Not much special teams drama


With the first practice convening in a little under four hours, following a press briefing from Lane Kiffin, I take a look a Raiders special teams:

Kickers–P Shane Lechler, PK Sebastian Janikowski.

Core special teams players–LS Jon Condo, S Jarrod Cooper, LB Isaiah Ekejiuba, LB Ricky Brown, LB Jon Alston, CB Chris Johnson, FB Oren O’Neal, TE Tony Stewart.

Potential return specialists–WR Johnnie Lee Higgins, S Tyvon Branch, RB Darren McFadden, CB DeAngelo Hall.

There will be the usual amount of jockeying for position on the 53-man roster with regard to special teams, but not much in the way of drama for the kickers.

It will be another Napa month of leisurely sessions for punter Lechler and Janikowski. Any kicker that comes to camp will be primarily to give these two men a break, even though they mostly lollygag through sessions, wishing they were on some Napa Valley golf course.

With no more NFL Europe exemptions and rosters limited to 80, the Raiders may not be inclined to bring in a kicker to give them a break.

Lechler is coming off his finest season, breaking 40 yards net for the first time and doing his best to carry on the legacy of Ray Guy.

Janikowski has been what he has always been _ a fairly reliable kicker from 39 yards and in but whose percentage drops off dramatically from 40 yards and out. That doesn’t make Janikowski much different than other NFL kickers, except for the fact that his ability to consistently drive through long-distance kicks was the reason he was drafted in the first round.

Condo had an excellent first season long-snapping, replacing Adam Treu, with the added bonus of being younger and faster, better suited to covering punts downfield.

Ideally, Kiffin wants Higgins to win the punt return job and Branch to be the kickoff return specialist. In the backround, for times when the Raiders desperately need a quick strike, the Raiders could turn to McFadden or Hall, but no doubt Davis would probably rather leave them out of the return equation and focus on being position players.

Cooper and Ekejiuba were the undisputed leaders of the Raiders special teams units for coverage and returns. When Cooper was back from suspension and Ekejiuba was healthy, the Raiders blanked none other than Devin Hester.

When they were hurt, the Raiders were susceptible to the big returns they seemingly always have been since they returned to Oakland in 1995.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Wow, looks like my Strahan smack was a few posts out of date…

  • Teeth? Did someone say teeth? I need some dental work, can anyone point me in the direction of a good dentist?

  • I’m already on it Bo 🙂

  • (This should out MR) StrahanMan, what is your opinion of John Gruden?

  • StrahanManNY

    don’t get all butt hurt, bo jackson. I’m just trying to jaw with some raider fans for a minute by yall are getting butt hurt real fast, asking me to leave, like you all own this blog. anybody can post here. i found this through google, dumbys. take it up with the blog operators. anyhow, just wanted to see how things were with the lower half of the league, you now. thats the perk of being on top. and, you guys are on the lower, lower, lower HALF! lol. it don’t get worse than the faiders, man. you all are cursed, or something. how do you all lose with so much talent? you all had moss, man. couldn’t win with him! man, like i said, somebody upstairs aing feelin yall. or, maybe al davis just needs to retire. i like al davis, he’s done a lot for black folks. but man, he aint doing much for the raiders anymore.

  • For those of us with proper dental work, there happens to be a new post!!!

  • Dude, you are as black the white teeth that separate my gap.

  • StrahanManNY

    what’s my opinion of John gruden? he’s alright. you all could still use him, that’s for sure. but what i want to know is, how do the raiders lose and lose and lose with all the players y ou guys have had? how do you not win with moss? that boy wins everywhere he goes. except oakland. that’s the case for everyone. is there a curse or something? like the bambino? LOL.

  • K-Rock

    I like the Giants.

    Them beating the Patriots was almost like the Raiders winning the Super Bowl. 😀

    Especially since they kept Moss from making the winning catch.

    I am also a Dallas Cowboys hater, so I G-Men fan is welcome here in my book.

  • Well put Einstein. Strahan’s grill = NOLA levee post Katrina. LMAO.

  • StrahanManNY

    i’m as black as tar, n*%@a. Born and raised in the S. Bronx, now live in Yonkers. got giants season tix. they break my ass but it’s worth it. it’s fun having season tix to a super bowl champion. think you faider fans will ever know what thats like?

  • Hmmmm. “Butt Hurt”? Sounds a lot like another poster I know…POSER.

  • Where is Brownsville then? I will only give you 5 seconds from this post. Eliminating your the ability to GOOGLE it.

  • 5 Seconds up, POSER… GET LOST YOU POSER.

  • StrahanManNY

    Ha ha. This bo jackson’s butt hurt now and now getting on some racial s’t with katrina.. that’s expected. faider fans aint got nothing to go on. can’t say nothing about their current team, cause they know they aint good. so they go to the history vaults, then cry about a giants fan being here, then when that don’t work, go to the katrina jokes. i see how it is. i don’t blame yall. there’s nothing else you can really do when the fan ofa super bowl champion is in your midst. makes you desperate.

  • Dude is still trying to Google Brownsville… LMFAO

  • ptown raider

    a year after the steelers took the championship the raiders layed the smack down to those fools same as they would do to your cinderella giants go home hater