Kaeding a Perfect 10 on field goals

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Oct 14, 2005

By Kevin Acee

October 17, 2005

OAKLAND – Nate Kaeding gets neither too high nor too low.

A kicker cannot ride the emotional highs and lows of makes and misses. But he does know one thing.

"People forget I wasn't all bad last year," Kaeding said.

That could be construed as a little tweak toward those who Kaeding feels overreacted in regards to his playoff miss last season and his preseason struggles this summer.

But the fact is, Keading has started off his second year even hotter than last year.

He made two field goals yesterday to run his season-opening streak to 10, surpassing by one kick his perfect start to 2004.

"This is what I expect," Kaeding said after nailing a 32-and a 33-yarder. "I don't get too up about it. I know there is another game next week. But, obviously, I'm happy. You can't get much better than perfect."

Showing appreciation
LaDainian Tomlinson has had everything from insults to trash rain down on him inside McAfee Coliseum.

But no more. Lately, Raiders fans have been almost reverent toward him. That is fitting, because he likes playing in the bizarre and charged atmosphere of the Black Hole.

"My first few times coming here they were really on me," Tomlinson said. "Now it's kind of more 'L.T.,don't do us too bad.' It's a mutual respect. It's not as harsh as it used to be.

"Plus I think some of them fans are fantasy owners, too."

Ankle angle
The Chargers are walking around on some bum ankles.

Returner Darren Sproles and cornerback Drayton Florence did not play due to sprained ankles.

And yesterday, these Chargers suffered ankle injuries: cornerback Sammy Davis, who started in place of Florence, was hurt and played just briefly in the third quarter before leaving for good; receiver Eric Parker, who left the game in the first half and did not return; center Nick Hardwick, who left the game at the end of the second quarter and also did not play again; and right guard Mike Goff.

Caldwell contributes
In Sproles' place, Reche Caldwell returned kickoffs yesterday. He brought the opening kick back 60 yards, a career long for Caldwell and a season high for the Chargers.

"The unit did a good job blocking," said Caldwell, who last returned kicks his rookie season of 2002. "They made it easy for me. Did you see how big that hole was? I should have scored."

Olshansky's big day
Since returning to the starting lineup, Igor Olshansky has had two of the best games of his career.

The second-year defensive tackle, who was inactive in the season's second game and did not start the next two games after hurting his knee and ankle in the season opener, sacked Raiders quarterback Kerry Collins twice yesterday, a career high. This past Monday against Pittsburgh, he tied a career high with seven tackles.

"I'm just happy the coaches are giving me the opportunity to come back and get on the field and giving me the opportunity to shine," he said. "I'm going to take advantage of it."

Burner impressive
Michael Turner is continuing to excel in his chances spelling Tomlinson. Yesterday, he rushed for 50 yards on seven carries.

"I'm just giving my teammates confidence that if anything ever happens to L.T. I'm there for them, I can do the job, too," said Turner, in his second season. "Hopefully that doesn't happen. But as long as I'm in there I just make the most of my opportunities."

Steve Foley, playing hurt and unsure how long that will continue, is upset with himself.

He got to Collins at least three times yesterday, appearing to have him in his grasp at least twice, and came away with no sacks. He has had at last one such play in each of the three games since he suffered an abdominal strain, yet he does not attribute the failings to the injury.

"I played a pretty decent game except having this guy and him slipping out of my arms," Foley said. "It just seems like I can't buy one. I have the guys in my arms and they get out. It's all about me continuing to work. As long as I continue to work and do what I can do, that's all I can ask of myself."

As for how long Foley can continue to play, that will be assessed this week.

"The thing about it is once the medication wears off that's when I'll find out if I made it worse," he said.

Aztec on top
Rookie linebacker Kirk Morrison, an All-American at San Diego State, led the Raiders with eight tackles.

"I just wish we had won," Morrison said.

He made an impression on the Chargers.

"He's going to be a great player," said Kassim Osgood, who played with Morrison at SDSU in 2002.

Nuts 'n' Bolts
Marty Schottenheimer improved to 24-7 against the Raiders. That is more than double the amount of victories he has against any other team except the Chargers, whom he beat 15 times as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns . . . Rookie receiver Vincent Jackson was active for the first time and played mostly on special teams. He did work one play from scrimmage . . . Mike Scifres kicked off once in the first quarter in place of Kaeding, who had to return to the locker room for treatment when his balky hip locked up . . . Scifres had four punts downed inside the 20 yesterday . . . The Chargers followed their season-high nine penalties against Pittsburgh with a season-low five yesterday.


Aug 17, 2005
It's great to see him bounce back strong from last years big miss. But we'll see how he does in his first pressure situation.