The NFL notebook …
Sebastian Janikowski figured heíd be a Pro Bowl regular after being drafted in the first round by the Oakland Raiders back in 2000.
Instead he had to wait 12 years for his first invite.
ěItís very sweet. Iím excited about it. If you asked me that question 10 years ago I would say Iíd be there five times already,î he said. ěItís been a long time. But good things happen to people who wait.î
Janikowski got the nod by making 27 of 31 field goals in a season that had its share of records. He tied the NFL mark with a 63-yarder in the season opener at Denver; tied another mark with three field goals of at least 50 yards at Houston the day after owner Al Davis died; and had a team-record six field goals in November against Chicago.
ěHe has had an outstanding season and made a lot of big kicks for us already,î said punter Shane Lechler, who was picked for his seventh Pro Bowl. ěIt was definitely overdue, and I was excited for him.î
Both Janikowski and Lechler said the honor was even more special because they are going together. They entered the league in 2000 and have spent 12 seasons as teammates in Oakland, becoming close friends along the way.
They were part of division winners their first three seasons and then endured eight years without a winning record. Now they have helped put the Raiders in position to return to the playoffs with a win Sunday and some help.
ěI donít know how many years left we have,î Janikowski said. ěWeíre getting old. Hopefully it will be full circle and weíll get back to it.î
LOCKOUT BABIES: When Dan Orlovsky returned to practice Thursday, he received the customary celebratory handshakes from his teammates.
It wasnít because heís won two straight games to save Indianapolis from a winless season.
On Wednesday, the quarterbackís wife, Tiffany, delivered triplets, putting the seven-year NFL veteran into the teamís rapidly expanding parentsí club. Orlovsky told reporters that the three boys and their mother, who are in Philadelphia, are all doing well.
PROUD PAPA: The Tennessee Titans head to Houston with a chance at the playoffs, and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews will be heading down a bit earlier. He wonít be scouting. Heíll be in the stands at Reliant Stadium on Saturday watching son Jake, one of his seven children, play offensive line for Texas A&M against Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl a day before the Titans play the Texans on the same field.
Jake Matthews is similar to his dad at 6-foot-5 but a bit heavier at 305. The sophomore has started the past seven games at tackle, though his father has had to keep up with games from Tennessee with his family remaining in Texas this year.
MCCOY UPDATE:Colt McCoy didn’t want to relive any of what happened to him three weeks ago.
It’s not clear if he remembers that night in Pittsburgh.
The Browns’ young quarterback wants to move on from a concussion that ended his season, spawned a controversy and prompted the NFL to do more to treat injured players.
Sporting a newly grown beard, McCoy said Thursday that he’s “feeling better” and making progress from the concussion he sustained on Dec. 8 from a helmet-to-helmet hit delivered by Steelers linebacker James Harrison. McCoy, who has not been medically cleared to practice since he was blasted by Harrison, refused to answer questions about what he recalls from the hit or what transpired in its aftermath.
McCoy, though, did praise Cleveland’s medical staff for its handling of his concussion despite the team not testing him for a head injury on the sideline and sending him back in the game after sitting out just two plays.
“Our medical staff does an outstanding job and that should never be in question,” said McCoy, speaking for the first time since he was diagnosed with the concussion.
SUC IT UP: Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop can retire that “Mr. Irrelevant” nickname.
The 256th and final pick of the 2009 draft has signed a $14 million, five-year contract extension with Kansas City, a person with knowledge of the deal said late Friday.
Succop joins a pair of other kickers who signed lucrative five-year extensions. Billy Cundiff signed for $15 million to remain with the Baltimore Ravens in January, while Mason Crosby signed with the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers for $14.75 million in July.
HOLD ON: Bengals running back Cedric Benson didnít fumble in the first 13 games, a major improvement from a year ago. In the last two weeks, heís gone back to giving it away.
Benson has five fumbles in the last two games.