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Lechler not likely to challenge Hester

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08:04 AM ET 11.25 | In a bit of gamesmanship, Lovie Smith, who has the luxury that is Devin Hester, recently extolled the virtues of kicking to punt returners. Smith's efforts to goad Oakland into kicking to the NFL-record holder in punt-return touchdowns (12) might work -- if it were up to the Raiders on the punt-coverage team. But punter Shane Lechler has a little bigger say, being the one who actually kicks the ball, and he wants no part of Hester. "With the situation they're in right now, I am going to try not to let him touch it," Lechler said. "Because they got a new quarterback this week, losing Jay (Cutler), they're looking for a spark somewhere. And I don't want that spark to be against our punt team."

San Francisco Chronicle

Lovie Smith, Getty Images Lovie Smith, Getty Images
November 25, 2011  08:18 AM ET

Smart man. Who said kickers were flakes?

November 25, 2011  08:31 AM ET

What ever happened to coffin corner kicks?

November 25, 2011  08:44 AM ET

He's not dumb!

November 25, 2011  08:55 AM ET

Sissy

November 25, 2011  09:36 AM ET

Come on Shane... just one kick to Hester?

November 25, 2011  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

What ever happened to coffin corner kicks?

I've been watching the kicking game more this year. There have been an amazing number of fair catches on the 10. The punting game has gotten very precise, particularly on the shorter ones where the object is to get hang time more than distance.

That said, I'm amazed anyone kicks to Hester. It's just too much of a risk. Aim for the sidelines, and plan your coverage on that side if the ball stays in bounds.

November 25, 2011  10:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Come on Shane... just one kick to Hester?

This has got to be the smartest headline I have seen in a long time.

November 25, 2011  10:36 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Smart man. Who said kickers were flakes?

He isn't an All Pro just because of his skills...

November 25, 2011  11:20 AM ET

He probably doesn't want to be the last guy standing between Hester and the end zone, and have to try a half-hearted Revis tackle

November 25, 2011  01:03 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

He probably doesn't want to be the last guy standing between Hester and the end zone, and have to try a half-hearted Revis tackle

I still miss Ray Guy. People thought Al Davis was crazy to draft a punter in the first round. But, he helped the Raiders win the field position battle, and, in 207 consecutive games, he never had a punt returned for a TD.

There were times when a returner got past everyone else. When they got taken down by Ray Guy, they knew they'd been tackled by a Raider.

November 25, 2011  01:06 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

He probably doesn't want to be the last guy standing between Hester and the end zone, and have to try a half-hearted Revis tackle

Lechler is 10x the tackler that Revis is.

November 25, 2011  01:51 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

I still miss Ray Guy. People thought Al Davis was crazy to draft a punter in the first round. But, he helped the Raiders win the field position battle, and, in 207 consecutive games, he never had a punt returned for a TD.There were times when a returner got past everyone else. When they got taken down by Ray Guy, they knew they'd been tackled by a Raider.

Ray is the god of punters. I've never seen 70-yard boomers so routinely. Probably the biggest HoF injustice ever.

November 25, 2011  02:45 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Ray is the god of punters. I've never seen 70-yard boomers so routinely. Probably the biggest HoF injustice ever.

I agree that Guy deserves to be in the HoF. And I'm not even a Raiders fan.

November 25, 2011  05:58 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

Ray is the god of punters. I've never seen 70-yard boomers so routinely. Probably the biggest HoF injustice ever.

+1...

November 25, 2011  08:50 PM ET

It's thrilling watching Devin Hester run. Love the guy - how can you not? Hester's talent, great personality and exciting play cover up for Lovie's inept coaching.

November 25, 2011  11:00 PM ET

I got twenty that says this idiot will kick the ball to Hester because kickers hate kicking out of bounds it lowers there totals and their contracts.

November 25, 2011  11:52 PM ET

Either way the Bears will have good field position all day which obviously helps with a backup QB at the helm. From what I read the raiders have an extensive injury report list. I think the bears pull this one out 24-20

 
November 28, 2011  06:50 PM ET

Close, Dabbs...25-20 Raiders. Lechler pinned Hester throughout the game..so so much for 'not kicking it to him...including his 80yrd boot. Best 1-2 kick (punch) in the NFL today.

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