Kai Forbath always expected to be back in the NFL soon.
So he stuck to his usual routine. Forbath kicked two, three times a week, using the five tryouts he’s had since Washington released him as game days.
New Orleans eventually came calling. Now, Forbath finds himself in what seems like an ideal situation with the Saints.
“It’s pretty kicker-friendly, I’d say,” Forbath said. “Thomas (Morstead) kicks off, you play most of your games indoors. I’m pretty happy with the situation that I’m in right now.”
Forbath knows the Saints have a somewhat bumpy kicking history under Sean Payton.
New Orleans has sent 10 kickers onto the field in Payton’s decade at the helm, with only Garrett Hartley able to put together an extended run.
Frankly, the Saints’ kicking history surprises Forbath, who spent three years in Washington before the team released him after the season opener.
“It’s kind of weird to me,” Forbath said. “I came from Washington, and they had the same kind of kicker situation, I think when I came in they had 19 kickers in 20 years or something like that. Then I realized why, with their playing conditions and field and whatnot, but I don’t get it here.”
Forbath also won’t face the issue that cost him dearly in Washington. The former UCLA kicker made 87 percent of his field goals in three seasons in Washington, but he’s never possessed the leg to boom a bunch of touchbacks.
The presence of Morstead, one of the league’s better kickoff artists, simplifies Forbath’s role considerably.
“One less thing to worry about,” Forbath said. “I’m just here to make points.”
T.J. Graham was itching to get back on a team, but he didn’t mind having a little time to spend with his family.
Newly married, the new Saints wide receiver welcomed a son to his family four months ago. So when he was let go by the New York Jets in August, he decided to look at the bright side of things.
“I had plenty of time to spend with my family,” Graham said. “That was the most blessed thing I could have. I took advantage of that, spent as much time with my son as I could. I knew there would come a point in time when I had to come and play. I just waited my turn.”
Graham’s turn came Monday after he worked out for the Saints. He had been through a few these earlier this season and knew things had gone well when he made it through the first session and was told to wait around. When the day was over, New Orleans offered him a contract.
Now Graham is trying to conquer the offensive playbook and perhaps carve out a role on special teams, where he’s served as a gunner on the punt team, where the recently waived Don Jones previously performed, and on kickoffs. Graham could also serve some as a receiver. He has 57 receptions for 770 yards over the previous three seasons with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.
“I’m on the depth chart,” Graham said of a potential role on special teams. “We’ll see what happens.”
Keenan Lewis and Terron Armstead were among the Saints who did not practice on Wednesday.
Lewis, who has been battling a hip injury that limited him to eight snaps last week against the Atlanta Falcons, did not practice because of the existing injury as well as a stomach ailment.
Armstead, who was spotted during the open portion of practice, sat out of team drills because of a knee injury. Andrus Peat, who started in Armstead’s place at left tackle last week, also missed practice because of a knee injury.
Linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hip) also sat out of practice.
Guard Tim Lelito (shoulder), wide receiver Marques Colston (shoulder), punter Thomas Morstead (right quad), linebacker Ramon Humber (thigh) and safety Jairus Byrd (knee) were limited.
“I’ll be ready to roll,” said Morstead, who’s missed the past two games.
Rookie cornerback Damian Swann returned in full following a concussion.
“Definitely trying to work my way back in there,” Swann said. “Get the feel for what I missed.”