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Raiders defensive lineman Jihad Ward returns to practice field

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:06:03 UT

The Raiders hope they got a big push Tuesday with the return of defensive lineman Jihad Ward to the practice field. His strength has not been in question, and now that Ward is back from a foot injury, Oakland head coach Jack Del Rio thinks Ward will be able to help after a rocky first season. “As a rookie, you learn the ropes, you learn the kind of things that are going to come up,” Del Rio said, “and you’re a little more comfortable in your own skin and what you’re being asked to do within the scheme.” Ward, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound, second-round pick from Illinois, had 31 tackles and a recovered fumble in 16 games last season.

Raiders linebacker James Cowser growing into role as Khalil Mack’s backup

Wed, 23 Aug 2017 06:00:41 UT

Backing up Khalil Mack is no picnic. Often, after the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year does something remarkable at practice, Raiders coaches will look at the next man in line, second-year pass rusher James Cowser. “They’ll say, ‘Hey, did you see how Khalil did that?’ and I will be like, ‘Yeah, I saw it … “‘I don’t know if that’s in my skill set necessarily, but I will try,’” Cowser tells them, laughing at the memory. “I try to emulate it. It’s interesting seeing what Khalil does well and integrating it into how I work, and growing from that.” At training camp, defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Raiders’ Donald Penn expected to return this week

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 23:05:29 UT

Raiders left tackle Donald Penn is expected to end his 25-day holdout and return to practice this week, according to league sources. He was not on the field for the start of practice Tuesday. Penn missed all of training camp in Napa, seeking a substantial raise from his 2017 salary of $5.95 million. That isn’t going to happen — not yet, at least, as negotiations might pick up once Penn returns — but he probably will get that salary guaranteed for at least this season. Penn, 34, made the Pro Bowl last season and is entering his fourth year with Oakland, his last on his second two-year deal.

Raiders’ cornerback Sean Smith plays, gets coach’s support after arrest

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 03:58:53 UT

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith played in the second preseason game Saturday night, two days after he was arrested in Pasadena and charged with felony assault. Though Smith has not spoken about the accusation that he stomped on his sister’s boyfriend’s head July 4, head coach Jack Del Rio decided to shed some light on what transpired late that night. “I think we’ll let him battle legally what issues he has,” Del Rio said. “I don’t really have anything to add to it. I mean, I think you heard the story. He was defending his sister. Obviously, things occurred that were taken issue with, so he’s having to defend himself right now.

Raiders’ Derek Carr, Khalil Mack say their anthem gesture is no protest

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 03:36:27 UT

Although Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch won’t discuss why he is sitting for the national anthem, teammates Derek Carr and Khalil Mack were in the locker room late Saturday night, explaining their subtle actions during the anthem before the preseason game against the Rams. Carr placed his right hand on Mack’s left shoulder as a show of solidarity, they said. “We’re not protesting,” Carr said. “We’re not doing anything like that. What we wanted to do was show all the kids that look up to me, look up to him, that white kids, blue kids, brown kids, blue, green, doesn’t matter, can all be loving to each other.” Mack said he wanted to “show unity” between “different races.

Raiders’ starting offense mostly click in loss to Rams

Sun, 20 Aug 2017 05:59:53 UT

It was Derek Carr’s first game since he broke his leg here, at the Oakland Coliseum, last December. But more important, Saturday night was the Raiders quarterback’s first NFL game without his personal bodyguard, 6-foot-4, 315-pound left tackle Donald Penn. Penn is holding out for more money — Saturday marked Day 23 — and Raiders fans held their breath every time Carr went back to pass. But the offensive line held up fine and Carr threw two touchdown passes in the 24-21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in Oakland’s second preseason game. The 19-yard scoring pass to tight end Lee Smith was rifled in between two defenders, and the 13-yard touchdown to Michael Crabtree was all Crabtree.

Raiders have an abundance of on- and off-field issues

Sat, 19 Aug 2017 02:01:43 UT

For the second straight preseason game, Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio will start his postgame news conference Saturday night addressing some off-field issues. Like Sean Smith’s arrest Thursday for felony assault and why the cornerback did or didn’t play against the Rams. Smith probably will play. Running back Marshawn Lynch, who surprised Del Rio by sitting for the national anthem before last Saturday’s opener, will play. Rookie corner Gareon Conley, whose injury-related tweets Del Rio also addressed first at the podium last Saturday, will not play. Throw in left tackle Donald Penn’s holdout and all the national hype surrounding the team coming off a 12-4 season, and you have a lot of distractions.

Raiders’ Sean Smith charged with felony assault

Fri, 18 Aug 2017 04:39:15 UT

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith was arrested Thursday on a felony assault charge for allegedly stomping on a man’s head in the early hours of July 4 in Pasadena. The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office alleges Smith “beat and then stomped” the head of his sister’s boyfriend in an incident that “inflicted great bodily injury upon the victim.” Smith also faces a felony count of battery with serious bodily injury. Defense attorney Daniel Rosenburg said Smith will enter a plea of not guilty. The arraignment is scheduled Sept. 29 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pasadena Branch.

Raiders’ Justin Ellis reaps the rewards of slimming down

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 04:56:01 UT

Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis is nicknamed “Jelly” for obvious reasons. He once weighed 360 pounds in college. It’s probably fair to say the fourth-year veteran hasn’t been an impact player, which is why it was surprising to see him wreaking havoc in the early going of Oakland’s preseason opener Saturday. “Jelly” was spreading himself up and down the Cardinals’ offensive line and backfield and finished with three tackles (one for a loss) and a forced fumble in a quarter and change of action. No offense intended, but what got into him? “I’m lighter,” the 6-foot-2 Ellis said, smiling. “I am down to 338, about nine pounds off of last season. More lean muscle.

Raiders most popular bet to win Super Bowl

Thu, 17 Aug 2017 00:29:47 UT

Everybody is putting their money on the Raiders. More bets have been placed on the Raiders to win the Super Bowl than on any other team at sportsbooks in Las Vegas. After opening at 20-1, Oakland has been bet down to 6-1. The Raiders have attracted nearly twice as many bets to win the Super Bowl as any other team at William Hill's 108 Nevada sportsbooks, ESPN reported. Oakland is also No. 1 in Super Bowl bets at Caesars Palace, Station Casinos, South Point, Westgate Las Vegas and CG Technology sportsbooks. The Patriots are still the consensus favorites to win the Super Bowl at 3-1, but obviously bettors want a little more of a payoff so they’re going with the Raiders.

After he sits for anthem, Raiders OK with Marshawn Lynch

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 05:18:31 UT

Marshawn Lynch declined interview requests Tuesday, wishing not to elaborate on why he sat down during the national anthem in the Raiders’ preseason opener at Arizona on Saturday night. The running back has not told teammates, many of them said, why he sat during the anthem or if he plans to do it again before Saturday’s preseason game against the Rams in Oakland. When Lynch played for the Seahawks from 2010 through ’15, he sometimes would stand during the anthem, sometimes sit and often would come onto the field from the locker room after the anthem was played. Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio told local reporters Tuesday that he “didn’t have anything to add” to his postgame statement in which he said that he didn’t agree with not standing, but respected Lynch “as a man,” and that it was “a nonissue.” Last season, Raiders linebackers Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith (now with the 49ers) raised their fists during the anthem in Weeks 3 and 4 to protest social injustice. Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick protested social injustice all of last season by sitting, and then later kneeling, during the anthem. Seattle defensive tackle Michael Bennett said he was moved by the event and it’s one reason why he sat during the national anthem before his team’s game Sunday. “I don’t know what (Lynch) wanted to do by it, but I know that guys like Colin Kaepernick have become my favorite football player because of it,” Cook told reporters.

Healthy Karl Joseph could be a big hit for Raiders

Wed, 16 Aug 2017 02:30:59 UT

Healthy Karl Joseph could be a big hit for Raiders The Raiders’ defense is still a work in progress in head coach Jack Del Rio’s third season, but there have been a couple of positive developments to take out of training camp and Saturday’s preseason opener. A big one, figuratively if not literally, is Karl Joseph, and the safety got everyone’s attention with a big hit on Arizona running back David Johnson. For one night, anyway, he looked to be the player he was advertised to be when the Raiders drafted him in the first round last year. Joseph was coming off knee surgery, didn’t get a running start and then was slowed by a foot injury. Joseph had three tackles, one for a loss, in a half of play against the Cardinals. Joseph has also been working with veteran safety Reggie Nelson and new assistant coach John Pagano on where his eyes should be before, during and after the offense snaps the ball. Rookie Shalom Luani, a seventh-round pick from Washington State, had five tackles and just missed a leaping interception in the end zone.

Derek Carr just dropped a teaser trailer for his new music career — but is it a huge joke?

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 19:59:24 UT

Drop whatever you're doing: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has released a teaser trailer for his music career. And it is something.

Raiders’ Lewis gets coaches’ attention with sacks

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 03:08:10 UT

Marshawn Lynch sitting for the national anthem wasn’t the only surprise in store for Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio on Saturday night. Rookie linebacker LaTroy Lewis, after a very quiet training camp, had two sacks in the preseason opener at Arizona. Lewis wasn’t the only rookie with two sacks, as defensive tackle Treyvon Hester, a seventh-round pick, also had a big night. Undrafted out of Tennessee, Lewis attended a Raiders tryout in May and knew the secret handshake with general manager Reggie McKenzie and director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales, both Tennessee alums. Hester had two other tackles Saturday, and benefited from a nice outside push from defensive end Denico Autry. Using Instagram, first-round pick Gareon Conley posted photos and video clips of him running and his shin getting treatment Sunday. The cornerback has yet to practice in Napa at training camp, which ends Thursday. … Receivers Jaydon Mickens and Johnny Holton led the Raiders in rushing against the Cardinals, taking end arounds for 24 and 19 yards, respectively. Behind backup linemen, the four running backs who played totaled 29 yards on 17 carries.

Marshawn Lynch sits during the national anthem in Raiders preseason opener

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 00:12:47 UT

The Raiders weren’t going to take any chances, so coach Jack Del Rio only used two offensive starters in Saturday night’s preseason-opening 20-10 loss to the Cardinals. Backup quarterback EJ Manuel was the victim on that play, and the hard hit was the only thing that really went wrong on a pretty good Raiders debut for the former Bills first-round pick. Connor Cook took over the quarterback duties in the second half and was 5-of-11 for 67 yards in the third quarter, leading Oakland on a touchdown drive. While Del Rio sat out nine offensive starters, he only gave defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin the night off on the other side of the ball. Defensive tackles Eddie Vanderdoes and Justin Ellis were active inside, and safety Karl Joseph flew around like he did in college, before an injury-riddled rookie season last year. Defensive lineman Mario Edwards, a key player for the Raiders if he can stay healthy, made a nice stuff of a running play before his short night was over. The first-team defense was on the field for a long time on Arizona’s first possession, and actually escaped with only allowing a field goal. Besides Smith, the spotlight Saturday night was on rookie middle linebacker Marquel Lee and second-year outside linebacker Cory James.