Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 13, 2013
McFadden eager to 'show everybody what I can do'

Running back Darren McFadden candidly answers questions about the 2013-14 Raiders.

September 3, 2012
Allen still 'hopeful' Raiders will have Ford, Moore for opener

ALAMEDA -- Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said today he remains "hopeful" that receivers Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford and center Stefen Wisniewski will all be available to play in the season opener. Wisniewski, who has been battling a calf injury, was limited in practice this morning but "moved around pretty good," Allen said.

Ford (foot) and Moore (hamstring) did not practice. Allen said Moore has had no problems running the past couple of days. Ford has not started running since he stopped wearing a protective boot on his left foot. Both have the benefit this week of an extra day of practice -- and thereby rehab -- since the Raiders open on Monday night against the Chargers.

Rookie receiver Juron Criner also was favoring his ankle during practice. The last thing that group needs is another injury, but Allen said of Criner: "I don't really think it's a big deal. He was able to get out and run around pretty well yesterday. Little bit more sore today, but it's a long time until Monday night, so I think we'll be fine there."

Allen said recently signed defensive back Phillip Adams may be used to return punts right now. Adams, brought in Saturday after the Seahawks waived him the day before, has returned four punts in his NFL career, all with the 49ers in 2010. He said he returned some for Seattle this preseason, though, as well as in college at South Carolina State, and that he likes the job.

"He's done it before and has had a little bit of success doing it, so he'll be one guy we could put back there," Allen said. "Then obviously when we get Denarius and Jacoby back, that gives us a couple other options."

September 3, 2012
McClain feeling healthy, focused entering season

ALAMEDA -- Talking to reporters for the first time since the beginning of training camp, Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain said he feels healthy going into his third NFL season and that he has heard nothing about the possibility of a suspension from the league stemming from his off-the-field legal issues.

McClain, the Raiders' starting middle linebacker, was sentenced in May to 180 days in jail after being found guilty in municipal court in Alabama of third-degree assault, reckless endangerment, menacing and wrongful discharge of a firearm. He is appealing the conviction in circuit court and awaiting a jury trial.

"I don't think I've ever had a talk of anything about a suspension," McClain said Monday when asked if staying focused on the field has been a challenge during the preseason. "I haven't heard it. I guess it's all speculation."

September 3, 2012
Raiders sign veteran CB Hanson

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have signed recently released veteran cornerback Joselio Hanson and cut DeMarcus Van Dyke to make room on the 53-man roster, meaning the Raiders now have no active cornerbacks who return from last season.

Hanson (5-foot-9, 180 pounds) played the last seven seasons with the Eagles and has played in 104 career games with 19 starts. Before that he played his rookie season with the 49ers, who signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech in 2003.

September 1, 2012
Stupar among four signed to Raiders' practice squad

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen noted to reporters Friday that, during the previous day's preseason loss to Seattle, rookie linebacker Nathan Stupar "played and acted like he wanted to try to get a spot on this roster." Stupar didn't survive the 53-man roster cuts, but he was one of the first players the Raiders signed to their practice squad.

The Raiders began building their eight-player practice squad today by announcing the signing of four players whom they cut yesterday. They are Stupar, linebacker Kaelin Burnett and receivers Brandon Carswell and Travionte Session.

Stupar, the lone Raiders draft pick who didn't make the 53-man roster, had 11 tackles and a sack against the Seahawks to end his first training camp on a high note. He was behind Rolando McClain and Travis Goethel at middle linebacker, though, and with the Raiders keeping just five linebackers on the active roster yesterday Stupar was left off.

With only three outside linebackers on the active roster right now -- Miles Burris, Philip Wheeler and Carl Ihenacho -- the Raiders added Burnett to the practice squad. Burnett, Carswell and Session were all undrafted free agents.

August 31, 2012
Curry goes to PUP, Parrish gone, Raiders cut 17

There weren't a lot of surprises when the Raiders announced the moves they made today to bring their roster to 53 players by the league deadline. Along with cutting 17 players and terminating the contract of punt returner Roscoe Parrish, the Raiders placed three players on injured reserve and, most notably, put linebacker Aaron Curry on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.

Curry, the Raiders' projected starting weakside linebacker when camp began, still hasn't practiced all summer with sore knees. He now must sit out the first six weeks of the season before he is eligible to return to practice Oct. 16. After that, he can be activated within a 21-day period.

August 29, 2012
Streater still impressing in preseason with hands, 'moxie'

ALAMEDA -- Rod Streater has a pretty good shot at catching more passes in his first four NFL preseason games than he did his entire senior season at Temple. He needs two Thursday against the Seahawks.

If you're looking for the Raiders player who's had the best training camp it's hard to pick against Streater, who has gone from undrafted rookie to virtual lock for the 53-man roster. Streater has 18 catches for 165 yards through three games, which is the second-most receptions in the NFL in the preseason behind Saints running back Travaris Cadet, who has 22 catches for 202 yards but has played in four games.

August 28, 2012
Raiders add return specialist Parrish

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have moved to address their preseason struggles in the return game, announcing the signing this morning of veteran receiver and return specialist Roscoe Parrish.

Parrish was released by the San Diego Chargers yesterday. He spent the last seven seasons in Buffalo, where he caught 134 passes for 1,502 yards and seven touchdowns, and averaged 12 yards on 135 punt returns with three touchdowns and 23.6 yards on 29 kickoff returns. The website Profootballtalk.com first reported late Monday night the Raiders had come to terms on a deal with Parrish.

The Raiders' return game has not looked good in the preseason with primary punt returner Denarius Moore nursing an injured hamstring and kick returner Jacoby Ford out since the second preseason game with a foot injury.

The Raiders waived/injured offensive lineman Zach Hurd (head) to make room for Parrison on the active roster.

-- Matt Kawahara

August 27, 2012
Allen: 'We're going to keep the best 53'

by Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

ALAMEDA -- When the Raiders lined up in a four-man defensive front against Detroit on Saturday, Lamarr Houston was in his usual position rushing off the end. When Oakland ran out its nickel package, though, Houston slid inside.

Shifting inside isn't new to Houston -- he did it in college at Texas and said he moved around on the line last year as well. But it's an indication that the Raiders have some versatility on the defensive line. Along with Houston, free agent signee Dave Tollefson is listed as a defensive end, but played inside occasionally while with the New York Giants.

Head coach Dennis Allen was asked today how that flexibility might affect his decision-making on the line when it comes time to determine the 53-man roster on Friday. Knowing that he has at least two players who can toggle between tackle and end, might Allen be more inclined to weigh talent more than position distribution when making the final call?

Yes, Allen said, and not only on the line.

August 25, 2012
Pryor shines in Raiders' win

by Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

OAKLAND -- Terrelle Pryor said he felt noticeably more comfortable going into Saturday's game against Detroit. With backup quarterback Matt Leinart sidelined last week, Pryor worked in with the second-team offense in practice and got more reps than he normally would. Not that everything he did in the Raiders' 31-20 win over the Lions was scripted.

Pryor came in after halftime and turned O.co Coliseum into his playground with his feet and arm. He completed 3 of 5 passes for 137 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 143.8. He rushed five times for 90 yards, including a spectacular 59-yard run near the Lions' sideline and a 17-yard touchdown scamper after escaping a collapsing pocket. He quarterbacked five drives, three of which ended in touchdowns.

And yes -- deep breath -- he did all this against the Lions' defensive backups. In a preseason game. But it was a much different scene than two weeks ago, when Pryor sat at his locker after the Raiders' loss to Dallas -- his first real NFL experience -- shouldering all blame for the loss and simmering over his play, which he vowed would be better.

August 25, 2012
Janikowski (groin) leaves Raiders' win over Detroit

OAKLAND -- Kicker Sebastian Janikowski left the Raiders' 31-20 win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday night with what head coach Dennis Allen termed a "sore groin." Janikowski appeared to pull up while pursuing Lions returner Justin Miller on Miller's 80-yard kickoff return in the second quarter and continued straight to the sideline, where he was looked at by trainers.

"We'll look at it and see where he's at," Allen said after the game. "But I don't really know any more than that."

Eddy Carmona took over kicking duties and nailed his lone field goal attempt, a line drive 56-yarder at the end of the first half. Earlier in the game, Janikowski had missed a 30-yarder wide left, patting himself on the chest as if to acknowledge fault.

Otherwise, the Raiders came out of the game with no significant injuries, Allen said. Players who were dressed but did not play were punter Marquette King, cornerback Conroy Black, fullback Rashawn Jackson, defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton, tight end Richard Gordon and defensive ends Wayne Dorsey and Mason Brodine.

-- Matt Kawahara

August 25, 2012
Upon further review, Raiders' first-team offense scores first TD

The Raiders first-team offense scored its first touchdown of the preseason in the second quarter against the Detroit Lions, though it required an official review that overturned the on-field call on a fourth-down run by Darren McFadden.

Officials first ruled that McFadden was stopped for no gain on 4th-and-goal from the Lions' 1-yard line. McFadden appeared to bounce off guard Mike Brisiel and reach the ball over the goal line on a second effort. After reviewing the play, officials ruled the ball had crossed the goal line. It finished off a 12-play, 86-yard drive for the Raiders that ate up 6:35.

Before the reversal, it looked like the Raiders had again failed to punch it in with a 1st-and-goal from the 1 (the same thing happened last week at Arizona). McFadden was stopped for a loss of one on first down, quarterback Carson Palmer rushed for no gain on second down, and McFadden picked up a yard on the ground on third down.

The Raiders lead Detroit at halftime, 10-6. Backup kicker Eddy Carmona hit a 56-yard field goal as time expired in the half. Sebastian Janikowski exited the game with a groin injury after appearing to come up limping on a 79-yard kickoff return by the Lions' Justin Miller. Janikowski, who missed a 30-yard field goal earlier in the game, was announced as questionable to return.

-- Matt Kawahara

August 25, 2012
Seymour not playing against Detroit

OAKLAND -- Defensive tackle Richard Seymour is one of seven Raiders players not suiting up for today's game against Detroit, in which the starters are expected to get their most extended playing time of the preseason. It's officially going down as a "coach's decision," though head coach Dennis Allen spent most of the week saying the plan was for Seymour to play. Likely Seymour's input was weighed, and it was agreed he'll sit.

Also not dressing: receivers Jacoby Ford (foot) and Denarius Moore (hamstring), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), center Stefen Wisniewski (calf) and offensive linemen Ed Wang (shoulder) and Zach Hurd (head). Quarterback Matt Leinart is obviously not on that list, but he was throwing passes on the field two hours before gametime with a big bandage still around on his right index finger and it was still undecided as of Thursday whether he would actually play today.

Rod Streater is listed as Moore's replacement with the starters, Desmond Bryant for Seymour and Alex Parsons for Wisniewski, so no surprises there.

Game-day scratches for the Lions are receiver Stefen Logan, safety Louis Delmas, cornerback Chris Greenwood, running back Jahvid Best, tackle Jonathan Scott and guard Bill Nagy.

UPDATE*: The quarterbacks just ran onto the field for warm-ups and Leinart is not in uniform, so you can most likely count him out.

-- Matt Kawahara
mkawahara@sacbee.com

August 14, 2012
Preseason opener: Quarterback rundown

A look at how the Raiders' top three quarterbacks (no Kyle Newhall-Caballero sightings) fared in their 3-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday evening.

Carson Palmer: 3-for-6, 33 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. Palmer's longest gain came on his first pass play, a screen that Darren McFadden turned upfield for 18 yards. Two plays later, he took a shot depe down the far sideline for Jacoby Ford and had the pass picked off by Cowboys safety Gerald Sensabaugh, who was lined up in the middle of the field and made a nice play coming over the top of Ford. Palmer didn't regret the throw.

"Part of that is what the preseason's for - when you have those opportunities, to take them," Palmer said. "Obviously now I'd take it back. The safety ended up making a great play on it. We'll continue to work and continue to figure out what's best for our guys individually and when to take those shots."

Palmer played two more series that each ended in punts (though both times a Cowboys penalty gave the Raiders the ball back). He made a sharp throw to tight end Richard Gordon's inside shoulder on 2nd and 12 from the Raiders' own 6 for an 8-yard gain. On the ensuing 3rd and 4 he appeared to want to throw a quick slant to receiver Rod Streater, but Streater got jammed coming off the line and Palmer tucked the ball and ran for a 1-yard gain.



About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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