Friday, October 4, 2013
Should Raiders sweat SeaBass FG shanks?
By Paul Gutierrez
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Sure, Sebastian Janikowski has only missed three field-goal attempts thus far this season. So, you can take Raiders coach Dennis Allen at his word, if you'd like.
Or you can imagine Allen in the role of Kevin Bacon in the climactic "Remain calm, all is well" parade scene of "Animal House."
"We've talked and I think it's really just a matter of probably developing that confidence that [the ball is] going to be put in the right spot," Allen said, referencing Janikowski breaking in a new holder in Marquette King after 13 years with Shane Lechler.
"All he has to do is worrying about just going and kicking it. He's missed three field goals. Let's not make more out of this than what it is. He's missed three field goals; he's going to get better."
Fair enough, it's just that Janikowski has set the bar so high for himself.
Consider: A year ago, he was perfect on all 31 kicks from inside 50 yards as his only misses came from 51, 61 and 64 yards.
This year? His three misses, on eight attempts, have come from 48, 35 and 52 yards.
And they've all been wide left for the left-footed kicker. And all from the left hashmark. So obviously there's a common theme, though there's not much the Raiders can do with that on offense as far as setting up on the right side of the field on third down, is there?
"Well the first thing is you're trying to get a first down," Allen said. "You can't control all the time where the ball ends up. That operation is something we've continued to work on. I think both those guys, all three of those guys [Janikowski, King and long snapper Jon Condo] are getting more comfortable working together. I've seen improvement. That's going to get worked out."
Janikowski said earlier this season they were working on getting things better. King has assumed responsibility all along, though it's not clear if King is not spinning the laces on the ball the right way on his holds.
Plus, Janikowski was dealing with a sore right (plant leg) calf in training camp and early in the season. But Allen does not think it has been a factor, either.
"Again, I think it's really just more a product of we're trying to get a new holder in there and that comfort level of you've been working with a guy for as long as he worked with Shane, it takes a little bit of time to get that comfort level," Allen said.
"You look at the one's he's missed, and they've been long field goals, ones that you anticipate he's going to make. But he'll be fine."