Sebastian Janikowski aka “Seabass” aka “The Polish Cannon”, has been a staple of the Oakland Raiders special teams units since he was drafted in the 1st round of the 2000 NFL draft.
Fresh off a 12-4 season that saw him convert 29 of 35 field goal attempts, expectations were high for the veteran kicker and the team. Then disaster struck the stalwart kicker and he was not able to suit up for week 1 due to a back injury.
In response, the Raiders brought back 4-time camp attendee Giorgio Tavecchio in part because he is also a left footed kicker like Seabass. Tavecchio after being cut year after year would finally realize his dream of kicking in a regular season NFL game. Raider Nation would collectively hold their breaths as nobody knew how Tavecchio would handle the pressure.
A season opener in which he went 4 for 4 on field goals including two 52-yarders, a game clinching 43-yard field goal and 2 for 2 on extra points; that’s how he would handle it. Sinc then his season has not been perfect and he has had some bumps and he has handled those bumps superbly.
So far thru 9 weeks of the season the miracle man Giorgio Tavecchio has gone 12 of 14 on his FG attempts and 22 of 23 on extra points. Not bad for a guy who couldn’t make a team or get a call from the litany of teams searching for a kicker before Janikowski’s injury.
It’s clear Tavecchio belongs in the league, the question then becomes what if Janikowski gets healthy?
“Giorgio has been great and ‘Seabass’ is mending,” Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio said Monday.
For all intents and purposes the Raiders seem content to let Janikowski spend the season on IR. This being the final season on Janikowski’s contract, his time with the Raiders could be done.
It’s always hard letting go of a player like Janikowski who weathered some truly awful seasons and has set his place in history of the franchise. But Tavecchio is younger, more affordable, and has thus far proven to be up to the task.
Is it time to move on from Sebastian Janikowski?
This poll is closed
Yes, he’s had a great career but it’s time
No, it’s too early to know if Tavecchio is ready