Zach Hocker - Kicker

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby DarthMonk » Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:56 am

When was the last time the Washington Redskins had a placekicker? Last year. Okay, maybe I should rephrase the question. How long has it been since the Redskins had a clutch placekicker secured on their depth chart to assume responsibility of kickoffs, demanding field goal attempts and PATs? Can’t remember, can you? It’s been a while. Too long, in fact. The lingering absence of which has left new head coach Jay Gruden just a little unsettled. It should. Clutch special teams play at an impeccable juncture during the course of a gridiron battle can be the determining factor between a ‘W’ and an ‘L’ — and conceivably a postseason berth.

It would seem the Redskins’ skipper was thinking the exact same thing. During last April’s NFL Draft, Gruden set his sites on Arkansas placekicking marksman Zach Hocker, rolled the dice and pulled the trigger. The unforeseen strategic gridiron maneuver might be viewed by some as questionable and subjectively a blown selection by the club. But it’s not necessarily a gamble.

Kai Forbath has proven to be an accurate field goal kicker, “connecting on a league-leading 94.4 percent of his attempts in 2012 and finishing the 2013 campaign with 13 straight made field goals,” per CSN Washington.com. “But last season he ranked in the bottom third among all NFL kickers in touchbacks, which did not help the Redskins’ struggling special teams unit.”

Hence Gruden’s incentive to draft another placekicker, add a little flavor to the offseason competition and make personnel matters in the kicking game interesting. The Redskins head coach is, in essence, dispatching a memo that should be short, sweet and fairly elementary to read: Despite Forbath’s near flawless field goal percentage last season, he is by no means non-expendable. From the looks of things, Gruden fully intends to anchor a foreboding and respectable kicking game this season. The blooming head coach is on his way. So much for a short memo, but you get the point.

Hocker has fielded the pressure of impressing coaches during minicamp effortlessly. Disregarding his freshman status in the league, the Arkansas product flashed power and precision, nailing five of his six field goal attempts Saturday’s rookie minicamp practice at Redskins Park. The former soccer player also exhibited considerable power on his kickoffs, routinely “sending several deep balls into the end zone and a couple through it,” per CSN Washington.com.
Last season Hocker connected on 13 of his 15 field goal attempts for the Razorbacks, the longest of which he powered through the uprights from 54 yards out. What particularly impressed the Redskins was the hang time and distance on his kickoffs. Hocker boomed 50 kickoffs last season with minimal effort — 34 resulted in touchbacks.

“He’s a very good kicker,” Gruden said of Hocker. “A very good college kicker. The rookie kickers in the NFL, not many of them have a lot of success, but we have high hopes for him. We’re going to have competition at every position, and kicker is no different. We’ll see how he responds to the pressure.”
If he’s everything he’s advertised to be, Hocker will make the return game and special teams play very difficult — if not downright frustrating — for rival units. The factor of field position in the NFL through the leverage of polished and disciplined special teams play is absolutely critical. Hocker will immediately vie to secure a roster spot and his placekicking proficiency will make GM Bruce Allen‘s task of conceivably cutting the rookie before the Redskins’ season opener very taxing.


The place kickers competed head-to-head to conclude practice, but both kicked on Arena League goal posts (only nine feet apart, rather than the NFL’s 18 feet, 6 inches in width). Kai Forbath made one of three attempts, nailing a 44-yarder, but missing a 37-yarder and 50-yarder – both of which seemed likely to have gone through standard uprights. Meanwhile, Zach Hocker made all three field goals on the AFL uprights, with makes from 37, 44 and 50 yards out.
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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby Deadskins » Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:35 pm

The place kickers competed head-to-head to conclude practice, but both kicked on Arena League goal posts (only nine feet apart, rather than the NFL’s 18 feet, 6 inches in width). Kai Forbath made one of three attempts, nailing a 44-yarder, but missing a 37-yarder and 50-yarder – both of which seemed likely to have gone through standard uprights. Meanwhile, Zach Hocker made all three field goals on the AFL uprights, with makes from 37, 44 and 50 yards out.

Going with a rookie kicker is a hard decision, but if I were Kai, I'd be getting pretty nervous.
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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby riggofan » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:09 pm

Deadskins wrote:
The place kickers competed head-to-head to conclude practice, but both kicked on Arena League goal posts (only nine feet apart, rather than the NFL’s 18 feet, 6 inches in width). Kai Forbath made one of three attempts, nailing a 44-yarder, but missing a 37-yarder and 50-yarder – both of which seemed likely to have gone through standard uprights. Meanwhile, Zach Hocker made all three field goals on the AFL uprights, with makes from 37, 44 and 50 yards out.

Going with a rookie kicker is a hard decision, but if I were Kai, I'd be getting pretty nervous.


No doubt, man. If Hocker is better on kickoffs, do you think it makes this an easier decision than it might be otherwise?

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby SkinsJock » Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:29 pm

Kickers have to be able to make FGs and consistently make deep kick offs - a kicker that makes FGs but is not so good on making deep kick offs will not have a job for very long

Kai Forbath has had all of the off season to figure out how to get the ball deep on kick offs - if he's not doing that in TC he will not be here
Getting our QB back will help a lot but we still have a lot of issues to address

Players and coaches need to believe that they can be successful - they are not playing with that attitude - big changes are coming

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby Deadskins » Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:43 am

riggofan wrote:
Deadskins wrote:
The place kickers competed head-to-head to conclude practice, but both kicked on Arena League goal posts (only nine feet apart, rather than the NFL’s 18 feet, 6 inches in width). Kai Forbath made one of three attempts, nailing a 44-yarder, but missing a 37-yarder and 50-yarder – both of which seemed likely to have gone through standard uprights. Meanwhile, Zach Hocker made all three field goals on the AFL uprights, with makes from 37, 44 and 50 yards out.

Going with a rookie kicker is a hard decision, but if I were Kai, I'd be getting pretty nervous.


No doubt, man. If Hocker is better on kickoffs, do you think it makes this an easier decision than it might be otherwise?

Definitely, but it seems he may be better on FGs too. Obviously we have no idea how he is under the pressure of real game situations, but if he consistently makes the FGs that Kai misses, and his KOs are through the end-zone, and he can punt as well, then the writing is pretty much on the wall. My only fear is that Kai goes to a team in our division. I wonder if we could get anything for him in a trade.
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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby riggofan » Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:45 pm

Deadskins wrote:Definitely, but it seems he may be better on FGs too. Obviously we have no idea how he is under the pressure of real game situations, but if he consistently makes the FGs that Kai misses, and his KOs are through the end-zone, and he can punt as well, then the writing is pretty much on the wall. My only fear is that Kai goes to a team in our division. I wonder if we could get anything for him in a trade.


Won't be the first one! Seems like the league is full of guys who sucked for us and went on to become decent kickers for other teams.

I agree with what you're saying about him so far though. Its a risk not seeing him do it in games yet, but the kickoff thing is a big issue with Kai.

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby SkinsJock » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:13 pm

we should ALWAYS keep the player that we think is better suited for our team

I hope that players that cannot contribute here go on to find success elsewhere - that's a good thing - Every franchise has many examples of that same thing happening to them as well - there are a lot of talented players that are playing for franchises that do not maximize their potential - happens all the time - that's a good thing :lol:
Getting our QB back will help a lot but we still have a lot of issues to address

Players and coaches need to believe that they can be successful - they are not playing with that attitude - big changes are coming

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby SkinsJock » Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:14 pm

Kai knows that he had to improve his kickoffs - if he has not then he's gone

bye bye Kai :)
Getting our QB back will help a lot but we still have a lot of issues to address

Players and coaches need to believe that they can be successful - they are not playing with that attitude - big changes are coming

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby fredp45 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:17 am

The Skins better be absolutely sure this rookie can kick FGs under pressure as that could cost us games.

All of us know, Kai has been very accurate on FGs.

It gets down to, are 5 more yards on KOs worth a couple misses?

Maybe we start with Kai on roster, and Rookie on PS. If Kai's KOs kill us early, cut him and bring up the kid.

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby fredp45 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:19 am

Forgot to mention...

It's really interesting that NO one has mentioned the punter...In my mind, our punter hurt us more last year than our Kicker.

Do we have our punter on the 90 now?

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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby Deadskins » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:14 am

fredp45 wrote:Forgot to mention...

It's really interesting that NO one has mentioned the punter...In my mind, our punter hurt us more last year than our Kicker.

Do we have our punter on the 90 now?

No one?

Deadskins wrote:Obviously we have no idea how he is under the pressure of real game situations, but if he consistently makes the FGs that Kai misses, and his KOs are through the end-zone, and he can punt as well, then the writing is pretty much on the wall.

:P

Besides, this thread is about a particular kicker, so I'm not sure why you think people should be talking about our punter in it. There was a thread a while back that was about the punting position.
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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby KazooSkinsFan » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:17 pm

fredp45 wrote:The Skins better be absolutely sure this rookie can kick FGs under pressure as that could cost us games.

All of us know, Kai has been very accurate on FGs.

It gets down to, are 5 more yards on KOs worth a couple misses?

Maybe we start with Kai on roster, and Rookie on PS. If Kai's KOs kill us early, cut him and bring up the kid.


The short kickoffs are like getting a penalty on every kickoff, it's a bigger deal than that. Also, at critical times, we can't really try a long field goal that could tie or win a game for us. I like Kai, and I do remember all the kickers we've struggled with, but his leg is a real issue.
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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby KazooSkinsFan » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:19 pm

fredp45 wrote:Forgot to mention...

It's really interesting that NO one has mentioned the punter...In my mind, our punter hurt us more last year than our Kicker.

Do we have our punter on the 90 now?


No one brought up our offensive line either, wow, that was a problem last year. Or our secondary, we couldn't stop anyone. The pass rush was weak, wasn't it? Why didn't anyone bring up that? Or that Shannahan was a virtual lame duck, no one mentioned it. We really do have to talk about every issue in every thread...
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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby cowboykillerzRGiii » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:51 pm

fredp45 wrote:The Skins better be absolutely sure this rookie can kick FGs under pressure as that could cost us games.

All of us know, Kai has been very accurate on FGs.

It gets down to, are 5 more yards on KOs worth a couple misses?

Maybe we start with Kai on roster, and Rookie on PS. If Kai's KOs kill us early, cut him and bring up the kid.


His college stats would lend to him being capable under pressure. Not to mention battling the starter kicking through arena football goal posts entails its own pressure kick as well.

Kai wasn't anything special last year- three misses putting him in the bottom third of kickers?

And the PS theory would be great but is it worth the risk of losing him to another team?? I mean he was drafted in the seventh instead of picked up as an undated free agent due to the possibility of another team taking him when we wanted him.

As for punter (covered in the appropiate thread) this kid had a respectable average as punter w a long of 70!!

So if he wins the punter position and KO maybe we keep him and KAI as a deserve if he gets hurt or buckles under pressure. I like Kai but fact is his KO struggles cost us valuable field position and in turn contributed to us losing games.. so yes I'd say roll the dice on the rook for the measily five yards- Cus when he kicks it out of bounds trying to give it his all it costs us a LOT more than just five yards.
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Re: Zach Hocker - Kicker

Postby fredp45 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:42 pm

I wasn't implying we should be talking about the punter - or the offensive line -- in this thread.

Just surprised there's been so much discussion about the kicker but very little has been said "anywhere" about our no name punters.

And....I don't believe Kai was as big a problem as our punter (and coverage units). Was very surprised (as I'm sure all of you were) that we drafted a kicker AND not a punter.

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