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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.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Quagmire’d

    Hey 408, did Al fit the bill for those surgeries?

  • http://www.Raiders.com Oakglenn

    Screw the Tennessee Tight-asses. Time to kick some country music hick ass.

  • Quagmire’d

    Dude’s name is Hummer…lol…listening to KSFO.

  • Joey Bee 1

    Fargas, McFadden, Bush = HB “U” or HB”Central”

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    Quag

    I dont know they just said he had them both replaced on the pre game Kool-Aid Fix! 560ksfo.com

    Kwami sounds like a european dude! Veary wellspoken tho!!

    Kirk & Nnamdi are up next

  • http://fixthebold.com Terrapin

    I don’t know about that. Branch will still be trying to learn the safety position in 2 years!

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    anyone here about bearnie mac passing away. that dude was funny back in the day. friday and don’t be menace to south central while drink juice in the hood “you think you tuff! i hate blackpepper,woopy goldbergs lips, forest whitakers neck uggg, and most of all i hate that black ass wesley snipes” but most of his new stuff was lame. r.i.p

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    OH Yeah! The Recieving dude just gave me a six pack of corona and told me to get my Raider on!!

  • Joey Bee 1

    Branch has NFL speed and can tackle with the best of them, watch.

  • edward teach

    Don’t know, Terp. Maybe Joey meant as a special teamer? That sounds a lot more realistic.

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    corona is not a good beer, its piss water. 51% of corona is owned by what used to be anheiser busch. i’d rather drink tecates than corona.

  • Tonzino

    Tommy Harris? is he Hartwell Browns cousin?

  • Joey Bee 1

    Branch will hold it down.

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    but i wouldn’t refused a six pack of anything if someone gave it to me for free not even budlight

  • http://www.raidersdaily.com/countdown.aspx RaiderMight

    Tonzino Says:
    August 15th, 2008 at 3:51 pm
    Tommy Harris? is he Hartwell Browns cousin?

    ———-

    Yeah. He got big money today for his ability to “get off the ball”.

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    Dude free beer is the best beer ever! ur trippin brethren

  • vegas raider

    Hey free beer is free beer

  • Tonzino

    Buuuud Ligh?

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    where can i get a hartwell brown jersey? they don’t have any at the image store

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    where can i get a hartwell brown jersey? they don’t have any at the image store.

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    lite

  • Joey Bee 1

    Branch is better then Stanford right now!
    If he gets time, he will produce.

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    NoLuv4Hoes

    now ur talkin my language!

    These guys on the raido are killing me

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    any beer from balast point brewery is a good beer.

  • http://www.raidersdaily.com/countdown.aspx RaiderMight

    Got some nice cold Coronas’ waiting for me at home.

  • vegas raider

    Out of here fellas, enjoy the modelo’s 408, going to throw on the old Luniz “I’m a Raider” on the way home to get pumped. Raiders baby I’m in!!!

  • saintkaufman

    What’s up nation??

    It’s game day, left work early to hit the beer store and I am so ready to see the next phase in Kiff’s plan for OUR team.

    I think we’re looking at a higher scoring game today. Maybe 30+ for The Raiders.

    Afternoon 408 and Terrapin.

    GO RAIDERS!!!!

  • Huff24

    60 Minutes from Gametime!

  • NoLuv4Hoes

    any beer bottled by montezuma bottling is good.

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    Later Vegas1

    Sup Saint are you ready for this game or what? I hope your rite! Ill check back when I get home Im about to sneek out the side door!!

  • Tonzino

    Anyone else find it weird that Papa works for the SF Giants postgame?

  • Joey Bee 1

    Im looking at that Strong side Line backer competition. We have a heard of them trying out and right now I like what I see in Jon Alston and Robert Thomas. If Archuleta steps in and proves he’s All-Pro then we might be on to something. Sam Williams where you at? Cut.

  • r8dr4lfe

    Dos xx and Pacifico are the best
    with some carnitas and aguacate’s

  • saintkaufman

    Pacifico all day R8dr4lfe.

    KK, crack a whole bunch of cold ones first!!!

  • r8dr4lfe

    I dont need beer and the lady’s are looking good there having a carwash next door to my work looking dam fine

  • Fo Shiggidy

    KK -

    You got that right there sonny boy!

  • r8dr4lfe

    Pacifico with papitas aguacate’s limon metalica playing in the backround UNFORGIVEN our RAIDERS on the tube or should i say on the wall

  • r8dr4lfe

    Oops almost forgot the hippie lettuce roll it up men lets do it

  • Fo Shiggidy

    fire that sheett up man, do your thug thizzle all dizzle fo shiggidy, with that sticky icky icky, ya heard?

    ain’t that right KoolKell?

    Paaaaarrrrddddnnnneeeeerrrrr!

  • DirtyBathWater

    Can ne one in here get the game online? P2p or sumthin?

  • 909raiderlifer

    The Patron is in the freezer, the beer is on ice, getting COLD. Good to go.

    If, he gets the start. The most important player tonight, will be “Super” Mario. He had best make sure Russ does NOT get flattened.

  • http://www.car.org KoolKell

    lol, I was being facietious.

  • saintkaufman

    Televised locally here in the NW on Fox. Sorry bro!

  • Huff24

    I don’t think we can really put any stock in veterans signed by the Raiders anymore. Donovin Darius, Edgerton Hartwell, Greg Wesley. I’d like to say that Archuleta can make this team but nothing is guarenteed. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • DirtyBathWater

    Damn I need to see this action! So there are no links of a broadcast on the computer screen ?!,!!,? Im gonna cry the games gonna start soon

  • http://raiders.com 408RAIDER

    DBW I posted a link on the next thread hurry up b4 the mods get it

  • Voldemort

    I thought it was nationally televised? It’s on fox in Reno…

  • 909raiderlifer

    DBW…

    No t.v.? Game is a National broadcast on Fox.

    Can’t help w/ the link. (sorry). Saw it either back up this thread or on the last thread. Good luck..

  • http://erikapodaca@yahoo.com Riverside Raiders Fan

    Stupid ass Javon can’t catch a ball right on his hands…what the heck…We would have 1st and ten on the 30 or 40…Good on the blitzing…two in a row…nice going defense.

  • ghost to the post

    Hall returning punts = more games won… He is a star because of what he does with, as opposed to without the ball