Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Growing pains for Janikowski with King?
By Paul Gutierrez
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Sebastian Janikowski did not miss a single field-goal attempt from under 50 yards in 2012.
The Oakland Raiders place-kicker shanked his first attempt of 2013 last week in Indianapolis, from 48 yards.
Janikowski, Oakland’s first-round pick in 2000, had converted 50 consecutive attempts from under 40 yards and had not missed one from inside the 40-yard line at home since 2007.
He went wide left again Sunday in the Raiders’ home opener against Jacksonville, this time from 35 yards out.
Sure, Janikowski has also made five field goals thus far this season, but the two misses, especially from the man known in most corners as Automatic SeaBass and in others as the Polish Cannon, have many observers scratching their heads.
It may also have people wondering if Janikowski is having growing pains adjusting to a new holder in punter Marquette King after 13 years with Shane Lechler.
“We’re getting better,” Janikowski said last week. “We’re working every week. It’s getting better every week.”
King, meanwhile, fell on the sword for Janikowski’s miss after the Colts game.
“It’s my fault,” King said. “It’s me.”
Janikowski, 35, has also been dealing with a sore right (non-kicking) calf, though the Raiders’ all-time leading scorer said it was “fine” last week.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen allowed there may still be a trust being developed between Janikowski and King.
“Absolutely,” Allen said, “I mean, there obviously was a comfort level with Shane; those guys had worked so long together that there wasn’t much of a thought process that had to go into it. I still think we’re in a situation where SeaBass is still working to develop the confidence in Marquette as the holder.
“But the more these guys continue to work together, the more they continue to go out there and get an opportunity and kick, I think that’s going to get worked out.”
Meaning with added reps will come familiarity and fewer mind games.
“I think it’s more of a situation where we’ve got to just develop that confidence in the operation that SeaBass had when Shane was holding for him,” Allen said.