For what it’s worth, Sebastian Janikowski feels worse than you do.
Janikowski wasn’t available during the open locker room period today, but beat writer Steve Corkran caught up with him and found the place kicker feeling low for two reasons _ his three missed field goals against the Arizona Cardinals and the the death of former Raiders legend George Blanda.
In warmups, Janikowski said he had the best series of kicks he’s ever had. “Crazy good,” as he called it. Then came the lowest point of his career since missing three times against Tennessee in 2001 when the Raiders were trying to sew up home field throughout the playoffs.
Here is the link to the notebook with Janikowski’s thoughts.
Blanda made it a point to seek out Janikowski and punter Shane Lechler whenever he was around, which was usually at least once per year. Janikowski said he last talked to Blanda when he came to the Bears preseason game Aug. 21.
“He was like a father figure to me,” Janikowski said. “He was a great kicker and a legend. Coming here and seeing him on the sideline was special.”
Janikowski said Blanda’s messages remained consistent _ enjoy your jobs, don’t get caught up in negatvity, have fun.
He had heard of Blanda even before he became a Raider.
“When I was in college, you always look up all the kickers in the NFL from the past,” Janikowski said. “So, I heard about him for the first time in college.”
Janikowski admitted he understands what it means to be kicking for the same team Blanda did, much in the way Lechler looks up to Ray Guy.
“I feel a sense kicking, being here and kicking for this team, just being a part of his life, I felt (as if I am carrying it on).”
So when the Raiders host the Houston Texans Sunday, Janikowski has a proper response in mind.
“Especially after what happened this week and what happened with him, I would like to just go out get a winning field goal against (the Texans),” Janikowski said.