Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

August 29, 2012
Raiders claim defensive back Francies

The Raiders have claimed defensive back Coye Francies off waivers, the team announced today. Francies, who played in eight games with the Cleveland Browns from 2009-10 and finished last season on Seattle's practice squad, was cut by the Seahawks on Monday.

Francies, 25, who played at American River College and San Jose State, will likely compete for backup time and on special teams. The Seahawks were using him as a kickoff returner this preseason.

The Raiders waived defensive back Conroy Black to make room for Francies on the active roster. Rosters must be reduced to 53 players on Friday.

The Raiders also announced that injured offensive linemen Zach Hurd (head) and Ed Wang (shoulder), and fullback Rashawn Jackson (hip), have been placed on injured reserve.

-- Matt Kawahara

August 28, 2012
Parrish, Gordon on the practice field

ALAMEDA -- The newest member of the Raiders, receiver/returner Roscoe Parrish, is catching passes at practice this morning, wearing No. 18. Tight end Richard Gordon is also on the field. Gordon did not practice yesterday and was held out of the Detroit game with sore ribs.

August 27, 2012
Raiders announce first round of cuts

The Raiders this morning announced they have waived the following players in advance of the 1 p.m. deadline to trim rosters to 75: LB Korey Bosworth, DE Mason Brodine, DE Wayne Dorsey, S Aaron Henry, CB Terrail Lambert, WR Thomas Mayo, WR DeAundre Muhammad, QB Kyle Newhall-Caballero, S Chaz Powell and FB Manase Tonga. The Raiders also waived-injured FB Rashawn Jackson (hip) and OL Ed Wang (shoulder).

More to come on the moves later today when the Raiders practice in Alameda.

-- Matt Kawahara

August 26, 2012
Allen: Janikowski's groin not pulled, just sore

by Matt Kawahara

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said today that kicker Sebastian Janikowski has a sore groin but nothing more -- good news for the Raiders after Janikowski left last night's preseason game against Detroit early when he pulled up limping on a kickoff return.

"He's basically got a sore groin," Allen said on a conference call. "He's a little tight, but it doesn't seem to be a real pull, defect in the muscle or anything like that. So I don't anticipate it being a big deal."

August 23, 2012
Raiders still not ruling out Curry for opener

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- Raiders head coach Dennis Allen still isn't ruling out linebacker Aaron Curry for the season opener Sept. 10, even though Curry didn't take a single rep in training camp, which ended Thursday.

Curry spent all of camp on the active/physically unable to perform list with knee problems. Allen said earlier in the week the window was closing on Curry's return in time for the opener, but said Thursday that it's "not to that point."

August 23, 2012
Moore, Ford still out -- Seymour too

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- It's a safe bet you can expect to see a lot of Rod Streater, Juron Criner and the other young receivers fighting to make the Raiders' roster against the Lions on Saturday. Jacoby Ford is still wearing a boot on his injured left foot this morning and Denarius Moore (hamstring) is not taking part in the Raiders' final practice of training camp.

"Obviously because of the injury situation, some of these young receivers are getting a lot of reps - more than I anticipated to start training camp," offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said yesterday. "So we're going to have a good chance to evaluate that position (Saturday) with some of the younger guys."

Aside from the two injured receivers, Darrius Heyward-Bey is the only other wideout on the Raiders' roster who has caught a pass in an NFL regular-season game. Streater has caught 13 passes for 109 yards in two preseason games and is in line to start against Detroit. Criner and Eddie McGee appear to be jostling for depth chart position.

The Raiders are also missing a couple of tight ends today in Richard Gordon and Tory Humphrey. Gordon had sore ribs yesterday and didn't finish practice. Humphrey was being worked on by trainers at practice yesterday, but wasn't included on the injury report after practice.

Also not practicing today: defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie (foot), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), offensive tackle Zach Hurd (head), running back Rashawn Jackson (hip), offensive lineman Ed Wang (shoulder), center Stefen Wisniewski (calf) and defensive tackle Richard Seymour. The plan as of yesterday, according to head coach Dennis Allen, was for Seymour to play against Detroit.

August 22, 2012
McFadden to be Raiders' goal-line back?

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- After Michael Bush took his 6-1, 245-pound frame to Chicago this offseason, one question facing the Raiders was whether they needed to add another bruiser to the backfield whom they could run out in short-yardage or goal-line situations. The Raiders don't have a running back in camp listed above 218 pounds (Darren McFadden's weight) and backup candidates Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson aren't exactly bulldozers.

Friday night in Arizona, the Raiders found themselves in just that kind of goal-line situation on their second drive and went to -- McFadden. Needing a yard for the touchdown, the Raiders handed off to McFadden on first and second down, and both times he was stopped for no gain.

August 22, 2012
Wisniewski not expected back for Lions game

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- Stefen Wisniewski likely won't play against Detroit on Saturday, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said today, meaning Alex Parsons will get another start at center and Wisniewski will have only one more shot at seeing live action before the season starts.

Wisniewski is still battling a calf injury and hasn't practiced since leaving the preseason opener Aug. 13 after the Raiders' first series. Allen has stressed that Wisniewski, who also missed OTAs and mini-camp while recovering from shoulder surgery, needs practice in order to be ready for the season opener Sept. 10.

"If we weren't in the regular season could he push through and play?" Allen said. "Probably. Maybe. I don't know. We're not going to take that chance right now in a preseason game."

August 22, 2012
Raiders missing the usual suspects

NAPA -- The Raiders don't appear to be getting much healthier going into Saturday's third preseason game against Detroit.

Players not taking part in Wednesday's practice included linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), receivers Jacoby Ford (foot) and Denarius Moore (hamstring), center Stefen Wisniewski (calf), defensive tackle Jamie Cumbie (foot), offensive tackle Zach Hurd (head), fullback Rashawn Jackson (hip) and offensive lineman Ed Wang (shoulder).

Richard Seymour also wasn't with the defensive line. Seymour hasn't practiced all week after playing Friday against the Cardinals. On Sunday, head coach Dennis Allen said of Seymour: "It's not an injury situation really as much as it is to give him a chance to recover." Seymour did miss time earlier in camp with a knee issue, so it'll be something to ask Allen about again after practice.

Tight end Richard Gordon was walking off the field just as reporters were allowed in and came back without a helmet, so count him among those not practicing.

Running back Taiwan Jones, back this week after missing two weeks with a hamstring injury, is on the field for a second consecutive practice, which is encouraging. Said Allen yesterday: "Every day he's able to put a good day back-to-back, that's better for us."

-- Matt Kawahara

August 21, 2012
Raiders work out Andre Carter, Moore hopeful for week 1, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- The Raiders brought in free agent defensive end Andre Carter for a workout Tuesday. Carter had 10 sacks in 14 games for the New England Patriots last season before suffering a left quadriceps tear.

"I've got to stay low-key," Carter told reporters while leaving the practice field. "If it works out, God willing ..."

Carter, the former Cal Bear and San Francisco 49er, has 76 career sacks in 11 seasons. The Raiders cut a big part of their pass rush from last season (linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, 7 sacks in 2011) in March.

"We're going to shake all the bushes and see what falls out, and if we feel like we've got something that can helps us, we're going to do it," said Raiders head coach Dennis Allen.

August 21, 2012
Center Wisniewski still out

NAPA -- It appears center Stefen Wisniewski is still nursing the calf injury he suffered in the Raiders' first preseason game. Wisniewski was not on the field with the Raiders' line in the 30-minute window of practice open to reporters this morning.

One concern for the Raiders' offense coming into training camp was getting Wisniewski caught up after the second-year lineman, moving from guard to center this year, missed all offseason workouts recovering from shoulder surgery. Wisniewski practiced up until the Dallas game, which he left after the Raiders' first drive, and has been out since.

Alex Parsons, who spent the past two seasons on the Raiders' practice squad, is playing first-team center. The Raiders are transitioning into regular-season mode this week, opening only a window of practice to reporters instead of the whole thing, so observations are going to be pretty limited.

Also out this morning: Jamie Cumbie (foot), Aaron Curry (knee), Jacoby Ford (foot), Zach Hurd (head), Rashawn Jackson (hip), Denarius Moore (hamstring), Richard Seymour and Ed Wang (shoulder). Not sure what Seymour's issue is, but he sat out Sunday's practice too for what head coach Dennis Allen termed a recovery day.

Quarterback Matt Leinart (right index finger laceration) was in pads and throwing. Darrius Heyward-Bey was practicing as well after being out Sunday. Safety Michael Huff has rejoined the team following the birth of his child.

-- Matt Kawahara

August 19, 2012
Jones, Lechler, Myers back from injury, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- The Raiders had a few pieces back in place Sunday with running back Taiwan Jones, tight end Brandon Myers and punter Shane Lechler all returning from injuries.

Jones was practicing for the first time since Aug. 5, having missed two weeks with a hamstring injury. Head coach Dennis Allen said Jones looked "explosive," and joked that it's probably because Jones' legs are fresh from his hiatus.

Jones, who is still competing with Mike Goodson for the backup running back job, said he has been instructed by coaches to rein it in a little during practices to try to avoid future injuries.

August 16, 2012
A few projected starters down; Allen hands-off on offensive play-calling, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- It looks like the Raiders will be without five projected starters when they play their second preseason game at Arizona tomorrow. Punter Shane Lechler (knee), receiver Denarius Moore (hamstring), tight end Brandon Myers (shoulder) and center Stefen Wisniewski (calf) are all expected to be held out due to injury, and the Raiders just announced safety Michael Huff will not play in order to attend the birth of his first child.

Also ruled out by head coach Dennis Allen were Aaron Curry (knee), Zach Hurd (head), Rashawn Jackson (hip), Taiwan Jones (hamstring) and Ed Wang (shoulder). Defensive linemen Jack Crawford and Jamie Cumbie (foot injuries) will be game-time decisions.

Notable names not on that list are Richard Seymour, who didn't play against Dallas, and running back Mike Goodson, who appears back to normal after his neck scare and figures to get plenty of work tomorrow after Darren McFadden has gotten his carries.

August 16, 2012
Raiders sign linebacker Bosworth

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- The Raiders added some depth at linebacker this morning by signing former UCLA backer Korey Bosworth, the team announced. Bosworth is expected to travel with the Raiders to Arizona for their preseason game against the Cardinals tomorrow night.

Bosworth, nephew of Brian Bosworth and brother of Jaguars linebacker Kyle Bosworth, signed as an undrafted free agent with the Broncos in 2010 and broke his leg in the preseason that year while playing for Detroit. He spent parts of training camp with the Lions in 2010, 2011 and this year, playing in Detroit's first preseason game last Friday before being released. He will wear No. 97.

The Raiders were a little thin at linebacker after Mario Kurn suffered a season-ending ACL injury in practice Saturday and with Aaron Curry battling his ongoing knee problems. The Raiders now have three open spots on the 90-man roster after waiving Kurn and receiver Duke Calhoun, who also needs season-ending knee surgery, yesterday.

August 15, 2012
Lechler had knee scope, expects to punt in preseason, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- Raiders punter Shane Lechler has not practiced yet in training camp because he is recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the seven-time Pro Bowler said today.

Lechler said he had the procedure shortly before the start of camp and fully expects to punt in a game before the preseason is over. He said he had the procedure to address nagging discomfort in the knee.

"It happened just in the offseason," Lechler said. "It just slowly progressed. I'd work out and then I'd have swelling, then I'd work out and have swelling. I just came up and had it cleaned out."

August 14, 2012
Goodson could return Wednesday, McFadden's preseason likely not over, etc.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said on a conference call today he thinks running back Mike Goodson "will probably" return to practice today for the first time since Aug. 7, when he was injured in a collision with linebacker Philip Wheeler.

Goodson was hospitalized after the collision but released that night after tests came back negative. He has been held out with neck soreness. With Taiwan Jones also sidelined by a hamstring injury, Lonyae Miller carried the ball 15 times in the Raiders' 3-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason opener Monday night.

"I think if (Goodson is) able to practice this week we'll get him in the game (Friday at Arizona) and let him play," Allen said.

* Allen also made it sound like Darren McFadden can expect more work in the preseason after playing just one series against the Cowboys. McFadden gained 38 yards on three touches (a 4-yard run, an 18-yard gain on a screen pass and a 16-yard carry up the middle) in his first game action since last Oct. 23.

August 13, 2012
McFadden feels "like a rookie" anticipating preseason opener

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- It started to hit Darren McFadden on Saturday night. Injured for the final nine games of last season, busy this offseason rehabbing and fielding more questions about his durability, the Raiders' running back looked ahead to tonight's preseason opener against Dallas and realized: "I'm really anxious to get out there."

"I'm very excited about it," McFadden said. "It's like a rookie all over again. Just anxious and eager to get out there."

How long he'll be out there remains to be seen, but head coach Dennis Allen said that McFadden is "going to get his plays and his touches." This comes with a wave of firsts: First glimpse of McFadden and quarterback Carson Palmer in the same backfield, first look at McFadden since his Lisfranc injury last season, first peek (most likely) at McFadden running behind the Raiders' new zone blocking scheme.

August 12, 2012
Allen will weigh preseason games "heavily," two players out for the year, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- Flashing in training camp is nice, but for those players who are not locks to make the Raiders' 53-man roster, Monday's preseason opener against Dallas is the first of four opportunities to make a real lasting impression on head coach Dennis Allen.

"You play the game under the lights and that's when it counts, so we obviously are going to weigh these very heavily," Allen said of the Raiders' four preseason games.

"It's kind of like being in college and you get some homework assignments -- that's like practice. They count and it's part of your grade, but you're going to take your mid-term and you're going to take your final, and those are going to weigh the heaviest. That's how I look at that."

The Raiders held an abbreviated practice today in advance of tomorrow's game with a lot of walk-through components. Allen still isn't saying how long he plans to play his starters against the Cowboys. He did say the quarterback order will go Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Terrelle Pryor and that running back Darren McFadden is "going to get his plays and his touches."

August 10, 2012
Curry seeing specialist for knee, Goodson a spectator, Raiders fan event set for Sunday, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- Linebacker Aaron Curry, who has not practiced with the Raiders in training camp due to a knee injury, is set to see a specialist in Los Angeles as his recovery is not going as the Raiders had hoped, head coach Dennis Allen said.

Curry, projected as the Raiders' starting weak-side linebacker, has been hampered by knee problems most of the offseason. Allen said Friday that Curry is "just not getting to where we want him to be. He'll go down and we'll let him get basically a second opinion and see if we can't do something to get him better."

Curry told CSN Bay Area's Paul Gutierrez last week that he has received stem-cell treatments on both knees in an effort to expedite his recovery. Curry has been a regular around the practice field jogging on the sidelines and helping instruct other linebackers.

Rookie Miles Burris has continued to work with the first-team defense in Curry's absence and intercepted a Matt Leinart pass Friday.

August 8, 2012
Goodson "doing a lot better," Raiders get a break, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said running back Mike Goodson was "doing a lot better" on Wednesday, less than a full day after being hospitalized following a collision with linebacker Philip Wheeler.

"He's still a little sore, so we'll have to monitor him and see where he's at," Allen said.

Goodson, who is vying to be the Raiders' running back, and Wheeler collided on a pass play, and Goodson was reportedly on the ground for about 15 minutes before being taken to a nearby hospital. After a CT scan and MRI came back negative Tuesday night, he was allowed to return to training camp headquarters.

Allen, who said he was "very relieved" that the outcome wasn't worse, didn't guess as to how long Goodson will be out, but did not explicitly rule him out of Monday's preseason opener against Dallas. Goodson was not at practice Wednesday. Allen said the collision was not a helmet-to-helmet hit but instead "a little bit of a freak deal."

August 6, 2012
Raiders release a depth chart; Lechler a week away, etc.

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- The Raiders released a depth chart today for their preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys next Monday. This could always change, but it mostly fits with what we've been seeing throughout mini-camp and training camp. It's in full after the jump:

August 4, 2012
Moore sits again; McFadden's backup still in question

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- Receiver Denarius Moore leaving practice early was the biggest news out of a relatively quiet day at Raiders training camp. Moore's right hamstring, which sidelined him in mini-camp in June and again on Wednesday, continues to bother him, and he decided to shut it down when it started hurting during practice Saturday.

"It's a little frustrating coming in, knowing that you have an injury, have to sit out and wait and watch your teammates constantly practice, going through it and grinding, and you just sit on the side," Moore said. "But it's something that you can't control, you've got to sit back and just let it heal on its own."

Head coach Dennis Allen said the Raiders are being careful with Moore because hamstrings can be tricky and the important thing is having the second-year receiver healthy when the regular season begins Sept. 10. Moore averaged 18.7 yards per catch last season and had a team-leading five touchdown catches.

Cornerback Ron Bartell (hamstring), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee), defensive tackle Travis Ivey (conditioning) and punter Shane Lechler (knee) still have not practiced all week. Tight end Richard Gordon (lower leg infection) also did not practice Saturday.

August 1, 2012
McFadden welcomes Burris to the NFL, Moore sits out, Crawford flashes as Raiders don pads

by Matt Kawahara

NAPA -- The Raiders practiced in pads for the first time Wednesday, which paved the way for a little welcome-to-the-NFL moment for rookie linebacker Miles Burris.

Burris, the Granite Bay High product, was on the receiving end of a lowered shoulder from running back Darren McFadden that knocked him backward and off his feet. To his credit, Burris was a good sport when asked afterward if it was a wake-up call of sorts.

"Yeah, a little bit," Burris said, grinning. "I was a little tentative on, 'Do I hit (No. 20) or not? How does this go?' But yeah, he's a load, he's a good player, and we're lucky to have him on the team."

The knee injury that Aaron Curry is battling right now has allowed Burris to get plenty of snaps with the first-team defense this week. Burris said the experience, along with some instruction from Curry, is speeding his development.

July 31, 2012
Body language is important to Dennis Allen

NAPA - Dennis Allen is a believer in body language being positive on the football field.

The Raiders coach even stopped practice to reiterate that by bringing the team together to let them know how they looked was not acceptable.

"I felt it was necessary to bring them all in together, let 'em know what I was observing, and give 'em a chance to get it corrected," Allen said. "And I think they did a pretty nice job of responding."

It's still about the details for Allen and that's a detail he doesn't plan to overlook.

Body language was mentioned after Monday's practice, too.

"I thought early it was pretty good," Allen said. "I thought it sagged a little bit, the tough part of practice and I thought it picked up there toward the end."

Athletic ability - Quarterback Carson Palmer has been noted for not being the best athlete on the field.

It led some to wonder how Palmer would do in this new offense that asks the quarterback to execute bootlegs and be effective on the move.

Palmer spent the offseason working on his footwork for the offense. And if you think Palmer isn't much of an athlete he doesn't mind:

"I look at it as a positive because if somebody hears you can't run they take bad angles and you get around corners. I've played with receivers that loved to be thought of as slow guys because before you know it they run by you. To be honest you can't worry about that. I haven't worried about that. I haven't worried about that. I just have to continue to work with the offense. The defenders eyes get lost so much with this offense and the misdirection stuff that we do that you don't need to run 4.4 (in the 40-yard dash) to get around corners in this. Because if you just execute it with the right technique and your feet in the right place and your hands in the right place and hiding the balls and all those small things then the offense takes care of not having a quarterback that runs 4.3."

And there's also Matt Leinart, who backed up Palmer at USC to help with the adjustment. Leinart played in the offense with Houston the last two seasons.

Palmer said that's been a big help to start training camp while working with quarterbacks coach John DeFilipo and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.

"No disrespect to my quarterback coach, Coach Flip and Coach Knapp, but it's different when you hear it from a player. For whatever reason. Your coach can tell you the same thing over and over again and every once in a while Matt will chime in and say, 'You know I hit this on this play against this team' or whatever. It's nice to get a coaching point from a player some times. Not all the time but sometimes. He's got experience in it because he's done it and if he hasn't done it he's seen it done by another quarterback in Schaub or T.J. Yates or whoever it was. It's really nice to get kind of the same coaching points but it's a little more believable when you get it from a player sometimes."

Punter Shane Lechler (knee), cornerback Ron Bartell (hamstring), linebacker Aaron Curry (knee) and defensive tackle Travis Ivey (conditioning) missed a second day of practice Tuesday.

Running back Mike Goodson (hamstring) and tight end Richard Gordon (hip flexor) did not finish practice.

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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