Read an interesting story yesterday about the love affair between Brien Schneider, the beloved special teams coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2 years under Lance Kiffin, and the now head coach of the Seattle Sea Chickens, Pete Carrol. Sounded like something out of a fairy tail book and went something like this.
One day, long long ago, in Raiderville, a visiting prince rode into town with his Trojan Army, riding a Stallion of Maroon and Gold, to observe the great practice before the hand to hand combat to come. This Prince was alone, and looking for some "Special Love", and found a maiden who was a team builder and had many followers. This Maiden's name was Brian Schneider. Fearless leader of a special team, who used bravado and his enthusiastic voice to win the hearts of many, and when Pete observed Brian in action, thus began the courtship of Pete Carrol who would stop at nothing to win his prize.
Back to the story some other time. Anyhow, the year good ole Lance was fired (we all know the story), Brian was left there floundering in the breeze. Pete saw his opportunity and brought him to the Land of Troy for an 8 month stint with the Trojans, and when Carrol went to Seattle, Brian followed in his footsteps.
This year, Seattle is proving on Special Teams why the courtship was so important. They are starting with an average field position of the opponents 32 yard line, and I believe we all saw the beat down Leon Washington single-handedly, gave to the San Diego Super Chokers, scoring 2 touchdowns in the game, one 99 yards and the other 101 yards. They are 4th in the league with the opponents starting field position.
Now, our special teams isn't chopped liver, OK not all of it. We have 2 of the best kickers probably to play the game in terms of skill in Sea Bass, and with stats in Lechler.Our kickoff teams are also very good, but we are in the cellar with a 20.1 average starting field position, and this needs to change dramatically, starting this weekend.
You knew the stats were coming. These are our current leaders:
Ranked 27th in the NFL
Ret Yds Avg TDs
17 360 21.2 0
Ret Yds Avg TDs
11 118 10.7 0
Ranked 3rd in the NFL for Kickoff Yards
Att Made Pct Long
20 15 75* 54
Ranked 15th in the NFL
Punts Yds Avg IN20 IN20%
31 1520 49.0 13 41.9*
We once challenged Devon Hester and he did nothing to us. You think Leon Washington and a rookie, Golden Tate, out of USC are gonna scare this team? I'd say bring it on.
It could be this kind of day.
Stay in your lanes, pursue the ball as a team and get some damn helmets on the ball carrier. Field position will play a key role in our time of possession and our ability to stay out of long drives. Lets see what the Raiders and John Fassel have up their sleeves this weekend.
As always, just a