Camp wrap ’08: special teams


If discerning the capability of a defense with no tackling is difficult, assessing special teams is virtually impossible.

The high-speed blocking and collisions which take place on kickoffs and punts are precisely what teams try to avoid in training camp.

As for the kickers, the two guys who have the easiest time of it in Napa are the same guys who came up lame, although both Sebastian Janikowski (hamstring) and Shane Lechler (quad) should be fine for the regular season.

It’s at least a little troubling that the specialists both were injured when asked to actually extend themselves and do their jobs _ Janikowski on kickoffs and Lechler on punts.

Give them time to heal and you’ll probably get what you always get _ Janikowski will be an above-average if not game-altering kickoff man and he’ll be a good percentage kicker from 39 yards and in. He’ll be more erratic from 40 yards and out _ the area that was supposed to be his specialty _ but Seabass is on scholarship and the Raiders have no interest in providing competition at the position.

Lechler is on scholarship as well, and deservedly so. Although the Raiders would love to see Lechler take his conditioning more seriously, there is no need to bring in any other punters when you have the best in the game. Throws a nice ball when his standing-around time is interrupted as well.

Special teams practices in terms of coverage and blocking are all about getting in proper lanes and choreographing blocking schemes, and you get no real idea of how anyone is faring until actual games.

Players who should stick because of special teams skills include Isaiah Ekejiuba, Jarrod Cooper, Jon Alston (personal protector on punts), snapper Jon Condo and rookie safety Tyvon Branch. Fourth corner Chris Johnson has been working as a gunner.

Johnnie Lee Higgins will be given the chance to return both punts and kickoffs, and unless he revisits last year’s ball secruity issues, looks like a good bet to do both until Branch’s broken thumb heals and he can give kickoff returns a shot.

It remains to be seen how much Lane Kiffin will use Darren McFadden on kickoff returns, with the guess being it probably won’t be much. DeAngelo Hall’s hand injury takes the decision out of Kiffin’s hands regarding punt returns.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Quagmire’d

    Still pissed about Hartwell’s release…he was one of the few with legitimate game experience.

    I noticed on the Raiders website they have Archuleta listed as a LB. Could he be that much better than Hartwell?

    Why not keep him and get rid of someone like Baker or Bowie?

  • 4real Homey but what I realy want to see is Jamarcus turn a bysted play into a long TD to a WR! We already know the three headed monster will do its thing all year we need to pass!

  • team-of-the_decades

    does any one know where i can catch tonight’s game on net?

  • my p2p dot com

  • vegas raider

    Have to spread it out a little tonight, put Jamarcus in some 3-4 wide receiver sets and air it out. Our RB’s and run blocking is legit, we just have to make sure nobody gets hurt. Kiffen will like to challenge the Titans physically a little, but I feel like after every pass Jamarcus gets better, so rack up the tosses tonight!!

  • all 1 word Team-Of-The_decades

  • vegas raider

    408: You told me not to do it last week either!! Doobies and parlay tickets is like the only hobby this married man has.

  • Well now 408 my friend, remember back n Dec. against the charge-pukes, we saw Jamarcus make that very throw, albiet to that no-neck punk porter, however, I think during the course of the season, we will see those type of plays more than one would think. And that is because of Jamarcus’s ability to do that quarterback $hit, like stepping up to avoid the rush, or slice over to his right, or left, then hit a wide-out downfield.

  • those are two great habits to have Vegas Raider!!

  • La Milicia Negra

    —“A league source tells that Steelers OT Max Starks’ training camp performance “has been among the worst on the entire team. “Pittsburgh doesn’t make many personnel blunders, but guaranteeing Starks $6.895 million via the transition tag may be one. He hasn’t overtaken RT Willie Colon and would be one pricey swing tackle. The Steelers could’ve devoted $500,000 more and retained G Alan Faneca with the franchise tag.”—

    Good we didn’t make a run for him then, I advocated for him, but I’m glad to see him not pan out as I thought, now that we didn’t get him =)

  • Guess you gotta what you gotta do then Vegas! Take the points good luck brethren

  • By the way, you can tell by the context of post# 49, it is quite obvious that homey just finished burnin a bigg spliff mon.

  • La Milicia Negra

    lol hahaha well put =)

  • Yeah waiting till 4 to get my head rite 8) freaking boss wouldnt let me leave early las week but is bouncing @ 3 so ill hang for an hour (just in case) then Im gone!

  • M

    Flick of the wrist after sidestepping pressure, 35 yard strike to Carter inside the endline, just another day at the office for JaMarcus Franchise.

  • vegas raider

    Speaking of trick plays, how does Jerry notice that Shane throws a nice ball, he was a high-school QB, and he has never attempted a fake throw ever?? Not when holding on FG or punting. Really, never once?

  • Vegas

    Jerry was talking about training camp I believe.

  • La Milicia Negra


  • La Milicia Negra


    nah not true..

    I had some specifics all year long, sometimes several subjects to the same position..

    we got two of them, Drew Carter and Gibril Wilson..

    I advocated almost everybody as backup to jammy. Everybody but Culpepper =)

  • team-of-the_decades

    thanx 408 raider im also from 408 south san jose

  • Steelyone, My priorities are with providing for my family first. More important than anything, and yes including the Raiders. 🙂

  • vegas raider

    408: I’m just saying the dude can throw, why not a fake FG once every few years. Sebastian misses half of them from over 40 anyways

  • Yo 408, at 10 min before kick-off the flame will be introduced to the tangerine kush ya no.

  • M Says:
    August 15th, 2008 at 1:27 pm
    “La Milicia Negra,

    you advocated taking nearly every breathing NFL FA at one point or another!!!”

    Oh so true, good call M.

    Every time someone became available LMN made a push for them. Just so when 1 or 2 out of the 30 or 40 he mentions ends up on the Raiders or doing good he can say “I was right all along, I told you guys back in January this guy was the one blah blah blah.” followed up by a naudeating “muahahahahaha”

  • Homey –

    purple urkle from now and until end of game…

  • M

    Just funning you LMN

  • followed up by a NAUSEATING “muahahahahaha”

  • M –

    No truer words have been said in jest

  • M


    relax, it’s all in the family. Not like some of the Whiner/Shanarat trolls who peek in from time to time to spew.

  • just keeping it real M

    I am not a LMN fan, never have been. Yes he’s a Raider fan. A very pompous, arrogant, know it all, never wrong, Anti-American Raider fan.

    What you said was right on the money.

  • Good point East Bay Ray! But you forgot to mention his nauseating smiley faces at the end of his posts. It’s revolting and not very Raider like.

    Every time someone became available LMN made a push for them. Just so when 1 or 2 out of the 30 or 40 he mentions ends up on the Raiders or doing good he can say “I was right all along, I told you guys back in January this guy was the one blah blah blah.” followed up by a naudeating “muahahahahaha”

    Go Raiders.

  • M –

    At least have the stones to stand by your original statement without fear of hurting someone’s feelings with the cold, hard truth about themselves. Perception is reality, I may be perceived as an a$$hole but at least I am honest and able to stand by my statements.

  • Est Bay ray, You the Man!

    Just Win Baby.

  • vegas raider

    I expect a long LMN response here shortly

  • M


    Stones? Laughable. I mean what I write and yet I feel no antagonism at all. LMN advocated 600 free agents which I think is humorous, not denegrating. A raider fan can be cut some slack in my book.
    As far as perception being reality, well, that is one of the worst illusions confronting humankind.

  • Yo East Bay Ray, I gather u ain’t gonna b votin 4 “the annoited messhiah” eh?

  • I’m off to go buy some watermelon wraps for the game. Have fun with LMN.

    Look out for the Raiders D this year. I feel a new physical attitude that has been missing for a few years. I’m talking about putting a hurting on fools!

    OK, I’m out

  • M –

    you are deeper than I expected. Much respect, especially since you admit that your statement about LMN was true.

    Should I have said grapefruits instead of stones?

    Enjoy the game fellas, even you LMN

  • All bets r off if obama gets elected, if so , grab your firearms and head 4 the high country, the further north the better.

  • Aso, Howard, Morrison, Gallery, Huff, Miller pro-bowl. Read it, live it, see it, now just do it.

  • Team-Of-The_decades Says:
    August 15th, 2008 at 1:31 pm
    thanx 408 raider im also from 408 south san jose

    West Side on mines! No set trippin ya dig!

  • Homey Im still ufckin with that grandaddy 8) got the modelo negra in the fridg chillin! Its a beautiful day!

    NATION Pregame starts in 2 hours on 560 ksfo!!

  • whats with the hyper link east bay ray?

  • M

    Yes Raider Nation, enjoy the game. As someone posted earlier, we should be able to learn much more of where the Raiders are at from the Titan contest than from a whipping of the EssEffers.

  • vegas raider

    408 is always bangin the modelo negra

  • La Milicia Negra

    Vegas Raider..

    I don’t think I’m gonna bother with it, EBR has been on my case ever since he turned up here.. and Fire Kiffin, yeah his name says it all, so why bother =)

  • La Milicia Negra


    “Enjoy the game fellas, even you LMN”

    thanks, I hope..

  • vegas raider

    We gotta be nice to LMN, who else are we going to get European civil war history from?

  • La Milicia Negra

    LOL, true.. Dakota might make a try =)

  • whats up with that ? inthe blue square in my post #92?

    Hell yeah Vegas Modelo Negra is 1 of my favorite beers!!

    Some1 is trolling hard tryin to hate on LMN