By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 at 8:50 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Shane Lechler was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team as voted upon by Hall of Fame writers, but his trusty sidekicker, Sebastian Janikowski, remained unrewarded for the best season of his career.
The entire All-Decade team won’t be released until Sunday, although teams were giving out information in some cases with regard to players who were selected.
Lechler happens to have compiled the NFL’s highest all-time average in a career which began in 2000, so his selection was an honor, but hardly a surprise.
Janikowski, meanwhile, failed to get so much as a phone call after Nate Kaeding pulled out following a groin injury following Wednesday’s practice.
Instead, Miami’s Dan Carpenter, possibly on the basis of proximity to the practice field, was invited to take Kaeding’s place.
Janikowski had a better field goal percentage (26-for-29, 90 percent) than Carpenter (25-for-28, 89 percent) not to mention 17 touchbacks in 58 kickoffs, while Carpenter had only 7 of 79.
Carpenter was 9-for-9 from 20 to 29 yards, while Janikowski had only three attempts from that distance and made them all. He was dialing “O” for long distance all season.
Profootballtalk.com had a post earlier in the day wondering if Janikowski had been offered a chance but couldn’t make the game on short notice. According to the Raiders, no such offer was extended. Janikowski wasn’t a first alternate, and frankly I’m not sure if Carpenter was either. Not with established kickers such as Tennessee’s Rob Bironas around.
And the Pro Bowl is not a big deal _ even less so since it was moved out of Hawaii.
Still, it probably would have been nice for Janikowski to be asked.
Not that Seabass needs anyone to feel sorry for him. Expect him to cash in on a big-money contract much as Lechler did last year.
Lechler is one of twelve Pro Bowl players to be named to the All-Decade team. The others are San Diego tight end Antonio Gates, Jets guard Alan Faneca, Minnesota guard Steve Hutchinson, Titans center Kevin Mawae, Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers, Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis, Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, Eagles safety Brian Dawkins, Eagles kicker David Akers, and Browns kickoff returner Joshua Cribbs.
The dominant dozen has combined for 77 Pro Bowl selections.