It’s not often that Shane Lechler takes center stage in pregame conversations.
But with Oakland playing host to the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Lechler is certainly a key factor in how the Raiders deal with Devin Hester, the NFL’s best kick returner.
Do the Raiders punt and kick the ball to Hester and dare him to beat them? Or do they try to keep the ball away from him?
Lechler, one of the NFL’s best punters, says he knows what the smart play is.
“With the situation they’re in right now, I am going to try not to let him touch it,” Lechler told the San Francisco Chronicle. “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.”
Cutler suffered a broken thumb against the Chargers last week and will be replaced by Caleb Hanie, a fourth-year player from Colorado State who is making his first career start.
Hanie did have a moment in the sun, completing 13 of 20 passes, including one ...