Kai Forbath fills us in on his Valley background and his NFL future.
Edited byLinda grasso
You just set the NFL record for consecutive field goals to begin a career with 17 in a row. Reaction?
It’s such an honor to have made a record in my first year kicking in the NFL. It was definitely a humbling experience, but at the same time it made me want to work that much harder to continue to excel.
Most memorable kick?
The game-winning kick against the Ravens in overtime! Those are the kicks that every kicker dreams of.
You just played with one of the greatest rookies ever. Give us some RG3 insight.
It was an awesome experience. I found myself at times watching like a fan and forgetting what was actually happening in the game. RG3 is just all around a nice, humble guy who has an incredible amount of talent and leadership.
Who taught you how to kick?
Chris Sailer taught me as a freshman at Notre Dame High School. He is also an alumni and would help out every Monday with the school’s kickers. He helped me through UCLA, and now into the pros. During the offseason, I go out and help at his kicking camps for kids.
Any distinct high school memories?
I had an amazing time at Notre Dame (’06 graduate). The friends I made there, are people I will always be close with. Plus, it’s a pretty good memory to have won three CIF championships in four years.
So often, a win or loss hangs on the kicker’s shoulders. How do you handle that?
Pressure comes with the job. It’s almost impossible to simulate kicking under that kind of pressure, so you just have to completely trust all your training and technique. Being able to stay confident when coming back from a miss is the hardest of all.
Favorite Valley haunts back in the day?
In-N-Out for after school and after Friday night games. I consumed a lot of triple triples. Our favorite hangout spot was probably The Galleria.
You were an All-American and named best college kicker in the country. Your NFL future seemed like a sure thing. But things got rocky after you weren’t drafted, signed with two teams but didn’t get to play.
Yeah, it was a pretty crazy path. Shortly after graduation, I got injured training during the lockout. Luckily the Cowboys brought me in that first season and helped get me healthy again. Unfortunately things didn’t work out there, but I knew my chance would come.
Tampa Bay was next, and I couldn’t be more grateful for my time there. The opportunities they gave me to kick in preseason games and show I could kick at the next level really helped open the door for my tryout in Washington. And for the Redskins to choose an unproven rookie over two veterans was a huge compliment.
Did you ever think your NFL career was over?
I never ever gave up hope. Not being drafted and then getting injured were both unfortunate events, but I was able to use those as motivation to work even harder.
Even now, I take this job week-to-week, because I know there are guys out there, just like I was, waiting for that opportunity to make a team. I never take my place on the roster for granted.
What did you do this past summer?
I went home to California and trained for the upcoming season and spent time with my girlfriend and family. Just being home was nice, because I got to spend time with some of my Notre Dame and UCLA friends. I also played golf.
Are you any good?
I don’t have a handicap yet, but I usually shoot in the mid-80s. My friends and I play a lot out in Simi Valley, but sometimes we play at Balboa or Encino.
Paying it forward.