Long before the Oakland Raiders traded for serious offensive help, I joked the team’s lone offensive weapon outside of quarterback Derek Carr was another DC. Kicker Daniel Carlson opened eyes.
I was not completely facetious with that comment.
Can He Kick It? Yes, He Can.
Despite the myriad of additions to support Carr, the 6-foot-5 placekicker from Auburn remains a real weapon for the Raiders. Carlson put 16 kicks through the upright and nailed all 18 of his extra point opportunities to solidify the position after the team struggled to find a competent replacement for the much-beloved Sebastian Janikowski.
Carlson’s got the control, range and strength to hit from a variety of spots if called upon — he went 3-for-3 from 50-plus yards and 8-for-9 from 40-49.
More importantly, he possesses the absolute right mentality.
“You can grow a lot in adversity, and hopefully you learn some things when you’re doing well too, and you gain some confidence from that, but for me last season was last season,” Carlson explained. “It finished off great, but it’s a new chapter now, and I’m just trying to get as prepared as I can to help the team get some wins this season. I’m just really excited to be a part of this team, and excited where we’re going in the future.”
Bleep What Ya Heard
Dismissing Carlson after his short, albeit disastrous tenure as the Minnesota Vikings kicker (he missed 3 field goals, would’ve been easy. He simply could wander off as a fifth-round kicker who couldn’t cut the mustard in the NFL.
Fortunately for Carlson, Raiders special teams boss Rich Bisaccia knew what kind of kicker the former Auburn star could be — especially after recruiting the tall and lanky boot specialist to the Tigers.
Patience and Refinement
Taking ample time to hone his approach and mechanics, Carlson joined the Raiders in late October and drilled all but one of his 17 attempts in the Silver & Black.
“We just felt like at that time, I could take a break, work on some things that I wanted to work on, because once you get into the season, you’re just getting ready for Sunday,” Carlson said. “You’re getting ready for Sunday. It was nice to be able to step back, work on a couple of little things – luckily this kind of circled around, and I was able to get a workout with [the Raiders] later. I knew an opportunity would come. Obviously, I didn’t know where from, but I just wanted to make sure that when that came I was ready and would be ready for the rest of the season.”
Brown receives praise for his never-ending quest to be the best wide receiver the NFL has ever seen. His work ethic is second to none and the speed he displays on the practice field is unparalleled.
Facts of Life
Kicker is an unheralded position when it comes to the quarterback and wide receiver. But a long while, Carlson was the only Raider putting points on the board. And it’s time to give him props for having a similar attitude to AB.
“I think you’re always getting worse or better, and so I think, yes, I learned from things that worked last year, and I want to keep those things going, but at the same time, I always want to improve. I’ve been working really hard this offseason,” Carlson said. “I want to continue to build off what I had last year, and the things that were going well, but still continuing to improve everyday. I think for the most part I’ve been able to do that. That’ll be the goal now as we wrap up minicamp and have a little break before camp, just continue to get myself ready so once the season hits I’m ready, and hopefully we have a long season, and get into the playoffs, and hopefully I’m peaking come playoff time.”
Of course, he must produce. However, Carlson owns the right mindset and toolbox to settle in as a Silver & Black fixture.