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Kickers Put In Preseason Work, Wait For Next Step


After four preseason games that featured several different high-pressure situations and an extended extra point experiment, Washington Redskins kickers Zach Hocker and Kai Forbath are now in a wait and see mode as to what the organization will do with the final 53-man roster finalizing this weekend.

"It would mean the world to me," Hocker said after the game when asked his feelings if he made the active roster. "It's a blessing to get an opportunity to even play in the NFL, and being on this stage in the spotlight, being a mentor for other people – I'm not going to take it for granted."

During the preseason, Hocker made two of his three field goal attempts, with the lone miss coming in Thursday's game against the Buccaneers, a 39-yard attempt he struck wide-right early in the fourth quarter.

Hocker admitted frustration over the miss, but he isn't letting it affect his outlook after months of positive work.

"Definitely not the best night for me field goal-wise," he said. "You never want to miss, whether it's the first preseason game, middle of the season or playoffs – it's not anything different just because it's the preseason."

"Hopefully I'll make the team. We'll see what happens."

Forbath, meanwhile, went 4-for-5 during the preseason, nailing a 45-yard field goal against the Buccaneers. His miss came from 46-yards against the New England Patriots in the first preseason game. 

One of the more accurate kickers in the league since signing with the Redskins in 2012, Forbath said getting more repetitions on film was important, as he's still relative fresh in terms of number of kickoff attempts, for example, dating back to his college days.

"Just doing them (kickoffs)," Forbath said when asked how he's improved. "I didn't do too many in college, so the more you do it, just like anything, you get better."

As the two wait to see what's next, Forbath understands that when it comes to the kicker position, nothing is guaranteed.

"It happens with kickers every year," Forbath said of waiting on hearing from a team. "It's something you got to go through.

"You know, got to roll with it."

Hocker, however, has yet to experience the NFL beyond a handful of preseason games, and while he also knows that kicking situations can be fluid, he wants to reach his NFL dream of kicking in a regular season game with the team that gave him an opportunity coming out of college.

"I would love for it to be in the Washington Redskin organization," he said.

As will be the case for all positions during the cut-down process, head coach Jay Gruden said the decision at kicker will be hard.

"[Zach Hocker] missed a great opportunity.," Gruden said. "He kicked off well, made a couple PAT's and we will have to see. 

"It'll be tough."




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