It was Forbath’s third game-winner this season and fourth in parts of three seasons with the Redskins. He previously made a field goal at the end of regulation to beat Tennessee and one in overtime to top Dallas. 'That’s what I kind of do this for — moments like that,' Forbath said. 'It’s a lot of fun. I score points when I can for the team, but those chances that you get to win it for them, that really makes it special.' Forbath, who also made a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter, has made 23 of his 26 field goal attempts this season. The two conversions helped him maintain what is one game away from being the highest field-goal percentage in team history. 'I kind of forgot what it felt like,' Forbath said of the game-winner. 'But to get one at the end of the season like this, when we’ve been having quite a bit of a losing streak, it feels great. I mean, I haven’t seen guys smile and laugh like this in a long time. Just glad that I could help in getting those smiles'." - Washington Times

October 29, 2014 - Kai Forbath named NFC special teams player of the week
"Against the Cowboys, Forbath converted two field goal attempts including the eventual game-winner, a 40-yard attempt, on the Redskins’ first possession of overtime in a 20-17 road win on Monday Night Football. His performance came a week after setting a career high with four field goals including a game-winning 22-yarder at the end of regulation against the Tennessee Titans in Week 7.  Forbath has made his last nine attempts and is 13-of-14 (92.9 percent) on field goal attempts this season. For his career, he has converted 48-of-54 field goal attempts (88.9), the highest percentage of any kicker in franchise history with a minimum of 50 attempts. This marks the first NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award of Forbath’s career. He is the first member of the Redskins to earn the honor since Graham Gano in Week 16 of the 2010 season." - Redskins

October 27, 2014 - Kai Forbath kicks OT game winner over Cowboys
"Colt McCoy directed Washington to Kai Forbath's 40-yard field goal in overtime and Dallas was unable to answer after Romo came back from an injury to his surgically repaired back, sending the visiting Redskins to a 20-17 victory on Monday night that snapped the Cowboys' six-game winning streak." - CBC

October 19, 2014 - Kai Forbath kicks game winner over Titans
"As he dug his toe in the turf Sunday afternoon with 3 seconds left and the game on the line, Redskins kicker Kai Forbath reminded himself that he had made this kick thousands of times. Forbath was about to attempt his career-high fourth field goal of the afternoon, a 22-yarder, a routine kick only a few yards away from where he usually attempts extra points. 'I do this every day in practice, every day in games,' he told himself. 'Nothing needs to change.' And nothing did. Forbath split the uprights just as the Tennessee Titans called a late timeout, then repeated the kick with the clock ticking down to propel the Redskins to a 19-17 win. Forbath had field goals of 31, 31, 27 and 22 yards in the game, accounting for the majority of the team’s offensive production in a slow, sloppy game. Forbath said he had not made a game-winner with his team trailing since his days at UCLA. It was his second game-winner with the Redskins. 'It felt great. You know, we needed a win bad,' Forbath said. 'I couldn’t ask for better field position to kick the game-winner, so hats off to our offense for getting us there'." - Washington Times

October 16, 2014 - punter Tress Way
"Punter Tress Way, a former Union High and OU standout, continuing his pace of 51.2 yards per punt, reports Way’s average is 0.2 yards shy of Sammy Baugh’s full-season NFL record of 51.4 yards per punt in 1940. also reported that Way may become the first Washington player to record a 60-yard punt in five games in a single season since Matt Turk, who recorded five in 1998." - Tulsa World

September 19, 2014 - weekend kicking plans
"Forbath has been limited in practice all week. Redskins coach Jay Gruden seemed to be pretty confident that Forbath will play but he said that contingencies plans are in place. There is a possibility that Way will again kick off. 'Yes. That could be the case again this week, see how Kai's doing, but he kicked today and felt pretty good,' said Gruden. That will save some wear and tear on Forbath’s leg and lessen the chance that the will aggravate it. Last weekend it was reported that Zach Hocker, the seventh-round draft pick who lost the competition for the kicking job to Forbath, was at Redskins Park in case he was needed. Washington will have a similar Plan B in place this weekend if needed." - CSN Washington

September 13, 2014 - kicker Kai Forbath to kick in game
"Kicker Kai Forbath will indeed play for the Washington Redskins on Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a person familiar with the situation confirmed. Forbath had been questionable with a groin injury for much of this week. Coach Jay Gruden said on Friday that he believed the third-year kicker would be able to play, but that a final decision wouldn’t be made until Forbath tested his injury out by kicking on Saturday." - Washington Post

September 12, 2014 - kicker Kai Forbath injury status
"Forbath, who has a groin injury, will kick Saturday to see if he's ready to go. If he can't kick, the Redskins would have to cut a player and sign another kicker -- they released Zach Hocker in the final cuts last month.... Forbath missed three games with an injury last year. Coach Jay Gruden said he did not think Forbath's injury was as bad as last year -- though Gruden was not here at that time. 'He just felt a little stiffness in there, and he is playing it very safe right now,' Gruden said. 'I think he's going to be OK. He said he knows the pain he went through and what he went through last year. He said it is not close to that, so hopefully he is just being a little bit cautious'." - ESPN

August 30, 2014 - kicker Zach Hocker released, Kai Forbath remains
"The Redskins spent a seventh-round pick on Arkansas place kicker Zach Hocker this spring, hoping to bring in a youngster with a strong leg who would challenge incumbent Kai Forbath. Their competition lasted all preseason, with the rookie shining initially, hitting a pair of field goals and making a special-teams tackle during the opener against New England, while Forbath was short on his lone attempt from 46 yards. But Saturday morning, roughly eight hours before the NFL’s deadline for final roster cuts, it was Hocker who was released. It all came down to Thursday’s preseason finale at Tampa Bay, in which Hocker missed his lone field-goal attempt, from 39 yards, wide right. Forbath delivered from 45 yards to open the scoring. Forbath, a third-year veteran, finished the preseason 4 for 5 on field goals and made all of his point-after attempts and show improved distance on his kickoffs. Hocker was 2 for 3 on field goals." - Washington Post

August 29, 2014 - punter Robert Malone released, Tress Way remains
"Tress Way appears to be the winner of the Washington Redskins' punting competition. Way was the only punter left on the roster after the Redskins waived Robert Malone on Friday, one of eight initial cuts as the team whittles its roster down to the limit of 53 for the regular season. The Redskins began training camp with Malone and Blake Clingan competing for the job, but Clingan was waived after the second preseason game. The left-footed Way was claimed off waivers from the Chicago Bears, and the former Oklahoma punter had four punts for a 45.3-yard average over the final two preseason games." - USA Today

August 28, 2014 - final preseason game
"The Redskins’ kicking battle remained too close to call following Thursday’s 24-10 win over the Buccaneers in the preseason finale. Kai Forbath was 1 of 1 on field goals at Raymond James Stadium, connecting on a 45-yarder to finish the preseason 4 of 5. Rookie Zach Hocker, meantime, pushed his only attempt of the night wide right from 39 yards out. He finished the exhibition season 2 of 3. Afterward, Hocker said the miss had nothing to with nerves. 'Preseason, offseason, OTAs went well,' Hocker said. 'Planned on ending on a good note, and that one got away from me. Kickoffs throughout the night, I felt pretty good about. Just that one field goal. I might have overlooked it, being a short kick. Went out there and pushed it right.' Now Hocker must wait for the Redskins’ coaching staff to make its decision. Some cuts will be made Friday, though final rosters aren’t due until 4 p.m. Saturday.... Forbath, meantime, said he did all he could. 'I mean, I had one attempt and made it,' he said. 'It’s out of my hands now'.” - CSN Washington

August 20, 2014 - punter Tress Way claimed off waivers
"The Washington Redskins announced today that they have acquired punter Tress Way via waiver claim. In addition, the team waived punter Blake Clingan. Way (6-1, 215) originally entered the NFL as a college free agent with the Chicago Bears on April 28, 2013. He was waived by the Bears on Aug. 25, 2013. He later re-signed with the Bears on Jan. 1, 2014 before being waived on Aug. 18. Way punted collegiately at Oklahoma from 2008-12, appearing in 53 games with 250 punts for 10,988 yards (44.0 avg.) with 36 touchbacks and 91 punts downed inside the 20. He owns Oklahoma’s school record with 71 career punts of 50 or more yards." - Augusta Free Press

August 20, 2014 - punter Blake Clingan released
"The Redskins have cut first-year punter Blake Clingan, who had battled Robert Malone for the job this past offseason, in training camp and the preseason. Clingan had one punt in the preseason – on Monday against the Browns – and it traveled only 34 yards. Clingan played for the University of Central Florida, concluding his career in 2010. He signed with the Detroit Lions in the offseason of 2013 but didn’t make the roster. Malone, a third-year veteran, has recorded punts of 43 and 42 yards this preseason. The third-year veteran also kicked under Redskins special teams coach Ben Kotwica for the New York Jets in 2012 and 2013." - Washington Post

August 7, 2014 - kicker Zach Hocker wins first round
"When faced with a charging Hawkins on Thursday, Hocker did his job, wrapping up and bringing the returner to the ground. The play was ultimately called back because of a holding penalty on the Patriots, but the tackle did not go unnoticed. As Hocker walked back to the sidelines, he was greeted with helmet slaps from a host of veterans, with Trent Williams and Brandon Meriweather at the front of the line.... Coach Jay Gruden also walked over to congratulate his rookie kicker on the play, which capped an all-around solid performance in his preseason debut. Hocker put the opening kickoff into the back of the end zone for a touchback, made his two field goal opportunities from 27 and 39 yards, and converted his only extra-point attempt in Washington’s 23-6 win.... Like every position battle, the competition at kicker is still in its infancy. But Hocker took a step ahead of Forbath on Thursday by executing all of his kicks, unlike his more experienced teammate. Forbath missed his second field goal attempt from 46 yards in the second quarter. He made his first, from 39 yards, but only after his initial miss was nullified by a delay of game penalty. He also missed a field goal Tuesday during a joint practice with the Patriots in Richmond. Those struggles carried over to kickoffs, as well. Forbath’s first kickoff resulted in a touchback, but he barely reached the 5-yard-line on one kick and then shanked another out of bounds. He was trying to place the ball along the sideline to give his teammates a chance to practice a different coverage scheme. “We’ll look at the tape,” Gruden said of his two potential kickers. 'Zach had a couple great kickoffs and a good tackle and a field goal. And Kai, you know, he had the kickoff out of bounds like I said. So that’s a decision that’s going to come after the fourth preseason game. I know it'." - Washington Times

August 1, 2014 - kicking competition
"Kai Forbath and Zach Hocker have had a handful of kicking duels in the first week of training camp, but coach Jay Gruden said he still doesn’t know if he’ll choose one or find a way to keep both when it comes down to finalizing the 53-man roster.... Forbath got the better of Hocker in their latest showdown. After both made seven straight field goals (starting at point-after-attempt range and moving back in increments), Forbath nailed a 60-yarder, but Hocker’s try from the same distance fell well short. Then both missed an attempt apiece from 67 yards out. Gruden said the true evaluation will begin in the preseason games, and that a decision on the kickers will not come down until final roster cuts. 'We’re still evaluating,' he explained. 'It’s hard to evaluate a kicker out here. Coach [Ben] Kotwica is doing a good job when they’re out there charting every kick that they make, both kickoffs and field goals. They did some kicking yesterday afternoon, hopefully will do some more today, and then we’ll just continue to evaluate and go from there. That decision, if we keep one or two, will be made at the very last minute'.” - Washington Post

August 1, 2014 - punting competition
"The punting battle continues, but today, first-year pro Blake Clingan appeared to do a little better than third-year veteran Robert Malone. Both are good-sized, strong-legged punters (Malone is 6 feet 2, 243 pounds; Clingan is 6-3, 223). But Clingan had the better hang time today with unofficial times of 5.06 seconds, 4.89 seconds and 4.62 seconds. Malone, meanwhile, had hang times of 4.31 seconds, 4.64 seconds and 3.88 seconds, by my stopwatch." - Washington Post 

July 30, 2014 - punting competition
"The punters went head-to-head today, and while both Robert Malone (third-year vet) and Blake Clingan (first-year pro) both boast strong legs, Malone appears to have the more consistent of the two, and he had a slightly better hang time." - Washington Post

July 21, 2014 - long snapper Kyle Nelson released
"Nelson played in 11 games for Washington last season after Nick Sundberg was lost for the season because of an injury that required surgery. The two competed for long-snapper duties during the offseason. Sundberg remains on the roster." - Washington Post

June 16, 2014 - kicker non-competition
"Kai Forbath has all-new company this year for those one-man battles, as the Redskins drafted placekicker Zach Hocker last month and signed free agent punters Rob Malone and Blake Clingan. Hocker has quickly found his place among the kicking community. 'So far things have been great as far as [the other kickers] taking me in,' Hocker said. 'I’m playing the rookie role, and they’ve taken me under their wing and shown me around. It’s not a competition. We’re just doing the best we can'." - Washington Times

June 13, 2014 - punter competition
"Blake Clingan and Robert Malone are competing for the Redskins’ punting job, but instead of taking the 'anything you can do, I can do better' approach, they’ve formed quite the friendship. 'Between me and Blake, it’s a friendly competition,' Malone said. 'We’re both hitting it pretty well and we’re happy with how OTAs went. We really finished strong, and just want to get better every day.' Malone has the edge over Clingan when it comes to professional experience. He entered the league as an undrafted free agent, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars in April 2010 before his release just three months later.... Although he wasn’t ultimately kept on the Lions’ regular-season roster, Clingan – who was signed by the Redskins on April 8 – said he learned how to handle a job competition during his time in Detroit. 'I feel like any kind of competition at any position is going to make guys get better,' he said. 'I think competition is a must to really bring out the best in all our guys'.” - Washington Redskins

June 11, 2014 - HC Jay Gruden discusses on punting competition
"On the punting battle between Blake Clingan and Robert Malone: 'We feel good with where they are so far. You know this is early, this is OTAs but Coach [Special Teams Coordinator Ben] Kotwica is working with them and he feels confident we have our punter here on our roster right now. But preseason will tell. You’ve got game-type situations, nerves get a little bit... It’s easy to putt on the practice green, you know what I mean? Sometimes when you get on a real golf course, the three-footers get a little bit tougher. We’ll see how he does, but we feel really good. Malone is banging them. Both of them are banging them. Malone has hit the roof in the bubble a couple times. He’s got a powerful leg and Blake has done a nice job. So it will be an interesting competition but I do feel strongly that we will find our punter in one of those two guys'.” - Washington Redskins

May 19, 2014 - kicker Zach Hocker's minicamp
Add seventh round draft pick Zach Hocker, a kicker out of Arkansas, to the list of prospects who made a good first impression on Redskins head coach Jay Gruden over the weekend. Hocker connected on five of his six field goal attempts during Saturday’s rookie minicamp practice at Redskins Park. The former soccer player also showed his considerable leg strength on kickoffs, sending several balls deep into the end zone and a couple through it. 'He’s a very good kicker, a very good college kicker,' Gruden said. 'The rookie kickers in the NFL, not many of them have had a lot of success, but we have very high hopes for him. We’re going to have competition at every position, and kicker is no different. We’ll see how things go and how things transpire in the preseason, how he handles the pressure. Only times will tell in that regard'.” - CSN Washington

May 12, 2014 - kicker Jake  Rogers released
"The Redskins also waived kicker Jake  Rogers, who signed this offseason. Seventh-round pick Zach Hocker will compete with veteran Kai Forbath." - Washington Post

May 10, 2014 - long snapper J.R. Carr signed
"Carr, a native of Lomita, CA, played in 24 career games at Tennessee as the team’s longsnapper. The new Washington Redskin started his career at Tennessee as a walk-on and was awarded a scholarship prior to the 2012 season. Carr, according to the Volunteers’ official website, wore the number 53 in college as a tribute to former Vol longsnapper Morgan Cox." - All For Tennessee

May 10, 2014 - kicker Zach Hocker drafted
With the 13th pick of the 7th round, the Redskins drafted Arkansas kicker Zach Hocker. See his profile here.
"Kai Forbath, the incumbent kicker, is among the most accurate field goal kickers in the league. But he has struggled to consistently force touchbacks by putting kickoffs deep into the end zone. Hocker has one of the strongest legs of the kickers the Redskins graded, head coach Jay Gruden said. 'His leg strength is very good,' Gruden said. 'He was a very productive kicker at Arkansas. I think he was ranked ninth or tenth in the nation as far as touchbacks, which is excellent'.... Gruden also said he might consider keeping Forbath as the field goal kicker and Hocker as a kickoff specialist. Hocker is the first kicker the Redskins have drafted since selecting Jeff Hall (Tennessee) in 1999. 'That’s not out of the question,' Gruden said. 'We’ll see in training camp. Kai needs to kickoff better; that’s a fact. He’s obviously a very good field goal kicker, which is important. And we have a lot of respect for his talent as a kicker, but we also felt like we like we needed to bring another kicker in here and compete and look at for the kickoff specialist [role] and compete with Kai'.” -  CSN Washington

April 8, 2014 - punter Blake Clingan signed
"The Redskins added a second punter Tuesday when they signed Blake Clingan, the team confirmed Tuesday. Clingan joins Robert Malone as the only punters on the roster. Washington released Sav Rocca earlier this offseason. Clingan has never punted in the NFL, though he was in Detroit’s camp last summer only to be released in the final cuts. He had earned a contract after a spring tryout. Clingan also had a tryout with Miami in the fall of 2011 as well. Clingan averaged 39.9 yards per punt from 2007-10 at Central Florida." - ESPN

March 14, 2014 - kicker Jake Rogers signed
"[The team] announced they signed free agent kicker Jake Rogers.... Rogers (6-3, 195) originally signed with the New Orleans Saints as a college free agent on July 28, 2011. Across three NFL seasons, he has had stints with the Saints (2011), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2011-12), Dallas Cowboys (2012-13) and New York Giants (2013). Rogers played collegiately at Cincinnati from 2008-11, finishing as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 339 points. Rogers, 26, attended Warsaw (Ind.) H.S. where he was a three-time all-league selection in soccer and set school records for most PATs and field goals." - Washington Redskins

March 4, 2014 - punter Sav Rocca released 
"The Washington Redskins announced they have terminated the contract of veteran punter Sav Rocca.... Rocca would have counted $1.36 million against the cap. The 40-year-old former Australian rules football star struggled in his eighth NFL season. Cutting him saves the Redskins $1.2 million against the cap." -  Washington Post

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