"Holy Toledo!"

February 26, 2008

Latest News From The Raiders & 49ers

Filed under: NFL — Bill @ 2:23 pm

News from Oakland isn’t good, but it rarely is these days. Writers Peter King & Mike Silver are saying that Lane Kiffen’s return as head coach is less than 50/50. I would put it at far less than that. The odds on favorite to replace him is ex-WR James Lofton (who is currently their WR’s coach). What a mess. The Raiders are the joke of the league. I feel sorry for whoever they draft.

– Here is another big problem: They spent all this $$ on RB LaMont Jordan (formerly of the NYJets) a couple years ago, plus last offseason they paid big $$ to RB Dominic Rhodes (from Indy). Just a few days ago resigned RB Justin Fargas (Huggy Bear’s son) for big $$. Fargas has only had one good partial season, then promptly injured his knee. How good will he be when he returns? Who knows. Now they are sitting on the #4 pick in the ’08 Draft and because they have all this $$ obligated to other RB’s they couldn’t draft Darren McFadden (perhaps the most exciting player in the draft) even if they wanted to.
Al’s new motto should be “Commitment To Dysfunction”

Consider that since the final gun mercifully ended the 2007 season defensive coordinator Rob Ryan was fired, then he wasn’t. Head coach Lane Kiffen was asked to resign, then he didn’t. Insiders say that Kiffen has been stripped of his power, or at least what power he had. Others say that despite the Raiders insistence that the feud between Ryan & Kiffen was blown out of proportion, the two have yet to speak. Meanwhile Kiffen is in Indy scouting the NFL Combine still not wearing any Raiders gear.

– There are unsubstantiated reports that kicker Sebastian Janikowski could be gone before next season. Under the heading “Time Flies” Janikowski has now been kicking for the Raiders for 8 seasons. The 29 yr. old from Florida St. was selected in the 1st round of 2000 (with the 17th pick, two picks ahead of RB Shaun Alexander). Since then “Sea Bass” hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations, even though he is something of a sideshow.

Janikowski has a below average success rate of 76.8%, & has only exceeded the 80% accuracy mark three times. His worst season was ’05 (66.7%), his best was ’04 (89.3%). Last year he missed 9 kicks, a success rate of 71.9%. But number can be deceiving….

In 2007:
Under 40 yards – 10 of 11
Between 40 & 49 yds. – 7 of 10
50 plus yards – 6 of 11
(Career on 50+ – only 16 of 34, 47%)

Perhaps the temptation of having a mule for a kicker influences coaches into putting Janikowski in a position other NFL kickers rarely see. How many times have you seen Sea Bass attempt really long kicks of 54 yds. or more? He just missed a 64 yarder last year. The best answer for Janikowski might be to have his coach treat him just like any other kicker, instead of putting him in a position of having to be super-human.

Another factor to consider when evaluating Janikowski is his tremendous ability to kick the ball deep into the end zone on kickoffs. This is a value that has to be considered.

Janikowski is signed until the end of the 2009 season, so I wouldn’t expect him to be leaving anytime soon unless the Raiders are bowled over by a trade offer, which isn’t likely.

– As a reminder here is the official trade from Draft Day 2007 between SF & NE: The 49ers shipped a 2008 first-round pick (which turns out to be the #7 pick overall this year) and 2007 fourth-round selection to pick offensive tackle Joe Staley (which was the 28th overall pick in ’07).

49ers general manager Scot McCloughan when reflecting on the 2007 draft-day trade says he has “no regrets.”

Uh yeah right, of course his is going to say that now. Bottom line is that he would not make that same trade today.

Think about the two deals New England made last Draft Day weekend, not only the SF deal, but they also got Randy Moss from the Raiders for just a 4th round pick. Not a bad weekend for the Pats.

– More 49er Notes:
NFL Network is reporting the Niners will sign former Pro Bowl kick returner Allen Rossom. Meanwhile ESPN’s John Clayton is reporting that the 49ers are courting Bengals DE Justin Smith so eagerly that they may be charged with tampering (again!). Smith had 2 sacks last season for Cincy (43.5 sacks for his career) after signing a one year deal wit the Bengals last May.

1 Comment »

  1. The Raiders signings of Javon Walker and Kwame Harris are not necessary curious. What is weird is how much guaranteed money they gave those two; about 9 million between both of them. Both of these guys were second stringers on suspect offenses last year. Harris has never been able to block anybody, and now the Raiders are counting on him to bolster their line? Wow.

    Funnier yet was the column in the PD today by Lowell Cohn. He referred to the Raiders Press Conference last year announcing the hiring of Kiffin. What was funny is that Al kept referring to Kiffin as “Lance,” and not “Lane.” Al doesn’t even know the guy’s name! Amazing! I wonder if he’ll get it right in the buyout letter he is probably drafting for Kiffin?

    Comment by Gary Matthews — March 7, 2008 @ 8:59 pm

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