Raiders’ kicker Sebastian Janikowski may be moving the goal posts on how long he plans to play. A couple years ago he said he wanted to play into his 40s. That is less than a year away for the 18-year NFL veteran.
When asked today when he plans to stop playing, his answer was a bit more open ended; “Until they kick me out.”
It’s certainly possible that the age of 40 and when they ‘kick him out’ will coincide. At 39, he is entering the final year of his contract with the Raiders.
In recent seasons, he has been putting a new emphasis on prolonging his career. Last offseason, it became obvious that working out was a major part of that. He has maintained his new slimmer/muscular physique while adding focus to working on his game form a technical perspective.
For starters, he has begun watching film. Something he said he did for the first time when special teams coordinator Brad Seely took over two years ago.
“At 24 I could do a lot of things,” Janikowski said of the difference in his preparation these days. “You gotta hit the weight room, you gotta work out better, study more… with Brad we always watch film. I never watched film in my lifetime. Just something that helps.”
“There’s always something you can learn. You can get better on kickoffs, better on field goals, you can get stronger in the weight room, so there’s always something you can learn. I’m still finding out what it is.”
Being open to instruction and/or putting in extra work is not something Seabass was known for through most of his career. The past couple years, that changed. Seely was a big part of that. To hear him talk about his kicker, you’d think he was talking about someone else entirely.
“He’s very receptive to coaching. He’s very coachable. I think it’s his work ethic. Guys don’t stay in the league as long as he has without having a good work ethic but until you get to actually coach him day to day, you see what this guy is all about. There’s a reason he’s still playing at this level because he takes care of his body, he really works hard in practice, he wants to be good at his craft and I can’t say enough about it.”
As great as ‘the Polish Cannon’ was coming out of college, he wasn’t the kind of guy you could envision evolving into the kind of player he is today. Or even still being an NFL player today. But here he is, the Raiders all-time leading scorer, NFL all-time leader in field goals of 50 yards or more, mature, and refining his focus on prolonging his career into his 40s.
Now he said his goal is to still be suiting up in Silver & Black, launching the first kick off in their new facility in Vegas in 2020. He will be 42 years old at that time. In case you were wondering, 10 NFL kickers played until 42 years or older.