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Time for Seabass to compete

Lane Kiffin talked earnestly last year of having no free rides, a new Raiders order in which reputations meant nothing and performance was everything. He even said players “aren’t on scholarship,” a reference which had been used for years regarding certain players who were deemed Al Davis favorites (Dan Land, James Jett and Alvis Whitted come to mind).

Kiffin found his poster boy in Justin Fargas, who ascended past LaMont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes to gain 1,009 yards, an unremarkable total until you consider he wasn’t a starter until Week 7 and missed the last two games due to injury.

When street free agent Chris Clemons and fifth-round draft pick Jay Richardson fared well in training camp, better than third-round pick Quentin Moses, the Raiders did the unthinkable. They made Moses the highest drafted player not to make the roster of the team that drafted him.

When Darren McFadden became available in the draft, the Raiders unflinchingly threw him into the mix at running back along with Fargas and Michael Bush. Why? Competition. Compete every day, every play.

“It’s a pretty good stable, I mean if you want to talk to one to eight, one to nine, it’s open competition, so our philosophy is, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. I don’t care if you were the fourth-round pick, one of the top guys of the SEC that have ever come out as a runner, I don’t care if you’re Justin Fargas and ran for 1,009 yards, I mean, we have a standard here of the play that we want to present as a group of running backs, and we’re going to hold everybody that suits up and steps out on that field to those standards,” running backs coach Tom Rathman said. “When you’re not able to get it done to those standards, we’re going to go to the next guy. Somebody’s going to perform for us, and it’s going to be at a high level, and that’s our expectations.”

Funny how you never notice special teams coach Brian Schneider saying the same thing about his place kicker.

Sebastian Janikowski has been handled with kid gloves since the day he was drafted in 2000, the same as punter Shane Lechler, who arrived in the same year.

They remain the pride and joy of Al Davis, the one man who would pull the trigger on Ray Guy, Janikowski and Lechler, all unique and gifted talents coming out of college.

The problem is Janikowski, the controversial first-round pick in 2000, has never measured up the way Guy did and Lechler has. Yet each year he is treated as an untouchable.

Before they get to training camp, and perhaps the mandatory minicamp on June 3, the Raiders should bring in a place kicker who does more than caddy for Jano. Someone who can compete with him in practice and preseason games and be given a legitimate opportunity to do as Clemons, Richardson and Fargas did _ win a job.

Granted, there isn’t a lot out there. Morten Andersen is too old, and most kickers have found spots. The Rams will be parting with former UCLA and Mission San Jose kicker Justin Medlock at some point, having drafted correction, signed Josh Brown.

Medlock would be an interesting call because he idolized Janikowski as a high school kicker. He washed out with the Chiefs, but that’s not unusual in the kicking business.

It doesn’t have to be Medlock, anyway. Just somebody who comes in and is told he has a chance to win the job based on performance. Janikowski may very well win the job anyway, but at least he would be pushed.

Last season, the Raiders didn’t even bring in a place kicker until Aug. 6, when Tyler Fredrickson arrived to allow some more down time for both Janikowski and Lechler.

If you’ve watched much football practice, you realize kickers don’t really work all that hard anyway. If they stood around much longer, they’d be as inactive as the reporters.

Yet Jano kicked sparingly in the preseason. Fredrickson, who openly acknowledged he had no shot, was doing all the kicking by the preseason finale to keep Seabass from spoiling in the sun.

In a Week 1 loss to Detroit, Janikowski lined up for three field goal attempts and made none of them. A 50-yarder was blocked and 46- and 57-yarders were wide left. It’s probably unfair to criticize any kicker for missing from 57 yards, but attempts like that are precisely why he was drafted in the first round. To be a game changer, you’ve got to change the game.

He is a 62.2 percent kicker from 40 yards and beyond (71-for-114) and is less than 50 percent from 50 and beyond (16-for-34). Again, a 50-plus kick is no gimme, but we’re not talking about “normal” kickers here.

Over the last three years, Janikowski has been at or near the bottom of the NFL in field goal percentage (71.9 percent in 2007, 72 percent in 2006, 66.7 percent in 2005). Those seasons followed his two best years (89.3 percent in 2004, 88 percent in 2003).

And while Janikowski had 22 touchbacks last year, tying a career high, his consistency in that area is maddening as well and the Raiders have not been a strong coverage team despite his powerful leg.

This isn’t to say Janikowski should be vilified or run out of town. He has stayed out of trouble and kept a low profile for a few years now after getting into trouble at Florida State and in his early years as a Raider, problems tied to drinking.

But it’s hypocritical for the Raiders to concede him the job and then carry on about open competition.

OTA

The Raiders begin another three-day organized team activity Tuesday, with media access scheduled for Thursday.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • http://madeendouchebaaag.com Madden Raider Slapper

    Hey Dakota what SPECIFIC thing did Chris Carr say…oh that’s right NOTHING. Journalism at its finest. A 5th string DB who doesn’t know what a fair catch is, says the Raiders are crazy and the media hack prints it.

  • http://madeendouchebaaag.com Madden Raider Slapper

    Another great article on this Al Davis meddling issue…

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=yasinskas_pat&id=3387219

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Madden Raider Slapper,
    Great Post #250
    I saw Bo with the Raiders. He was a GREAT FOOTBALL player that accomplished what he did without the benefit of training camp.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Just found our new backup QB. Watch Anna throw it.
    http://www.bustedcoverage.com/

  • Dakota

    Better arm than McClown.

  • Dakota

    Sheep with their heads in the sand, lol. Oh well, I guess if ignoring reality helps you get through the day I am all for it.

  • Dakota

    baaaaaa, everything is fine.

    baaaaaa, the media makes everything up.

    baaaaaa, the players are just bitter.

    baaaaaa, Art Shell as coach was a great move.

    baaaaaa, Jon Gruden is a loser.

    baaaaaa, Kiffin will be here forever and the media made all of that up too.

    baaaaaa, Rob Ryan rules!

  • Florida Pete

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 7:49 am
    Just found our new backup QB. Watch Anna throw it.
    http://www.bustedcoverage.com/

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    let’s not be ridiculous… even McCown throws better…

    but check those receiving skills… catches the ball cleanly… hands away from the body…

    i’m telling ya… she is the answer…

    do you realise how much coverage she would draw ???

    send her on a fly… 4 db’s and 2 lb’s follow…

    DMAC scores with an 80 yard run…

    are you telling me we cant score everytime she’s in the game ???

  • http://raiders.com RaiderTW

    The Patriots have the easiest schedule in the NFL (their opponents have a cumulative 2007 winning percentage of .387), largely because they don’t have to play the Patriots. Then come, in order, the Chargers (.422), Raiders (.438) and Broncos (.445).

  • severeraider

    Mr=masturbates repeatedly

    Does Mr work for the oakland tribune??? He posts more than Jerry. I’m at work reading some of this guys posts, its like he just copies and pastes all his old arguments, and throws in a few new insults for flavor. This guy is hella weak, someone should do a study on the behavior of basement dwelling bloggers and he would be the perfect candidate for said study. I bet he was a former football player that tried out for the Raiders and got cut and now he holds some type of grudge against Al, and blames him for his own athletic shortcomings.

    He prollly lays on his futon in his moms basement and now thinks he is some type of expert because he logs so many hours playing Madden ’08. There are rapist and child molesters that are in jail facing long prison sentences and saying to themselves, “this guy makes me look good”, he has a sad existence. Me personally I like egging the guy on, its entertainment, buts its starting to get a little predictable. Hey mr, can u have a football debate without insulting someone, didn’t think so. You are like one those little kids in that if someone disagrees with you you call them a liar or insult them, come on, you’re a 40yr old man and u live in your moms basement, don’t throw stones if u live in a glass house.

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    Severe, does MR work??? Does MR’s brain work?

  • http://none FIRE KIFFIN

    Chris Carr is an ingrate.

    If it wasn’t for Al, this guy would be on food stamps.

    Just Win Baby.

  • severeraider

    Back to football until everyone’s favorite whooping boy returns.

    What do u guys think of Tim Rattay as a back up Qb??? He would come relatively cheap and I have heard that he was pursued in years past for the very same position. He knows the west coast offense, is mobile, and is a student of the game.

  • http://raiders.com RaiderTW

    When the Raiders win MR loses.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Sevre,
    MR says he does not like women. He was probably in the locker room shower dropping his soap.

  • Florida Pete

    FIRE KIFFIN Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 8:28 am
    Chris Carr is an ingrate.

    If it wasn’t for Al, this guy would be on food stamps.

    Just Win Baby.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    Carr’s picture would be on food stamps ???

    he doesn’t look like he eats that much…

    now i can see Sam Adam’s picture on food stamps…

    ‘course they would need bigger stamps…

  • Florida Pete

    Oakglenn Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 8:28 am
    Severe, does MR work??? Does MR’s brain work?

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    answer to question #1:

    are you kidding me ???

    answer to question #2:

    are you kidding me ???

  • Florida Pete

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 8:31 am
    Sevre,
    MR says he does not like women. He was probably in the locker room shower dropping his soap.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    on purpose !!!!

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    MR probably goes for colonoscopies monthly. A real Richard Cranium! lol

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    To top it off, MR knows nothing about football, just an instigator of bad will in the Raider Nation.

  • severeraider

    Chris Carr on food stamps lol hahahahahahahaha classic. (Said wiping a tear from my eye)

  • KD

    To all the Davis haters….How many SuperBowls has Carr’s beloved Titans won?? Yea, I thought so.

    Who gives a sh#! about what some 5th string, slow, lacks quickness, C- player thinks. The Titans gave that chump 2million for one season and you are bashing Al?? Please!! Keeping players like Carr around for so long is a big reason why we have been so poor the past five years. So far he is a proven loser. You guys can go tote your Titans cheer leading banners while I watch Al Davis bring us back…..AGAIN!!

  • Florida Pete

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 8:38 am
    MR probably goes for colonoscopies monthly. A real Richard Cranium! lol

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    c’mon… get real… where would he get the money ???

  • Bo Knew

    Post 250: Excellent research! Bo was in a class of his own, whether on the field or off of it (Marcus, take note and stay away from married women).

    Sidebar: I lived about 1/2 mile down Bundy when OJ killed Marcus’ girlfriend… thank Gawd she was out of my league or I coulda been that Goldman kid.

  • Mensa Raider

    Why do people think MR is a 49er fan? Sure, he’s an attention-starved idiot who has a sick need for abuse, but does that makes him a 49er fan?

    Sorry I guess I answered my own question.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Bo,

    OJ was innocent in a court of law and is continuing the search on golf courses for the real killer. I remember when OJ used to pull up in his Rolls near the players entrance before the games in LA. He did sidelines color and Dick Enberg the NBC telecast.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Mensa Raider,

    MR said he went to sleep in 9er’s jammies(previous posts).

  • Florida Pete

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 9:01 am
    Mensa Raider,

    MR said he went to sleep in 9er’s jammies(previous posts).

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    while the ’9er was still in in !!!!

    yo !!! rimshot !!!

  • Short Round

    16-0, and the easiest schedule in 2008. Unbelievable. The NFL really needs some sort of schedule reform. And, try to get the Raiders and Niners to play more than once every general election/olympics while they’re at it.

  • K-Rock

    First the Mayan Calander, now the labor agreement.

    2012 is shaping up to be a crappy year. :D

  • http://madeendouchebaaag.com Madden Raider Slapper

    Well Dakota, I guess you agree with me that Chris Carr said nothing specific in his interview, and yet you’re using the MaddenWhiner logic of calling people sheep that don’t agree with madness.

    Let’s take a closer at Chris Carr shall we. He’s only been in the league 3 years and with only 1 organization. I’d say this would not classify him as an expert as to the inner workings of an organization.

    But let’s look at what Chris Carr has done on the field…He has 1 interception(granted a biggie, but it was thrown right to him) in three years. And his return production, let’s see…

    2005, he was 52nd in KO return average, and 39th in punt return average

    2006, he was 23rd in KO returns, and 37th in punt return average.

    2007, he was 60th in KO return average & 36th in punt return average(he had these duties taken away from him)

    Of course what is Chris Carr’s reasoning as to why he wasn’t returning punts last year?

    “I did punt return my first two years, and last year was kind of off and on. Like in Oakland, there’s a lot of stuff going on there that you don’t understand. It’s just whatever.”

    Does this sound like someone intelligent or someone that doesn’t realize he was benched and discarded because he was given the primary job duty of returning the ball where his best year was worst than 70% of the NFL.

    And then he comes up with this nugget…Asked if any of his ex-teammates in Oakland were envious of his escape to Tennessee, Carr said, “I’ll plead the fifth on that one. They’re trying as hard as they can in their situation, so I won’t comment on that one.”

    Funny, because that’s not what Jarrod Cooper has to say.

    http://mvn.com/nfl-raiders/2008/05/08/former-raiders-cant-seem-to-contain-their-enthusiasm/

    “Chris Carr is gonna’ get JACKED UP!”

    So Dakota I ask, could it possibly be that you’re the sheep with the flock under the direction of a shepard who is one of the worst return men & DB’s in the NFL.

  • HayesDaze#37

    Riverside — I certainly wasn’t implying that anyone who disagreed with me wasn’t a real fan, I’m not that stubborn. But, I do see how my words may have been interpreted that way. When I wrote it, I was in the midst of someone who needed to see it.

    Anyway, we can disagree on Jano — no prob. Won’t be the first time and won’t be the last. I respect your opinion. The fact that you’re wrong doesn’t make you any less of a fan…

  • HayesDaze#37

    And that la-la-land comment really hurts. You’re much closer physically and emotionally to that scene.

  • i dress in black

    K-Rock- I am with you, just when the team has matured for a run….Maybe the NFL should not bother with the agreement at the beginning of the year since according to the Mayan calender everything stops on 12/23/2012 marking the return of Quetzalcoatl and from what i understand he is not a big football fan.

  • Sparky

    This guy has cost us more losses than wins. He should have been cut a long time ago. He’s a moron and he sucks

  • Florida Pete

    Quetzalcoatl = mayan for Big Raider in the Sky

    (it actually has more meaning, but this is a family blog and the size of one’s “unit” would not be appropriate)

  • http://ibabuzz.com antispy3

    Post #254; I’m all aout being real, so is it Marc Wilson threw like a girl or Maria Sharapova throws like Marc Wilson?

    As far as the Bo/MR “controversey;” those whom reside in “realityworld” know Bo’s hip injury was the result of Bo attempting to utilize his significantly more than human strength to extracate himself from an impossible to overcome tackle. If Bo had merely acquiesced to the initial contact instead of going for additional yardage he would have lived to “break the bank” for an undeterminable duration.

    Legend were the similar circumstances Bo was able to avoid. Earlier that year in Denver Bo hurdled a pile near the line of scrimmage. Upon landing he immediately encountered a Bronco safety which he preceeded to run over &, subsequently, sprint the rest of the way for a 50 yard touchdown. Never seen the likes of it before or after.

    Ignore all MR postings. He, like Charger Fan will go (or post under an alias/somebody else) away. Something about crickets.

    Bo & Gayle Sayers reside in the same “infamous” house. Avoiding injury they would have been the standard barriers for all NFL genetically mutant running backs. Sorry, Jim Brown, barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, et. al., a close second is the best y’all could hope for (ardent respect for the aforementioned all time greats).

    Just keeping it lively

    late

    antispy3

  • Quetzalcoatl

    On 12/23/2012 we will be playing the Broncos. As Jano lines up for a winning field goal the world will end.

  • Florida Pete

    antispy3 Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Sorry, Jim Brown, barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, et. al., a close second is the best y’all could hope for (ardent respect for the aforementioned all time greats).

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    what about OJ ??? the man killed … defenses… defenses !!!!

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Quetzalcoatl

    Only if he makes it!!! lol

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Florida Pete

    OJ just sliced thru.

  • Florida Pete

    exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 10:08 am
    Florida Pete

    OJ just sliced thru.

    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    thank god the guy was never a raider…

    he was a 49er, though !!!!

  • HayesDaze#37

    More fuel to stoke the bonfire that was Bo…

    To say that Bo wasn’t a football player, one should compare Bo’s career to that of the average football player at his position. If the average career for NFL players lasts somewhere around 4-years (I think it’s less), and the average career for a RB is just over 4-years…then, Bo did put down a solid 4-year baseline to compare him to other “real” football players.

    What Bo did in his average-length career was amazing. He put up numbers that made people compare him to the great Jim Brown. He blew away the steady Marcus’s numbers at every opportunity. Regardless of other issues — Marcus couldn’t keep Bo #2 no matter what he did. Bo simply blew-away the future Hall Of Famer on the field.

    Marcus made a living being a steady back with great hands (fumbles aside – he wasn’t as bad as some will say) and carving-up goal-line defenses. His singular trademark play is the unbelievably great run in the Super Bowl. Marcus had a great career, but I don’t know if he’d be in the Hall if his career only lasted 10-years.

    If Bo made it to 6 or 7-years, he would’ve put up Hall Of Fame numbers. If the Hall Of Fame threw-out their out-dated and biased election procedures — and truly represented the greatest players ever to step on a field — Bo’s bust would be there alongside the running backs he outshined during his brilliant career.

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    OJ was the ultimate RB. World Class speed in the hundred. Power to go up the middle. What a star at USC and Buffalo. By the time he got to the whiners,
    his better days were far behind, like Dickerson coming to the Raiders.

  • http://dakotaisanidiot.net Laker Sheep Love Each Other

    Dakota Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 8:01 am
    “Sheep with their heads in the sand, lol. Oh well, I guess if ignoring reality helps you get through the day I am all for it.”

    Dude you are one of the biggest sheep homers I have ever seen. Shut your mouth.

  • http://dakotaisanidiot.net Laker Sheep Love Each Other

    Dakota thinks that the Lakers never foul and that they are always fouled. Baaaaaaa baaaaaa baaaaaa sheep aren’t just for loving you effing hypocrite!

  • http://ibabuzz.com antispy3

    Gotta love those slashing runners like OJ.

    He was a cut above (particularly @ the neck level) on & off the field (allegedly).

    (More than) late

    antispy3

  • exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Laker Sheep Love Each Other

    Dakota is a Raider fan and so am I. Jealosy over the Lakers is not classy MR. So go somewear else and uncouple from the rancher who snuck up from behind on you. Why is the rancher smiling?

  • Dakota

    You kids…you crack me up. None of you have the balz to post under your normal handles when attacking me, lol. Wussies.

    When you guys start posting under your normal handles, I will respond to each of your arguments.

    Until then, I gotta work biotches.

  • http://ibabuzz.com antispy3

    Y’all know OJ was, like many Trojan footballers, a sprinter on the USC track team.

    he usually won team ruoffs by a heahe was head (but not necessairly shoulders) above the competition.

    He was the original “slask” (apologies to Kordell Stewart).

    Be here all night with shows @ 7:00 & 11:00. Please tip your server & try the veal (cutlets).

    Thanks for coming down. Lots of parting (Ginsu Knives?!) gifts remain! !

    (tough crowd. Can’t cut through the atmosphere with less than a machete).

    How quickly things deteriorate on a relative slow news day (Jevon Walker fitness speculation, Dem. Primaries in OR & KY, hamburger all over the highway in Sichuan Province, Dave Vs. Dave on “Idol” & appeals court sorting over the implications paper money “discrimminates” against the blind. Film @ eleven. Sorry. A bit insensitive there).

    These are the headlines (not an intentional “OJ” reference). Now for the rumors behind the stories.

    late

    antispy3