No question the NFL scheduling gods did coach Dennis Allen in particular, and the Raiders in general, no favors with their early slate of games. Oakland's issues in the Eastern time zone are well documented -- the Raiders have lost 13 straight games three time zones away by a combined score of 416-225 -- and guess where they play two of their first three games? At the New York Jets to open and at the New England Patriots in Week 3 before going across the pond for a "home" game in London against the Miami Dolphins. That's three out of four games away from Oakland to start the season and then comes the bye.

Complete Raiders season preview.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- A key part of Maurice Jones-Drew's formative years is being shown in movie theaters across the country.

De La Salle High School, located in Concord, California, is the subject of motion picture "When the Game Stands Tall." The film chronicles the school's 151-game winning streak and the trials and tribulations of the school's coaching staff and players. The film is based on the book of the same name, which has Jones-Drew on the cover. Jones-Drew was a part of the 2002 graduating class at the school that went 50-0.

Jones-Drew
Jones-Drew had a cameo in the film and said one of the characters is a combination of him and another player who went to De La Salle. What does Jones think of the film?

“I heard it's great, but I haven't seen it,” he said.

Why?

“I lived it. I don't need to see it.”

One of the reasons Jones-Drew doesn't want to see it is because part of the film focuses on the end of the school's streak. He never lost a game, so do he doesn't want to focus on what he didn't experience. Jones-Drew said his wife and three sons have seen the movie. And, yes, Jones-Drew said he was sent the film of his cameo and enjoyed it.

Jones-Drew, 29, said while he was at De La Salle he didn't fully grasp the enormity of what he and his teammates accomplished. But he has taken football and life lessons from the school (he said he plans on sending his kids there when they reach high-school age) that he still benefits from today.

“It was a special four years for me,” said Jones-Drew, who signed with the hometown Raiders after having success in Jacksonville for the past eight seasons. “I learned about football and life and how to work. That stuff has helped me stay around this this league as long as I have.”
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Bill and Sal aren't as hot on the Broncos as Vegas is and think, at the odds they are getting now, the Chargers are a great bet to win the division and potentially get into the AFC Championship game and maybe even the Super Bowl.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – When the Oakland Raiders set their 53-man roster on Saturday, the construction of their roster will be far from done.

I expect the Raiders to work the waiver wire in the first couple of weeks of the season. Here is a look at some of the positions I think the Raiders will examine:

Tight end: I think this is the first place the Raiders will look. They need more experience here. Young starter Mychal Rivera will be fine, but I bet the Raiders would like to find a reliable backup.

Offensive line: The Raiders are no different than most NFL teams here. Change at the bottom of the offensive line depth chart is something many teams want. Because the Raiders have the fifth-highest claiming priority in the NFL, I can see them taking advantage of it, if the right player is available, for depth reasons.

Cornerback: The Raiders have some intriguing players here. But because of injuries and youth, I could see Oakland showing interest if an experienced veteran is available.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- As heated protests boiled over in Missouri after the controversial shooting of an black teenager, Oakland Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew made a statement in Green Bay, Wisconsin, last Friday night.

Jones-Drew
At the end of a 40-yard touchdown run during the Raiders’ 31-21 loss at Green Bay, the longtime NFL star put his head down and put his hands up and stood silently. Jones-Drew is using a screenshot of the pose as his Twitter avatar. The stance has become a symbol for in the protests of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this month.

Speaking about the pose to reporters this week, Jones-Drew said he felt like he needed to stand up and make his feelings known.

“My goal is always to create awareness,” Jones-Drew said.

The Ferguson incident hit close to home for Jones-Drew. He was in Florida during the Trayvon Martin shooting and when a teenager was shot at a Jacksonville gas station because he was playing loud music.

“I know what it’s like to get pulled over when you’ve done nothing wrong,” Jones-Drew said. “I’ve been through those things. When you’re raising three young boys, you have to think about those things. When they get older and they go out at night, am I going to have to be the one to get that phone call? Those are things you worry about. That’s what I worry about as a father and what my mother worried about when I was growing up.”

Jones-Drew said he is unsure if he will continue to mark his touchdowns with the "hands up" pose.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders fans will see a familiar sight Thursday night when the Raiders host the Seattle Seahawks in the preseason finale.

Pryor
They will again witness Terrelle Pryor trying to prove himself. But this time the talented, but raw and limited, quarterback will be wearing a Seattle uniform.

Pryor will be making one more push to get on Seattle's 53-man roster Thursday night. The Seahawks acquired Pryor from the Raiders for a seventh-round pick in April, which the Raiders used on safety Jonathan Dowling.

The sight of Pryor in another uniform will be a reminder to the Raiders that they made the right move in trading him. He was just too much of a project for the Raiders to continue to try to develop.

The key for Oakland turning around its franchise in the long-term will be finding a franchise quarterback. It hopes second-round pick Derek Carr is the answer. It is clear that Carr is much more equipped than Pryor to become a franchise player.

Putting all their quarterback eggs in Carr’s basket and not Pryor’s was, and still is, the right move. Raiders fans will give the likable Pryor a hand when they see him Thursday night, but there should be no sense of regret. The right move was made.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Two veteran Oakland Raiders have an outside chance of setting NFL records that showcase both their brilliance and their longevity.

Janikowski
Woodson
But again, it's a long shot to achieve those milestones in 2014.

Defensive back Charles Woodson, entering his 17th NFL, season, needs two interception returns for a touchdown to set an NFL record. Former Oakland player and coach Rod Woodson is the record-holder at 12. Charles Woodson, 37, hasn’t had an interception return for a score since 2011.

Meanwhile, Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski, in his 15th NFL season, has kicked 45 field goals of 50 yards or longer and needs eight to become the all-time NFL leader. Jason Hanson kicked 52 field goals of 50 yards or longer in his career from 1994-2012.

The most 50-yarders Janikowski has kicked in a season was seven in 2011. He had three 50-yarders in 2013.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- In April, the Oakland Raiders decided quarterback Terrelle Pryor couldn’t help them any longer and traded him to the Seattle Seahawks for a seventh-round draft pick.

Four months later, the Raiders believe that the strong-legged, arm-challenged quarterback can, indeed, help them after all. The Oakland defense will likely see a lot of Pryor in Thursday night's preseason finale against the Seahawks. Coach Dennis Allen believes this will help them prepare to face mobile quarterback Geno Smith and the New York Jets in Week 1.

"If we get some of those plays, that’ll be good experience for us going into Week 1 versus the Jets," Allen said.

Added defensive coordinator Jason Tarver about facing Pryor: "This is a good practice. Whether it’s good, bad, indifferent, this is good practice because we’ll get to see the calls and how they work and we’ll learn from them. And then we can work on both the calls and obviously, how it all fits on the read scheme."
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- With DJ Hayden out for the first portion of the year and Chimdi Chewka also injured, the Oakland Raiders will likely have to give a young unknown player a chance to be the No. 3 cornerback.

Rookie, seventh-round pick TJ Carrie and Neiko Thorpe, a 24-year-old who was in the CFL last season after being cut by the Chiefs, have stood out in the preseason. They will compete to be the No. 3 cornerback. The likelihood is the winner of that battle will play outside and veteran pickup Carlos Rogers will play the slot.

“There’ve been some players that step up like TJ Carrie and Neiko [Thorpe], and that battle will still be going on this week, two days from now,” Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said. “I’m excited to see these guys play, because they both did some good things last week and they’ve both done good things throughout camp.”

In other Oakland notes:
  • The Raiders claimed former Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio off waivers from Detroit and they cut kicker Kevin Goessling. Tavecchio will kick Thursday. Oakalnd kicker Sebastian Janikowski is dealing with a right quad injury. The team is hopeful he will be able to play Week 1 at the Jets.
  • Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said new right guard Austin Howard is getting better each week. The free-agent pickup was a tackle with the Jets.
  • Several UFC fighters attended Tuesday’s practice.
ALAMEDA, Calif. --Oakland Raiders potential franchise quarterback Derek Carr can make up for some lost time Thursday in the preseason finale against visiting Seattle.

Carr, a second-round pick, is set to start. Oakland coach Dennis Allen said he expects Carr to get extensive playing time. Carr didn't play last week at Green Bay because he was nursing a rib injury. He was also suffered a concussion in the second preseason game against Detroit, but he was cleared after a couple of days.

The Raiders expect starter Matt Schaub to be ready to start Week 1 at the New York Jets in 11 days, although he has missed the past three days of practice with a sore elbow. If Schaub has a setback, Carr is the No. 2 quarterback and would be in line to start.

"He needs the experience," Oakland coach Dennis Allen said of Carr. "So for him to be able to get out there against a really good defense and get some more game experience will be a big part of his development."

Oakland offensive coordinator Greg Olson is encouraged by Carr because he looks like he belongs in an NFL offense. The task doesn't appear to be too big for the former Fresno State standout.

"I've said it from Day 1, the guy's comfortable in the huddle," Olson said. "I don't think the game's too fast for him, which a lot of times, that's a big concern with a rookie quarterback."

The Raiders hope they can continue to say that after the preseason closes.

Sio Moore returns to practice

August, 26, 2014
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[+] EnlargeSio Moore
AP Photo/Morry GashThe Raiders' Sio Moore returned to practice Tuesday, four days after being taken off the field on a stretcher.

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders linebacker Sio Moore returned to practice Tuesday, four days after being taken off the field in Green Bay on a stretcher.

Moore, a second-year starting weakside linebacker, was taken to a Green Bay hospital but flew home with the team. He was diagnosed with a neck strain. It is not known if Moore will play Thursday against Seattle in the preseason finale or if the Raiders will wait until the regular-season opener at the New York Jets on Sept. 7 to get him back on the field.

"He moved around some out there," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said of Moore. "He is still not 100 percent."

Meanwhile, as expected, starting quarterback Matt Schaub missed his third straight day of practice with elbow soreness. Allen and Schaub called the issue minor, and they both expect Schaub to play against the Jets.

Allen said Schaub will not play Thursday. Rookie Derek Carr will start in his place.

Schaub threw on the side Tuesday for the first time since the injury, which Allen called a "good sign."


(Read full post)


Most significant move: The Raiders put 2013 first-round pick D.J. Hayden on the physically unable to perform list to start the season. He will be out at least the first six weeks of the season. He had foot surgery in June. Initially, the Raiders said the issue was minor. But clearly, it has been a significant issue for a player who has not been able to stay healthy. The Raiders took Hayden early despite suffering a heart issue that nearly killed him in November 2012. His rookie season was ended early due to a sports hernia. Last week, Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver said Hayden is suffering from missed practice time. He will be further behind when he returns. The Raiders have had many questionable first-round draft picks in recent history. It is probably too early to call Hayden a bust, but he, at the very least, looks like an overdraft.

Camp star cut: The Raiders cut receiver Juron Criner. He was a fifth-round pick in 2012. Criner was famous for making circus catches in training camp. However, the light never came on during the season. He made essentially no NFL impact as a Raider.

What’s next: The Raiders have to pare down their roster to 53 players by 1 p.m. PT Saturday.

Raiders' moves: QB Trent Edwards, WR Juron Criner, S Larry Asante, WR Greg Jenkins, RB Kory Sheets (all waived-injured); G Lucas Nix (waived/failed physical); TE Nick Kasa, injured reserve; CB D.J. Hayden, PUP.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- It has not been a great couple of days for the Oakland Raiders on the list front.

Allen
Monday, in a poll of NFL players, the Raiders were voted the least desirable team to play for. Tuesday, in an ESPN Insider piece by Mike Sando, 30 NFL insiders ranked the 32 head coaches in the league Insider. Oakland coach Dennis Allen is ranked at the bottom.

However, voters pointed out to Sando that Allen's ranking was more about his situation than his coaching abilities. Allen is considered one of the better young defensive coaches in the league.

Here is some of what one voter told Sando: "If you gave him the Colts, he might have been good, too," one executive said. "It is completely unfair to measure him. He has potential. He could be a guy who reemerges 7-8 years from now and becomes pretty good. ... No other new coach would do better there.”

What do you think of Allen’s ranking? Is it deserved or is it just too difficult to win in Oakland? Fill up the comment section below with your thoughts.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marquette King laid back in his locker, headphones on and his hands working his phone. He appeared worry free as the Oakland Raiders began their cut-week preparations.

This week is a much different reality for King than it was a year ago. He was entering the final week of an intense battle with veteran Chris Kluwe, who entered the Raiders' 2013 camp as the favorite to replace the great Shane Lechler who signed with Houston as a free agent.

King, a strong-legged, but green youngster, beat out Kluwe and had a solid rookie season as he averaged 48.9 yards a punt. This week, King reflected fondly on the tense, yet friendly competition with Kluwe. He doesn't have that same competition, but he still has plenty to motivate himself.

"I step out on the practice field every day, saying 'Find a way to become a better punter today' to myself," King said. "I also competing with 31 other punters. I want to be the best … So there is still competition every day."

King also said the Raiders special history of punting that features Ray Guy -- who this summer became the first full-time punter to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- and Lechler fuels him.

"They are my mentors," King said. "I work to try to be as good as they were."

D.J. Hayden placed on PUP list

August, 26, 2014
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[+] EnlargeDJ Hayden
AP Photo/Ben MargotD.J. Hayden will miss at least the first six games of the season as he recovers from a foot injury.

The Oakland Raiders will be without the services of cornerback D.J. Hayden for at least the first six games of the season as they put him on the physically unable to perform list Tuesday.

Hayden, who was selected with the 12th overall pick of the 2013 draft, has been sidelined during camp with a foot injury, and the Raiders want to make sure he has time to recover before rushing him onto the field.

"He looks a lot better, but that's one of those things that you just kind of visit with the trainers every day and find out how he did each particular day," Oakland coach Dennis Allen said Monday. "He's making progress, that's for sure."

On Tuesday, Allen said he was hopeful that Hayden can return quickly when he's eligible to do so.

Hayden missed practice time last year because of complications in his recovery from a serious heart issue that ended his 2012 season at Houston. He was placed on injured reserve after eight games last season because of a sports hernia.

ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPN.com's Bill Williamson contributed to this report.


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