It's the same problem that Janikowski had two years ago during his rookie season when he missed seven of his first 13 field goal attempts. The young kicker seemed to have the problem solved last year when, after spending a considerable amount of time in the preseason working on slowing down his kicks, he converted 23 of 28 attempts.
'' I was listening to an interview with Steve Young on the radio coming talking about Michael Vick and talking about how he has to slow his drop down so he can stay on time with his receivers,'' said Raiders head coach Bill Callahan. ''That sort of analogy applies to Janikowski, that at times when he backs up he needs to slow down. He thinks he needs to hurry up and he's so quick and so explosive that he gets out of sync because he's just not in a slower rhythm.''
Getting Janikowski on a more relaxed pace was the emphasis during the first portion of Sunday's practice. Immediately after stretching the Raiders broke into special teams work, lining up for a series of eight field goal attempts. Janikowski converted on seven of them, including a line-drive rocket from 58 yards out that nevertheless easily cleared the crossbar. His lone miss during the drill was hardly his fault; back-up quarterack Marques Tuiasosopo, who is just now starting to take reps as a holder, bobbled the snap from Adam Treu.
Desite his performance against Dallas, there is no doubting the leg strength of Janikowski. He routinely booms long field goals in practice, and at one point in training camp this year the former first-round draft pick nailed a kick from 52 yards that sailed over the crossbar more than midway up through the uprights and likely would have been good from 60 yards out.
But Janikowski has a tendency to press when he lines up for the longer kicks. Though he has made 75 percent of his attempts during his first two years in the NFL, Janikowski is just 2-for-6 from beyond 49 yards.
''When he gets backed up a little bit he just started to rush himself because he feels he needs to put more power into it,'' said Callahan. ''Oddly enough when you're around good athletes it's hard to get them to slow down at a certain point.''