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Raiders’ quarterback controversy quickly laid to rest

Mon, 9 Oct 2017 05:12:06 UT

Hold the Raiders’ quarterback controversy. It died Sunday before it started. Derek Carr was ordinary-to-lousy in the Raiders’ previous two games before being injured. Cue backup EJ Manuel, who came to the Raiders after fading badly in Buffalo, where he’d been a first-round pick. Had Manuel sparkled and led the Raiders to a win Sunday, busting their mini-slump, it would have made for interesting discussions. Instead, the Raiders lost to the Ravens, and Manuel was overall not scintillating. He completed 13 of 26 passes for 159 yards and a passer rating of 82.1.



Raiders’ Amari Cooper likely an early target to help ‘get his confidence rolling’

Wed, 4 Oct 2017 23:40:53 UT

Don’t tell the Baltimore Ravens and their head coach John Harbaugh, but there’s a good chance the Raiders will be looking to throw the ball to Amari Cooper early in the game Sunday in Oakland. The Raiders’ dynamic wide receiver has suffered a string of dropped passes this season, and for the Raiders to get back on track, they’ll need to get Cooper into a grippy groove. Harbaugh, in a Wednesday morning conference call with Bay Area media, said of Cooper, “He’s a game wrecker.” The Raiders could use one of those.



Kicker Robbie Gould scores all of the 49ers’ points at Arizona

Mon, 2 Oct 2017 05:52:55 UT

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Having Robbie Gould be the most dangerous and productive member of the offense was never Plan A, but the 49ers gladly will take what he’s giving them as they wait for the offense to click. Gould scored all 15 of the 49ers’ points Sunday on field goals of 49, 39, 47, 48 and 23 yards. The 35-year-old is kicking better than ever in this, his 13th NFL season. His overtime field goal, which gave the 49ers a 15-12 lead, was Gould’s 28th consecutive make. He made his final seven kicks with the Bears in 2015, made all 10 with the Giants last season, and is 11-for-11 with the 49ers. Gould’s previous longest no-miss streak was 26, back in ’05 and ’06. Not that he’s counting.



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.




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.



Giants’ Bruce Bochy draws out suspense on No. 5 starter

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 06:39:15 UT

Giants’ Bruce Bochy draws out suspense on No. 5 starter The Giants’ fifth starter? Not that this will be the decider, but Cain will be paid $20.8 million this season. Brandon Belt batted second Thursday against the A’s at AT&T Park. In seven games plugged into the two-hole last season, Belt’s on-base percentage was .500 (.394 for the whole season). General manager Bobby Evans took pains to explain why Jarrett Parker should not feel pressured as he opens the season as the left fielder. “The weight of our lineup will never be on whoever’s in left field, it’s really on the veteran guys,” Evans said. [...] baseman Jae-gyun Hwang will open the season at Triple-A Sacramento, playing left field and first base, to increase his versatility. Infielder Jimmy Rollins was informed that he did not make the roster. The Giants are waiting to hear from Rollins and his agent, though it appears unlikely the Alameda native will accept an assignment to the minors. Bochy said Nuñez’ injured right shoulder is fine, and he will play a few innings at short in this three-game Oakland series. Bochy’s oldest son Greg is in the San Francisco Fire Department academy, hoping to move up after beginning his firefighting career with the Woodside department.



San Jose sports panel: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown anchor star-studded social agenda

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 22:06:01 UT

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jim Brown anchor star-studded social agenda Former 49ers Anquan Boldin and Takeo Spikes, along with former Warrior Chris Webber, also were among the panelists, with discussion led by renowned sports psychologist Harry Edwards. 49ers’ CEO Jed York was a spectator, but donated to the creation of the Institute, and supported Kaepernick’s kneel-down national anthem protest this season. When Colin started a conversation, to me it’s not whether you agree with Colin’s words, his actions or anything else, it’s the underlying cause--why is he doing something and what can I do about it? Brown explained that he voted for Hillary Clinton, but if Trump is willing to entertain ideas for positive change in race relations, the football Hall of Famer is willing to serve as an aide and accessory to those efforts.




After loss, Raiders look toward future

Mon, 9 Jan 2017 04:39:04 UT

Quarterback Derek Carr said Sunday that he would have been ready to play in the Super Bowl had his team made it there. The reality is that the Raiders lost their wild-card playoff game Saturday in Houston, 27-14. The only healing the Raiders are concerned with now is to their collective soul. Carr, who suffered a broken leg on Christmas Eve and watched Saturday’s game at home with his family and with former Raiders teammate Rod Streater, dropped by the Raiders’ HQ and said his broken leg is healing ahead of schedule. Del Rio smiled at the notion of Carr returning to play five weeks after breaking a leg, seeming to chalk it up to Carr’s positive spirit. The Raiders’ second-year head coach said the team played some good defense but gave up too many big plays. “Explosive plays, whether you like it or not, they always come back to the secondary,” Del Rio said. Even if you have a front line that is full of holes, the (backfield) has a chance to cap the play before it goes explosive. In the back end, obviously balls go over the top of your head, missed tackles, missed assignments lead to long passes as well. Another goal is to identify and develop the backup quarterback. Cook, third string until Carr’s injury and Matt McGloin’s poor sub job in Denver, looks like next season’s backup to Carr, even after Saturday, when he was 18-for-45 and had a 30.0 passer rating. Whatever you do, just don’t lose confidence, because you can’t be in a harder situation than playing those guys for your very first’ NFL start. Guys obviously were down in the locker room after the game, but once we got on the bus, once we got on the plane, guys started to lighten up.



Raiders’ Michael Crabtree snubs Broncos’ Aqib Talib

Mon, 2 Jan 2017 06:37:22 UT

Raiders’ Michael Crabtree snubs Broncos’ Aqib Talib Early in Sunday’s game, Denver cornerback Aqib Talib got in the face of Raiders wideout Michael Crabtree after a play, jawed a bit, then grabbed the shiny chain Crabtree wears around his neck, yanked it and broke it. Two, that Talib would get away with such a flagrant crime, although I don’t know if bling-snatching is addressed in the rule book. The three-time Pro Bowl defensive back explained his actions. “He’s just been wearing that chain all year; it’s just been growing on me,” Talib said. No, in fact, Crabtree made what he called a “business decision” to ignore Talib and not get kicked out for retaliating. By sticking around, Crabtree was able to catch five passes for 47 yards and go over 1,000 yards for the second time in his career. Talib snatch my chain, hittin’ me after the play. [...] if you doin’ all that, snatchin’ chains after the whistle and all that in front of the ref ...



All-Everything Khalil Mack puts Raiders on his back in win

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 06:31:50 UT

Just before halftime, the Raiders’ defensive end picked off a Cam Newton pass at the Carolina 6-yard-line, ran it into the end zone, then launched himself backward into the Black Hole, sticking his landing. [...] the Raiders’ defensive players are getting in on the fun. The defense isn’t Super-duper yet, but it’s getting there, led by Mack, who is in the discussion for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. On Sunday, he had the interception touchdown, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery: a four-pack of whup-butt. Mack said former Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson, something of a mentor, has told him, “It’s time for you to take over games.” Mack’s sack came on the Panthers’ final play. First string.



Colin Kaepernick details start of $1 million giveaway

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 03:04:18 UT

The four October recipients of the $25,000 donations were Silicon Valley De-Bug (San Jose), Causa Justa (San Jose), Urban Underground (Milwaukee) and Mothers Against Police Brutality (Dallas). November recipients are the Black Youth Project (Chicago), the Gathering For Justice (New York), Communities United For Police Reform (New York) and I Will Not Die Young Campaign (Milwaukee). [...] of the funds earmarked for Silicon Valley De-Bug, a “media, community organizing, and entrepreneurial collective,” $10,000 will go toward a healing and strategic planning retreat for families who have lost loved ones to police violence. According to the site, “The mission of the Colin Kaepernick Foundation is to fight opression of all kinds globally, through education and social action.” When Kaepernick began his kneel-down protest of the national anthem before 49ers’ games, he responded to early criticism by pledging to donate $1 million to charities that tackle social issues and racial injustice.



49ers’ Colin Kaepernick says voting would be hypocritical

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:14:41 UT

49ers’ Colin Kaepernick says voting would be hypocritical The football postgame news conference is not designed for political debate, so there was no give-and-take Sunday when Colin Kaepernick defended his decision to not vote in Tuesday’s election. About half the eligible American voters also snubbed the ballot box, but Kaepernick, after all, is the leader of a movement he hopes will inspire changes in our current system. At the end of his brief postgame newser, I asked Kaepernick, “The criticism from you saying you weren’t going to vote — do you have a reaction to that?” Kaepernick, true to his new persona as a man who no longer ducks questions, said, You know, I think it would be hypocritical of me to vote. Under his sport coat, Kaepernick wore a black T-shirt with a quote attributed to Malcom X in large lettering, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”




DuJuan Harris emerges from his Batcave to do well in 49ers’ loss

Mon, 7 Nov 2016 07:34:24 UT

DuJuan Harris, the 49ers’ running back from nowhere, wears a Batman shirt under his 49ers jersey, for two reasons: Harris, the 49ers’ fourth-string running back, had the biggest day of his checkered six-year NFL career, with 10 carries for 59 yards and five receptions for 83 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown on a little swing pass in the second quarter. Last year, he spent time on the Saints’ practice squad. “Yeah, yeah, (retiring) came in my mind before,” Harris said, but, like I said, guys still want to watch me play football. [...] as much as I wanted to call it quits and get out of this business and not be stressed out because of the business, gotta be thankful, gotta be blessed to get out there and play. Harris, judging from Sunday’s performance, is pretty much like the the 49ers’ other running backs, except way more explosive. Harris did fumble, the ball ripped out of his hands after it appeared his forward progress was stopped and he was on his back.



What's Plan B with Raiders Las Vegas stadium deal on shaky ground?

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 19:40:04 UT

Raiders will look great in Levi’s, crystal ball says Sorry to ruin the suspense, but the Raiders will wind up playing at Levi’s Stadium. Raiders’ owner Mark Davis is getting Las Vegas’d. Initially Adelson wanted a piece of the Raiders in return for his own $650 million stadium kick-in and his work arm-twisting Nevada to cough up $750 million.  




They’ll need fans to withstand heat in Las Vegas

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 23:00:06 UT

The NFL could borrow a gimmick used by wrestling promoters back in the days before that sport packed massive arenas. There might be 500 fans in the huge arena, so the promoters would jam all of us into one section, place the TV camera on the opposite side, and on the telecast, it would look like a full house. [...] the old wrestling crowd-pack plan wouldn’t work, because of TV blimp shots. For what you’d pay to take your kid to one crummy 49ers game, you could buy a TV the size of a garage door and a season’s worth of guacamole and beer. Could be some voodoo economics involved, but never underestimate the ability of politicians to suck up to an NFL team, using taxpayer money. After Al Davis and Oakland worked out the deal to bring the Raiders back to Oakland in 1995, Davis added last-minute financial demands.