Matt Flynn was holding on kicks at Thursday’s practice for the Oakland Raiders. Sebastian Janikowski, Oakland’s normally automatic kicker, has missed two of his first seven field goal attempts, and both came inside 50 yards.
The Raiders’ former punter, Pro-Bowler Shane Lechler, was Janikowski’s long-time holder, but he’s now in Houston. The Raiders current holder is Marquette King, and the 24-year-old punter has had trouble on a couple of his holds.
After the loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Raider kicker cited progress while King took the heat.
“We’re getting better,” Janikowski said last week. “We’re working every week. It’s getting better every week.”
“It’s my fault,” King said. “It’s me.”
Janikowski made 31 out of 34 field goals a season ago with Lechler holding for him, and the 35-yard miss in Sunday’s win over the Jacksonville Jaguars broke Janikowski’s streak of 50 straight makes from under 40 yards.
It seems as if the 28-year-old Flynn would be well suited to take over the position, and the quarterback could possibly add the opportunity for some fakes, but the Raiders certainly didn’t plan on paying Flynn $6.5 million to hold kicks (or hold clipboards) this season.
Coach Dennis Allen was asked about whether there would be a change at holder, responding. “We’ll see,” he said. “We have to get better in that area.”
Allen was also asked about Flynn’s confidence level after his demotion to second-string, and whether the coach still had faith in his ability to move the team.
I’m absolutely confident that if he needed to play, he’d go in and move the team. He’s handled himself like a professional. He’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do. He understands how this league works and he knows his number could be called at any time and he’s got to be ready to go when it is. I got all the confidence in the world that he will be.
Matt Flynn has not spoken with the media since losing the starting quarterback job to Terrelle Pryor.