Lechler stands by criticism of Raiders

January 28, 2011, 1:12 am
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KAPOLEI, Hawaii Shane Lechler started a potential firestorm with his incendiary remarks to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area the night of Jan. 4, disagreeing strongly with Raiders owner Al Davis decision to send Tom Cable packing.Lechler said at the time that Cables dismissal had the potential to be a huge setback for the Raiders while calling out several key team employees for not answering their phones on live television.REWIND: Lechler: 'this is ... a huge setback' for Raiders
Said Davis, in his Jan. 18 media conference: My first reaction (to Shanes comments) was three years ago. If you get out your newspaper, Shane said publicly he wasnt coming back, he didnt like it here. A month later, he was coming back because I gave him the highest-paid contract of a specialist in pro football. No, these things happen. Thats a part of our lives. I read about marriage breakups, all those things.
RELATED: Lechler named to All-Pro team
Three-plus weeks after his pointed words, Lechler is still not so sure about the move but is not as angry about it. Since that fateful evening, much has changed in and around Silver and Blackdom. Hue Jackson was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach, Lechler was named to his sixth All-Pro team and, the punter had to catch his flight to Hawaii for his seventh Pro Bowl game.GUTIERREZ: My Lechler and Asomugha-less ballot
CSNCalifornia.com caught up with Lechler, the Raiders fifth-round draft pick out of Texas A&M in 2000, following Thursdays practice at Kapolei High School. Lechlers thoughts, then, on a variety of subjectsLechler, on the Cable dismissal: I mean, it still kind of bothers me a little bit. Cables a good coach, man. Im not going to ever disagree with that. You know, the things I said at that time, I meant them and Im not backing off, Im not apologizing for what I said. It was what I felt and what I meant. Im not apologizing for any of it. But in the long run, yes, we do need to move on; I need to move on and well go and play another year. Get it done. Lechler, on if Davis ever called him back: No.Lechler, on if hes worried about any potential backlash from Davis: No. I aint worried about anything. Ill find a job if they dont want me.Lechler, on Jackson as the new coach: Hue, I think hes going to be good. He brings a lot of positive energy and a lot of competitiveness to practice, which is needed and I like that. Hes a go-getter and hopefully we can get some key acquisitions here taken care of, with this off-season (labor) stuff and free agents. Weve got a lot of them, 20-something of them.Lechler, on if hes reached out to Jackson: Weve texted back and forth. He congratulated me on this and All-Pro, too. I havent spoken to him but its only been, theres so much stuff going on right nowbusy, busy, busy. Ill get in touch with him, sooner rather than later.Lechler, on if he expects to be a Raider next season: Yeah. Yeah. If not, Ill find something. But I do expect to.Lechler, on if the Pro Bowl is a bittersweet affair because with much labor unrest, no one is sure when football might be back: Were going to leave that up to our guys. Theyll get it figured out. Hopefully it comes out in a timely manner and it doesnt drag on too long. Weve got too good a deal going on.Lechler on his running mate, Raiders placekicker Sebastian Janikowski, being snubbed again by the Pro Bowl: SeaBass had a good year. Hopefully it will put him on the map where hell be here next year for sure and he did, he had a hell of a year. I think he deserves it. But Billy (Cundiff) had a good year too so I cant take anything away from him.Lechler, on special teams coach John Bones Fassel being retained: Yeah, that is good. They need something to stay steady there.What'syour take? Email Pauland let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.