Great story in the paper today about Washington Redskins kicker Kai Forbath. He has definitely been a wonderful addition to the roster.
Even as a football fan, I had failed to appreciate just how much better kickers are today that they used to be.
One prerequisite to becoming an NFL kicker is being one of the best kickers ever. Clinics, coaching specialists and refined techniques have turned kicking into a cottage industry and transformed what once was an afterthought. Twenty-five of the top 33 all-time leaders in field goal percentage, including 11 of the top 12, are active. Kickers have converted 83.9 percent of their field goal attempts this season, which would make the average NFL kicker in 2012 the 12th-most accurate of all time.
Held to the standard they created, kickers became victims of their own success. Jan Stenerud, the only full-time kicker in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, made 66.85 percent of his field goals. Kickers are no longer allowed to be so bad. Only one kicker this season – Mason Crosby of the Green Bay Packers – has taken more than 20 attempts and been worse. All NFL kickers are, simultaneously, among the best to ever play and in imminent danger of losing their jobs.
Wow. Just wow. I was a big fan of Mark Moseley, but looking at his career stats, in his best year he didn’t attempt a FG over 50 yards. His career FG% was 65.6. Of course, he was one of the last straight-on kickers, before soccer-style kicking completely took over. Is that what has increased the accuracy?
In any event, I’m glad the ‘Skins finally have a really good kicker again.