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Daniel Carlson ‘really making a name for himself’ with Raiders, is Jon Gruden’s ‘favorite player’

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

There was a complete change-over in the specialists for the Raiders last offseason Long-time specialists Sebastian Janikowski and Marquette King were let go and the replacements brought in by Jon Gruden underwhelmed. Eddy Pineiro was placed on injured reserve in September and Johnny Townsend has just a 38.2 net punt average this season.

In the midst of this Gruden has said he has found the long term answer at kicker in Daniel Carlson. And he continues to earn the praise of his head coach. Since his arrival in Oakland at midseason, he is 15/16 on field goals, including hitting his last 14 straight, and is 18/18 on extra points. His start continues to rise in Gruden’s eyes.

“He’s my favorite player,” Gruden said Wednesday. “For a while there you don’t know your kickers name. I know this guy’s name. He’s really making a name for himself. Long range field goals, different climates, wet ball, high snap, low snap, on the road, cold weather, he has done it all for us. I don’t think he reminds me of anybody. He’s just tall. He’s a long kicker. I just met his brother who was at practice last week. He’s another up and coming, tall kicker at Auburn. We are happy we have him. He’s clearly been one of the strengths of this team.”

In a year in which Gruden was happy to gift players away, the Minnesota Vikings made a rash decision by cutting the rookie fifth rounder after he missed three field goals in one game and it turned into a gift to the Raiders.

Since it is the holiday season, it is time to be thankful and count your blessings Thankful to the Vikings for letting a stud kicker to slip through their fingers and in turn bless the Raiders.