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Raiders lean on gritty, nasty offensive line

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 03:38:25 UT

On a screen pass to Marshawn Lynch on Sept. 10 against Tennessee, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson nimbly rushed to clear space for Lynch, swatting away Titans in their path. On Jalen Richard’s 52-yard touchdown run on Sept. 17 against the Jets, tackle Marshall Newhouse tied up one defensive player, Hudson knocked another to the ground and Jackson and left tackle Donald Penn hustled downfield to help. On Cordarrelle Patterson’s 43-yard TD sprint in the same game, Hudson planted linebacker Demario Davis on his butt and left guard Kelechi Osemele pushed linebacker Darron Lee nearly 10 yards off the line of scrimmage.



Former Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor reinvents himself as wide receiver — and now faces his old team

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:56:59 UT

Only four years ago, Terrelle Pryor played quarterback for the Raiders. He started nine games in 2013, making him the last Oakland quarterback not named Derek Carr to run the offense for more than half a season. And now Pryor starts at wide receiver for Washington and will spend Sunday night’s game trying to torment the Silver and Black, not lead them. This uncommon transformation largely has sailed below the radar, mostly because Pryor’s loud numbers in his first full season as a receiver — 77 catches, 1,007 yards — came last year in Cleveland. The Browns went 1-15 and seldom surfaced on highlight shows, beyond watching their opponents prance into the end zone.



Raiders figure to give rookie Gareon Conley more playing time

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 06:11:57 UT

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. did nothing Thursday to downplay the rising expectations surrounding rookie cornerback Gareon Conley. Conley, the team’s first-round draft choice from Ohio State, missed all four exhibition games and the regular-season opener because of a shin injury. But he played well in his NFL debut Sunday against the Jets, allowing only one pass completion and taking advantage of the playing time made available when Sean Smith missed the game with a neck/shoulder injury. Smith, after participating fully in Wednesday’s practice, was limited Thursday.



Raiders’ Derek Carr welcomes the laughter with new video

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 02:08:07 UT

Derek Carr’s latest commercial for Fresno-based Educational Employees Credit Union surfaced this week and featured the Raiders’ quarterback lip-syncing and wearing a jean jacket with white fringe hanging from each arm. Of course, Carr took a lot of ribbing for it from teammates and friends. Carr couldn’t help but chuckle both while filming the commercial and afterward. “It literally took us a couple of hours … all of the takes were because I kept laughing,” Carr said Wednesday. “I couldn’t even take myself serious because they had the TV prompter so I could see it. But it was good.



Raiders safety Karl Joseph sees himself as a big playmaker

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 05:23:58 UT

Having spent countless hours poring over video studying defenses and receivers, looking for a hidden weakness, Raiders safety Karl Joseph appreciates the simplicity that comes with blitzing. No complex scheme to dissect, no receiver to cover. See quarterback, get quarterback. “That’s your only thing,” Joseph said Wednesday. “When I know I’m going, I’m full speed. There’s not a lot to think about. You don’t have to worry about covering anybody or what gap you’re supposed to be in. You’re just blitzing.” Joseph did plenty of that during his team’s 45-20 win over the Jets in Sunday’s home opener.



Raiders’ Cordarrelle Patterson says confidently, ‘I’m a playmaker’

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 20:54:46 UT

Marshawn Lynch wandered over to Cordarrelle Patterson’s side of the locker room Tuesday, joking with Patterson about needing the ball only once or twice in a game to make an impact. Patterson smiled in response. As the Raiders begin to prepare for Sunday night’s game at Washington, they relish an abundance of offensive options. Patterson might stand sixth on the list behind Lynch, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Jalen Richard and Jared Cook. That’s a swift, sizable No. 6 threat. Patterson made his name as a return man the past four years in Minnesota. He led the league in kickoff returns three times and twice was rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl.



Raiders’ Jack Del Rio vows to ‘keep it real’ with players

Tue, 19 Sep 2017 04:50:18 UT

The Raiders are lighting up the scoreboard, exuberantly dancing on the sideline and savoring their first 2-0 start since 2002, when they last reached the Super Bowl. Could they become too giddy with early-season success? Head coach Jack Del Rio promised not to let it happen in the wake of Sunday’s 45-20 thrashing of the Jets. “I’m always really honest. I keep it real with our guys,” Del Rio said during his weekly news conference Monday. “This is our standard and what it needs to look like. You always want to feel good about winning, but hey, this is the reality of where we need to be better.



Michael Crabtree propels Raiders to easy win over Jets

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 05:36:11 UT

He’s not as sleek as Amari Cooper, not as bruising as Marshawn Lynch, not as indispensable as Derek Carr. But Michael Crabtree offered a relevant reminder Sunday: He matters. Three days after he turned 30, an age at which wide receivers often start to show their age, Crabtree showed he still can find his way to the end zone. He and Carr connected on three touchdown passes as the Raiders cruised to a mostly stress-free 45-20 victory over the New York Jets at the Coliseum. Oakland, in winning its home opener, also posted its first 2-0 start since the Super Bowl season of 2002. This year’s team counts as a Super Bowl contender mostly because of its dynamic offense.



Other Raiders can’t carry Marshawn Lynch’s dancin’ shoes

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 05:00:40 UT

The Raiders? A bunch of wallflowers. Invite ’em to the dance and the Raiders all stand there sipping punch, too shy to join the fun. When Marshawn Lynch broke into a wild dance on the sideline in the fourth quarter Sunday, shaking his dreads and his bootie, he danced alone. “I was actually inspired,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I was going to join him.” At least three of Lynch’s teammates also said they thought about joining his dance. Talk is cheap. It’s a good bet, though, that all those wannabe dancers will get another chance to trip the light fantastic with Lynch.




Raiders’ Gareon Conley handles himself well in NFL debut

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 03:37:13 UT

Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley hadn’t done anything in three months, as he put it. So, naturally, his NFL debut became lively soon after he stepped on the Coliseum field Sunday. Conley, the first-round draft choice from Ohio State, made his pro debut in a 45-20 victory over the Jets. He became Oakland’s third cornerback when Sean Smith didn’t suit up because of a neck injury. Conley entered the game on New York’s second play from scrimmage. The Jets didn’t immediately go at him, but on their next possession, quarterback Josh McCown predictably targeted the rookie cornerback.




Raiders: Game grades

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 03:27:02 UT

Offense Nice start for offensive coordinator Todd Downing, with 71 points and 769 yards through two games. Another telling stat: The Raiders didn’t commit a turnover against the Titans or Jets. Defense There were some penalties, mistimed jumps (hello, David Amerson) and ultimately two Jets touchdowns. But the Raiders also allowed only 271 yards and sacked Josh McCown four times. Special teams Johnny Holton deserves credit for racing downfield to put himself in position to recover a second-quarter muffed punt. Marquette King’s net average was 51.



Raiders’ stats & facts vs. Jets

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 02:22:38 UT

Number of the day 3 Touchdown receptions for Oakland wide receiver Michael Crabtree — surpassing the number he’d had in his previous 10 regular-season games. Crabtree began 2016 in great fashion with six TDs catches in his first seven games before the dry spell. In 34 regular-season games during his three seasons with the Raiders, he has 20 TDs; in 79 games over six seasons with the 49ers, he had 26. Next game The transcontinental yo-yo is back in play as the Raiders travel to play Washington in the Sunday night national TV game.



Tom Flores, 80, back in Raiders’ radio booth

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 19:28:16 UT

Tom Flores, the Raiders’ 80-year-old radio color analyst, was back on the job Sunday after missing the season opener with injuries. Flores took a tumble Aug. 26 in Dallas, suffering a fractured vertebra, broken lose and a cut over one eye requiring six stitches. “I’m glad to be back in the booth and with the silver and black,” Flores said before Sunday’s home game against the Jets. “Things were getting pretty boring around the house (in Palm Desert),” Flores said with a smile, “and my wife decided it was time for me to go, so she drove me to the airport.” Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: sostler@sfchronicle.



Raiders’ offensive coordinator Todd Downing shows poise

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 23:17:51 UT

Todd Downing’s NFL odyssey began at age 19, first driving around then-Minnesota owner Red McCombs’ grandchildren and soon thereafter working as a public relations intern for his hometown Vikings. So when he reached a fresh and important plateau last Sunday in Tennessee, his first regular-season game as offensive coordinator for the Raiders, the adrenaline flowed, right? He barely could contain his excitement, yes? Well, sort of. “Honestly, it didn’t come until after the game,” Downing said. “I think our preparation really gave me a sense of peace going into the game. Afterward, there was kind of a rush of emotion because I accomplished one of my career goals.



Raiders, Penn agree to two-year contract extension

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 03:51:45 UT

Left tackle Donald Penn signed a two-year contract extension with the Raiders on Friday, the team announced. The deal, potentially worth $21 million according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, runs through 2019. Penn was a training-camp holdout as he sought a salary among the top 10 among left tackles. His 2017 salary of $5.95 million ranks 23rd. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie refused to negotiate with Penn, insisting he would open talks once Penn reported to camp. Penn did, and then McKenzie upheld his promise. “Now I can focus on football,” Penn said Friday. “I didn’t want to hit free agency again. That’s one thing I tried to make sure. ...