Nedney Has Perfect Retort

Times Staff Writer

Joe Nedney, a former Raider, is coming home.

But when he returns to Network Associates Coliseum on Sunday, this time as a member of the Tennessee Titans, he isn't expecting a warm welcome.

"I guess I'm kind of their kicking nemesis," said Nedney, who attended San Jose State. "I know the fans are going to be in my ear the whole game. I'm not intimidated. I love it."

Check out his track record:

The Raiders, who already had first-round pick Sebastian Janikowski on the roster, released Nedney just before the start of the 2000 season. Nedney signed with Denver and, three weeks into the season, kicked four field goals in a 33-24 victory at Oakland.

When Bronco kicker Jason Elam recovered from injury, Nedney was released and signed with Carolina. The visiting Panthers were pounded by the Raiders in the finale, 52-9, but Nedney made each of his three field-goal attempts.

He returned to Oakland for a nationally televised game last season, kicking two field goals, including a 21-yard game-winner with 1:48 to play in a 13-10 upset. Janikowski had a chance to win the game but missed his third field-goal attempt of the game in the waning seconds.

Nedney didn't attempt a field goal when the Titans were pummeled, 52-25, in Oakland this season, so his kicking record at the Coliseum since being cut by the Raiders remained a pristine nine for nine.

"It's a great place to kick, and the fans are hilarious," he said. "I've heard all sorts of things from Raider fans. Once I heard, 'Hey, Nedney! How's your wife and my kids?' I was cracking up. I was dying. There are some absolute comedians."

As for his own comedic timing, well, Nedney is working on that.

He created quite a stir Saturday when, after beating Pittsburgh with a second-chance field-goal attempt in overtime that came after a running-into-the-kicker penalty, he joked about falling to the ground by saying he might take an acting class in the off-season.

He spent Monday trying to "extinguish fires."

"I know there's a lot of people in Pittsburgh right now who are flaming mad and people around the nation that are flaming mad," he said. "And I'm sure the comment I made afterward left a really bad taste in everybody's mouth. I sincerely apologize for doing that, but it was only meant as a joke."

Nedney, who has played for six teams in seven seasons, confessed he did harbor some bad feelings after he played well for the Raiders, yet they still decided to draft Janikowski.

He said his hard feelings have faded over time, and now he simply wants to help the Titans reach the Super Bowl. Either way, he'll keep his ears open for new comedy material.



Nedney's Kicks

*--* Statistics for Tennessee kicker Joe Nedney: DISTANCES: 1-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50+ Season 0/0 9/9 10/12 5/8 1/2 Playoffs 0/0 1/1 0/0 1/2 0/0


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