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Forbath, Koehn Embracing Vikings Kicking Battle


MANKATO, Minn. — Kai Forbath said he's been in a kicking competition each year he's been at training camp.

This season is no different as the former UCLA standout is battling Marshall Koehn for the Vikings lone spot.

"It's a competition, but I don't see it that way," Forbath said. "I just see it as a way for me to get better and compete.

"Obviously the best man wins, but I don't focus on what anyone else is doing; I just kind of focus on myself and getting myself ready," Forbath added.

Each kicker made three of four field goals attempts during team drills on Saturday.

Forbath joined the Vikings in November and nailed all 15 of his field goal attempts while making 11 of 14 extra point tries.

Forbath said he was fairly pleased with his transition to Minnesota.

"It's always hard transitioning into a new team midseason, but field-goal wise, I made them all," Forbath said. "A few extra points I want back, and kickoffs are a big thing I worked on this offseason. So I'm excited for another year and to show that I got better."

Forbath noted he worked out in Southern California in the offseason and focused on adding yardage to his kickoff attempts.

"Strength, technique (help you get better)," Forbath said. "Just repetition, though, really is the biggest thing. The more you do it, the better you do at them."

Forbath has made 84 of 97 career field goals in stints with Washington, New Orleans and Minnesota.

Koehn does not have any attempts in a regular-season game but spent the 2016 training camp in Miami. He made both field goals and an extra point in preseason play.

The former Iowa kicker said he's been the opposite of Forbath in that he's worked more on his field goal accuracy and less on kickoff distance.

"Kickoff has always been my strong point," Koehn said. "It's kind of been dialing in my field goals. I feel like I've gotten more consistent on my field goals.

"Kai is a very accurate kicker, and he pushes me every day to be pretty dang good," Koehn added. "I think it's making me a better kicker at the end of the day, too."

View images from the first Verizon Vikings Training Camp practice where the players wore pads on Saturday, July 29.

Forbath said each getting reps during the preseason games could determine how the battle shakes out.

"I don't make those decisions, I don't know how they think about it, but obviously they're game situations, so it's more pressure," Forbath said. " But they've watched us kick for months, so I think they know kind of what they have with us."

Koehn knows there could be one or two moments over the next few weeks that could loom large in deciding who earns the job.

"You can see how a kicker can make or break a game," Koehn said. "That's something we all know that comes with it. You've just got to prepare yourself every day, and the coaches try to put you through those situations, so all you can do is try to capitalize."

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