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Dropped passes a point of emphasis for Raiders, Downing

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 01:26:05 UT

Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing found himself drawn back Thursday into a topic he has discussed often this season: Dropped passes by receivers. Oakland’s receivers dropped five passes Sunday against the Patriots, according to Pro Football Focus, tied for the most in Week 11. That has been a recurring issue for the Raiders this season and hurt them Sunday in a 33-8 loss. Downing said Thursday the drops are “certainly something we want to continue to look for ways to improve on,” including looking at which plays result in the highest number.

Raiders’ John Pagano in spotlight after firing of Ken Norton

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 01:18:23 UT

John Pagano’s title with the Raiders has not changed. He remains their assistant head coach — defense, the same role he has held since the Raiders hired the former Chargers coordinator in January. But after Oakland fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. on Tuesday and handed Pagano the reins to the defense, it’s now his task to improve a unit whose struggles this season have contributed to a 4-6 record and Norton’s exit. Pagano inherited a defense that, through Monday, ranked 26th in yards allowed, 27th against the pass and last or tied for last in sacks, interceptions and opponents’ passer rating. On Thursday, he said he already had delivered a maxim to the Raiders’ defensive players.

Raiders’ Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin get day off from practice

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 05:25:31 UT

Neither Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack nor linebacker Bruce Irvin practiced Wednesday for non-injury-related reasons, the team said. Mack and Irvin were both present during the Raiders’ stretch period open to reporters, but both left the field shortly thereafter as players moved into position drills. A team spokesman said Mack and Irvin were given a “rest type” day. Wednesday’s session was lighter than usual for the whole team, with no players in pads. It came a day after the Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. 10 games into the season. Shortly after the move was announced, Irvin posted a one-word expletive to his Twitter account.

Jack Del Rio explains decision to fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 02:52:45 UT

Head coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday that his decision to fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. 10 games into the season stemmed from watching a Raiders defense that “couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point.” “What I’m looking for at the end of the day for us is to play fast on defense,” Del Rio said. “And we weren’t playing fast enough, weren’t playing confident enough. So that decision was made.” Norton was fired Tuesday in his third season as the Raiders’ defensive coordinator. Oakland ranks 26th in the NFL in yards allowed this season and is last or tied for last in opponents’ passer rating, sacks and interceptions.

Raiders fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., John Pagano takes job

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:34:48 UT

The Raiders fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. on Tuesday, altering their coaching staff in the midst of a disappointing season. John Pagano will take over the duties of making the defensive calls. The Raiders hired Pagano, the former defensive coordinator of the Chargers, as assistant head coach-defense in January. “After careful thought, I have made a difficult decision to part ways with Ken Norton, Jr. as defensive coordinator,” head coach Jack Del Rio said in a statement released by the team. “I have the utmost respect for Ken as a person and as a coach, but I feel that moving John Pagano into the play-calling role will best utilize his wealth of experience.

Former Raiders coach Tom Flores again not a semifinalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 02:41:59 UT

Former Raiders head coach Tom Flores was not among the 27 semifinalists announced Tuesday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018, a list that does include three former Raiders players. Flores, who coached the Raiders to wins in Super Bowl XV and Super Bowl XVIII, has been a nominee for the Hall of Fame multiple times but fallen short in the second round of balloting. Don Coryell and Jimmy Johnson are the only two coaches on this year’s list of semifinalists. Six first-year eligible semifinalists include former Raiders receiver Randy Moss and defensive end Richard Seymour. Moss played for the Raiders from 2005-06 and Seymour from 2009-12.

At 4-6, Oakland still has hope if it can stop dropping the ball

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:29:36 UT

Ten games into the season, on the brink of Thanksgiving, head coach Jack Del Rio is running out of obvious solutions. So maybe the Raiders will seek a novel approach to their predicament. Take all the dropped passes, for example. “We’ve got some new balls we’ll be using in the weight room — throw it off the wall and catch it,” Del Rio joked during his weekly news conference Monday. “We’re going to try just about everything.… “I’m shocked we’re not catching the ball at a higher rate, as receivers and as defensive backs. We’ve had our hands on enough balls.

Linda Del Rio, wife of Raiders’ head coach, regrets vote for Trump

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:18:25 UT

The wife of Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio has expressed her displeasure with President Trump, writing on Twitter that she now has second thoughts about having voted for the president last year. “President Trump I voted for you, which I now regret,” Linda Del Rio tweeted. “Football is a powerful platform — here’s the charitable work we did in Mexico City #NFLproud.” She posted several pictures with that tweet of work the Jack Del Rio Foundation did over the weekend while in Mexico. Linda Del Rio’s tweet was posted after the president took Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch to task on social media for apparently sitting for the U.S.

Raiders snap counts: Shuffling continues at cornerback

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 21:51:35 UT

A look at the Raiders’ snap counts by position in their 33-8 loss to the Patriots on Sunday: Cornerback: Rookie Obi Melifonwu played 26 snaps in his first NFL start. Melifonwu is a safety but started at left cornerback and was matched up often against fast Patriots receiver Brandin Cooks, something head coach Jack Del Rio admitted was “probably asking a little too much” of Melifonwu in his second career game. Melifonwu was targeted four times in coverage and allowed two catches, one of them a 64-yard touchdown pass to Cooks. TJ Carrie was one of only two Raiders defenders to play all 60 snaps and has played 98 percent of snaps this season.

Raiders’ Mexico City ‘home game’ a boon for fans

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:42:33 UT

MEXICO CITY — It was a home game that didn’t feel like a home game. For the second straight year, the Raiders were obligated by the NFL to give up one of their eight home games and play in Mexico City. Last year, they pulled off a 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans. Sunday was not nearly as pleasant an outcome, as they were taken apart 33-8 by the Patriots in Azteca Stadium. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio picked his words carefully when asked after Sunday’s game about playing in Mexico City. “We appreciate the hospitality. A lot of good people came out and supported us. It’s a great atmosphere. But it’s hard to call it a home game,” Del Rio said.

Obi Melifonwu starts at corner as Raiders ‘need more production’ from secondary

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:29:56 UT

MEXICO CITY — With three healthy cornerbacks active Sunday against the Patriots, the Raiders started rookie safety Obi Melifonwu at cornerback in his second NFL game. Melifonwu had three tackles and was beaten multiple times in pass coverage, most visibly by speedy New England receiver Brandin Cooks on a 64-yard touchdown pass just after halftime. Head coach Jack Del Rio was asked after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss whether starting Melifonwu at an unfamiliar position had been a desperate move. “Yeah, a little bit,” Del Rio said. “We need more production. We’re willing to try just about anything and we talked about being lean there and needing more production from that spot.

Raiders: Game grades vs. Patriots

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:12:40 UT

Offense Marshawn Lynch and the rushing game had some nice plays, but falling behind early forced the Raiders to go away from the run. Receivers dropped several catchable passes. Seth Roberts had a costly fumble before halftime and a false-start penalty. No points until the fourth quarter. Defense Tom Brady and the Patriots did what many expected them to do: Carve the Raiders’ maligned secondary to pieces. New England averaged 7.2 yards per play and was 5-for-10 on third down. Brandin Cooks had catches of 64 and 52 yards. The Raiders have no interceptions in 10 games.

Raiders no match for Tom Brady, Patriots in loss in Mexico City

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 04:22:17 UT

MEXICO CITY — Before this season began, the Raiders, coming off a 12-win season and loaded on offense, were a trendy pick to possibly unseat New England atop the AFC. In the wake of his team’s 33-8 loss to the Patriots on Sunday, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr stood at a podium in the shadow of Azteca Stadium and acknowledged the standard still being set by the defending Super Bowl champions. “They don’t do anything special, they just do everything right,” Carr said. “You sit there in the first half and they don’t have any turnovers, I don’t think they had a penalty. They do the little things right.

Raiders’ stats and facts, vs. Patriots

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 03:35:26 UT

Number of the day 81 Completion percentage (30-for-37) for New England QB Tom Brady who really enjoys playing the Raiders. He’s 4-1 in the regular season against Oakland. His three TDs Sunday give him eight in those five games — and he has yet to be intercepted on 172 pass attempts. He was sacked once (and hit three times) by Khalil Mack, but the rest of the Raiders’ defense combined to hit him once. Next game It’s hard to imagine, but the Raiders (4-6) are in playoff contention thanks to rampant mediocrity in the AFC — only five conference teams have winning records.

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch sits for U.S. anthem, stands for Mexican anthem at Mexico City game

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:57:05 UT

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during most of U.S. anthem and stood for the Mexican anthem before their game against the Patriots at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.