Last season, Sebastian Janikowski had what could be called his worst season in the NFL. He was just 21 of 30, and missed several key field goal attempts, some of which were chip shots. Early last season, he reportedly blamed his holder, Marquette King. He denied making those claims and later took full responsibility for his misses.
Even still, there were bumps in the road due to having a new holder for the first time in his 14-year NFL career. Shane Lechler left as a free agent to join his hometown Houston Texans and his replacement was first time NFL punter, Marquette King.
"With Shane, we knew each other so well, that's a trust issue right there," Janikowski told the San Francisco Chronicle. "He knew if I'm pushing the ball, he would tilt the ball in the different direction. So now I'm working with Marquette, and it's improving a lot."
As for taking responsibility, Janikowski freely admits the fault lied in him.
"It's like (I'm telling younger teammates), 'Don't make the same mistakes I did,' " he said, "because obviously everybody knows, I made some mistakes."
After 15 seasons in the NFL, most would think the man dubbed "The Polish Cannon" would lose some power in his leg which routinely led the NFL in touchbacks and once tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal. But last season, it was his technique and therefore his direction that was the issue.
"I don't think I've lost any distance," he said. "The power has always been there. My final step is so powerful, I've always had the power, since high school. ... I feel that I'm as strong as I was eight, 10 years ago."
Usually successful NFL veteran kickers don't have a whole lot to worry about each off-season. They just go about their routine. That doesn't appear to be the case this off-season for the former Pro Bowl kicker and Raiders all-time leading scorer. He has had to re-focus on his mechanics and find a rhythm and trust with his holder. With that dedication, we could very well see a rejuvenated Seabass and a return to the Pro Bowl conversation.