Lechler is Lone Raider Selected to Pro Bowl

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

(12-18) 16:42 PST Alameda, Calif. (AP) — Punter Shane Lechler was the only Oakland Raiders player selected to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday, earning the honor for the third time in his career.http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/12/18/sports/s164241S41.DTL

Lechler, who was also selected in 2001 and 2004, leads the NFL with a 49.0 yard punting average and is tops in the AFC with a 41.3 yard net average.

“I am extremely exited about it and the punt team has been outstanding,” Lechler said. “They are a fun group to play with and they worked really hard to cover a lot of kicks. The guys really played well. My name is tagged on it but the punt team deserves a lot of the credit too.”

San Francisco’s Andy Lee, who was selected as the NFC’s Pro Bowl punter, has a 42.4 yard net average. Both Bay Area punters are looking to become the first to surpass 40 yards net per punt in NFL history. The current record of 39.9 yards was set by Mike Horan of the New York Giants in 1993.

Lechler’s bid for the record took a hit the past two weeks when he gave up the first two punt returns for touchdowns in his career. Green Bay’s Will Blackmon had a 57-yard TD return on Dec. 9, and Indianapolis’ T.J. Rushing scored on a 90-yard return last week.

The highlight of the season for Lechler came on Nov. 11 against Chicago’s record-setting returner Devin Hester. The Raiders chose to kick to the dangerous Hester and Lechler had a 48.1 yard average and 46.6 yard net on nine punts.

Linebackers Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison, and cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha were among those players not picked Tuesday.

Howard has six interceptions this season, the most for any linebacker since Ray Lewis also had six for Baltimore in 2003. Morrison has three interceptions and leads the team with 108 tackles.

Asomugha is one of the top cover cornerbacks in the league but has only one interception as opposing quarterbacks often throw away from him.

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~ by Sactown Raider Boosters on December 19, 2007.

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