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  • Fri., Jul. 25, 2014 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM PDT Meet Odis McKinney Meet Raiders Legend Odis McKinney at The Raider Image at Universal CityWalk on Friday, July 25 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM PDT Park Street Art & Wine Faire Visit the Raider Nation on Location booth and Tweet or Instagram pics to #RNOL - Enjoy the summer sun and Alameda’s best event of the year! 
  • Sat., Jul. 26, 2014 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM PDT Meet Odis McKinney Meet Raiders Legend Odis McKinney at The Raider Image at Universal CityWalk on Saturday, July 26 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Sun., Jul. 27, 2014 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM PDT Park Street Art & Wine Faire Visit the Raider Nation on Location booth and Tweet or Instagram pics to #RNOL - Enjoy the summer sun and Alameda’s best event of the year! 
  • Sun., Jul. 27, 2014 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM PDT Meet Odis McKinney Meet Raiders Legend Odis McKinney at The Raider Image at Universal CityWalk on Sunday, July 27 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • Sat., Sep. 13, 2014 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM PDT Raiders Back to Football 5K The Oakland Raiders Back to Football 5K Run will bring together both runners and NFL fans, and welcomes participants of all abilities to kick off the 2014 Oakland Raiders season. Be sure to register early as spots will be limited.
     
    Who: Runners of all abilities
    What: Back to Football 5k and Kids Fun Run
    Where: O.Co Coliseum
    Date: September 13, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.
    Back to Football Run Package Includes:    
    • Start the race on the field
    • Finish at Celebration Village
    • Participant Tee
    • Commemorative finisher's medal
    • 1 ticket to a Raiders Home Game
    • Post-race Celebration Village activities

    Click here to register!

  • Sat., Sep. 13, 2014 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM PDT 6th Annual Ted Hendricks & Friends Charity Bowling Event

    Sign up now for the 6th Annual Ted Hendricks & Friends Charity Bowling Tournament. The event is set for Saturday, September 13, 2014, from 4-8:00 p.m. PT at AMF South Shore Lanes in Alameda, Calif.

    Email linda@hofplayers for more information.

Raiders Blogs

Raiders vs Steelers Game-by-Game History

Posted by Jerry Knaak on October 15, 2013 – 9:49 am

RB Darren McFadden had a big game in the last meeting against the Steelers.

RB Darren McFadden had a big game in the last meeting against the Steelers. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

The Oakland Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers have met for 20 regular season games and six playoff match-ups and this rivalry is about as close as it can get. The Raiders lead the all-time regular season series, which began in 1970, 11-9. The teams have split the playoff meetings 3-3.

The Raiders won the first meeting October 25, 1970, in Oakland, 31-14. Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw threw 4 INTs, Raiders RB Hewritt Dixon rushed for 106 yards and Hall of Famer George Blanda threw 3 TD passes, 2 to TE Raymond Chester.

In 1972, Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh was a house of horrors for the Raiders. On opening day, September 17, the Raiders dropped a close one in Pittsburgh, 34-28, as 3 quarterbacks saw action for the Raiders, both teams threw 3 INTs each, and the Raiders erased a 27-7 3rd quarter deficit only to fall 6 points short. In the return engagement in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Steelers RB Franco Harris and the Immaculate Reception happened, 13-7 was the final score.

November 11, 1973, the Steelers got their first win in Oakland, 17-9. Raiders QB Daryle Lamonica threw for 236 yards but also tossed 4 INTs. The Raiders dominated statistically, but the 4 INTs were too much to overcome. The Raiders exacted revenge December 22 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs with a 33-14 thumping. QB Kenny Stabler went 14 of 17 for 142 yards, the Raiders picked Bradshaw 3 times, and Marv Hubbard ran for 91 yards and 2 TDs.

The Raiders recorded the first shut-out in the series September 29, 1974, en route to a 12-2 record. Neither team scored after halftime as the Raiders won 17-0 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers and Raiders met in the AFC Championship with the Steelers winning 24-13 and advancing to the Super Bowl.

On January 4, 1976, the Steelers earned a trip to the Super Bowl with a 16-10 win over the Raiders in Pittsburgh. The Steelers barely outgained the Raiders 332-321yards. Stabler and Bradshaw combined to throw 5 INTS. Leading 10-7, Bradshaw connected with WR John Stallworth for a 20-yard TD to put the game out of reach.

On opening day of the 1976 season, the Raiders dropped the Steelers 31-28 in Oakland. Stabler threw for 342 yards and 3 TDs. A Fred Steinfort 21-yard field goal gave the Raiders the win. The Raiders then hosted the Steelers in the AFC Championship game and dominated Pittsburgh 24-7 en route to the franchise’s first Super Bowl title.

The next season, the Raiders traveled to Pittsburgh and defeated the Steelers, 16-7, September 25, 1977. Errol Mann kicked 3 field goals, and the Raiders picked off Terry Bradshaw 3 times.

In 1980, the Raiders won a Monday Night Football thriller October 20 in Pittsburgh, 45-34. Jim Plunkett threw for 247 yards and 3 TDs in this see-saw battle. The Raiders would go on to win the Super Bowl.

In 1981, the Raiders won another nip and tuck game against the Steelers, 30-27, December 7 in Oakland. Marc Wilson threw for 275 yards and 2 TDs, and Kenny King ran for 102 yards on just 11 carries. Ted Watts returned a punt for a TD for the Raiders.

The first meeting in Los Angeles for these teams came on New Year’s Day 1984. The Raiders topped the Steelers 38-10 in an AFC Divisional Playoff en route to a third Super Bowl title. Marcus Allen ran for 121 yards and 2 TDs.

The Steelers and Raiders met in Los Angeles for the second time December 16, 1984, as the Steelers topped the defending Super Bowl Champs, 13-7 as a Raiders 4th quarter rally fell short. Walter Abercrombie paced the Steelers with 111 yards on the ground and Marcus Allen was held to 38 yards rushing.

The Raiders dominated the next meeting, also in LA, 20-3, September 23, 1990. WR Mervyn Fernandez caught 5 passes for 130 yards including a 66-yard TD strike from QB Jay Schroeder.

Four years later, the Steelers traveled to LA and dropped the Raiders 21-3, on November 27. The Steelers outgained the Raiders 306-179 in this one.

The series returned to Oakland in 1995 and the Steelers won 29-10, on December 10. The Steelers picked off QB Billy Joe Hobert 4 times. However, the Steelers have not won in Oakland since.

The Steelers won the final meeting at Three Rivers Stadium, 21-20, on December 3, 2000. QB Rich Gannon threw for 273 yards in a losing effort. WR Tim Brown caught 7 passes for 99 yards.

The Raiders took it to the Steelers in their first appearance at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, 30-17, on September 15, 2002, in a Prime Time match-up. Gannon threw for 403 yards and RB Terry Kirby returned a kickoff for a touchdown. WR Jerry Rice caught 11 passes for 94 yards.

The Raiders fell to the Steelers 27-7 on December 7, 2003. The Raiders jumped out to a 7-0 lead but 2 QB Rick Mirer interceptions and RB Jerome Bettis’ 106 yards on the ground were too much to overcome.

On opening day the next season, September 12, 2004, the Steelers held off a Raiders rally and won 24-21. K Jeff Reed hit a game-winning 42-yard field goal. Gannon threw for 305 yards and 2 TDs.

In 2006, the Raiders hosted the defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers and defeated them, 20-13, on October 29. CB Chris Carr returned an interception for 100 yards and a score to spark the win. The Raiders recorded a total of 4 INTs on the day.

On December 6, 2009, the Raiders traveled to Pittsburgh and defeated the Steelers 27-24 in a storybook thriller. Pittsburgh-native Bruce Gradkowski tossed 3 TD passes in the 4th quarter, including the game-winner to WR Louis Murphy in the waning seconds.

The next meeting – in Pittsburgh – was dominated by the Steelers, 35-3, on November 21, 2010. Gradkowski couldn’t duplicate the previous year’s magic as he came off the bench and threw for 98 yards and an INT in relief of Jason Campbell. Ben Roethlisberger tossed 3 TD passes for the Steelers.

The Steelers traveled to Oakland last year on September 23, 2012, and the two long-time rivals did not disappoint. The Raiders defeated the Steelers on a last-second, 43-yard, K Sebastian Janikowski field goal. RB Darren McFadden rushed for 113 yards including a 64-yard TD run.

The two teams will meet again at O.co Coliseum, October 27, 2013.


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GoPro Parachute Team to Put on a Show

Posted by Jerry Knaak on September 28, 2013 – 12:07 pm

Marshall Miller, Jesse Hall and Neil Amonson of GoPro's Bomb Squad plan out their jump at O.co Coliseum.

Marshall Miller, Jesse Hall and Neil Amonson of GoPro’s Bomb Squad plan out their jump at O.co Coliseum.

During pregame ceremonies tomorrow, the Raider Nation will want to turn their eyes skyward. Weather permitting, the GoPro Bomb Squad will be parachuting into O.co Coliseum prior to the game between the Oakland Raiders and the Washington Redskins.

GoPro’s precision parachute team will deliver the game ball to a special guest who just happens to be a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist.

Kickoff is set for 1:25 p.m. PT on FOX.

Here is some info on the jumpers, courtesy of GoPro.

Marshall Miller

Before Marshall Miller was a world-class paraglider pilot, ski BASE jumper, and PRO-rated skydiver traveling the world in search of new unique places to take to the skies, he was an adventurous kid living with a prominent family at the mouth of Utah’s American Fork Canyon. Marshall’s father is legendary rock climber Kim Miller — so, in Marshall’s family, high-risk activities were a part of normal life. Kim taught Marshall mountain edict from a very early age, engendering a lifelong love and respect for the mountains, and Marshall himself went on to scale the infamous Swiss Matterhorn as an adult.

Jesse Hall

Jesse Hall’s childhood in the rustic foothill town of Niwot, CO was spent on the mountain — after all, he was skiing and rock climbing almost from day one. A professional big mountain skier from an early age, Jesse’s prodigious skill on skis took him to the top of the podium in the 2005 North American Extreme skiing championships in Crested Butte, CO, and to third place the following year. Jesse has logged more than 1250 BASE jumps. He nabbed 1st place in Norway for the international 2011 ProBASE tracking race, and has enjoyed a decade-long skydiving career. Jesse is also an aspiring paraglider and speed flier.

Neil Amonson

Born in New Jersey, Neil Amonson took to the skies as soon as he left home. Amonson entered the US Air Force right out of high school, serving in some of the most remote and dangerous parts of the world. Neil’s first taste of flight was a military freefall course — the rest, as they say, is history. He is a certified air traffic controller, and holds a BS in Professional Aeronautics (with a minor in Security and Intelligence) from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Neil’s decade of parachuting experience spans the entire range of airports — skydiving, BASE jumping, wingsuiting, paragliding and speedflying — so it’s not surprising that he’s one of the winningest pilots on the planet. Neil took third place in the 2009 World BASE Race, third place in the 2011 PRObase tracking race, second place in the Voss Extreme Sports Week accuracy competition, and third in the 2011 World BASE Race. He’s currently working on several high-profile film projects and expanding the scope of the GoPro demonstration skydiving team.


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What to Look for in 2013 – Updated Once Again

Posted by Jerry Knaak on September 16, 2013 – 12:03 pm

Raiders RB Darren McFadden ran for 129 yards against Jacksonville.

Raiders RB Darren McFadden ran for 129 yards against Jacksonville.

RB Darren McFadden

McFadden was poised to crack the Raiders Top 10 All-Time Rushing list last year but he missed four games due to injury. He needs just 130 yards to pass Clarence Davis for 8th, 172 to move past Tyrone Wheatley, and 257 to vault over Pete Banaszak for 6th. If McFadden has a career year and gains 1,459 yards on the ground, he’ll move past Napoleon Kaufman and move into the 4th spot.

RB Rashad Jennings

Jennings now needs just 22 yards rushing to reach 1,000 for his career.

K Sebastian Janikowski

Janikowski, the Raiders all-time leading scorer and career leader in field goals and extra points made, now has scored 1,407 points. He is the 24th all-time scorer in NFL history and has a chance to move up to 19th this season. He has scored the 3rd most points among active players. Janikowski needs to play in just two more games to move into 2nd place all-time in games played in Raiders history with 208. P Ray Guy is currently 2nd with 207. WR Tim Brown played in 240 games with the Raiders.

WR Jacoby Ford

Ford needs just 181 kickoff return yards to pass Doug Gabriel for 8th place and 224 kickoff return yards to pass George Atkinson for 7th place in Raiders history. He has returned four kickoffs for touchdowns during his career.

DE Lamarr Houston

Houston needs six sacks to crack the Top 20 in Raiders team history.

FS Charles Woodson

Woodson needs six interceptions to tie Ed Reed for first on the interceptions list among all active players with 61, one interception touchdown to tie Rod Woodson for first on the all-time list of interception touchdowns with 12, and one defensive touchdown to tie Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper for the most defensive touchdowns in NFL history with 13.


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What to Look For in 2013 – Updated

Posted by Jerry Knaak on September 3, 2013 – 12:13 pm

RB Darren McFadden needs just 17 yards to move into 10th place in rushing in Raiders history.

RB Darren McFadden needs just 17 yards to move into 10th place in rushing in Raiders history.

With the Raiders regular season opener only five days away, it’s time to check out some things to look for this year.

RB Darren McFadden

McFadden was poised to crack the Raiders Top 10 All-Time Rushing list last year but he missed four games due to injury. He needs just 17 yards to pass Charlie Smith for 10th place, 36 yards to pass Justin Fargas for 9th, 307 to pass Clarence Davis for 8th, 349 to move past Tyrone Wheatley, and 434 to vault over Pete Banaszak for 6th. If McFadden has a career year and gains 1,459 yards on the ground, he’ll move past Napoleon Kaufman and move into the 4th spot.

RB Rashad Jennings

Jennings needs just 56 yards rushing to reach 1,000 for his career.

LS Jon Condo

Two-time Pro Bowl long-snapper Jon Condo has been durable during his time with the Raiders. His absence was felt during the Raiders 2012 opener when he had to leave the game due to injury. Condo was able to return the next week. He has played in all 96 possible games since joining the Raiders after playing in just three for the Dallas Cowboys in 2005. His next game will be the 100th of his career.

DE Lamarr Houston

Houston was selected in the 2nd round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Since then he has played in 48 games with 44 starts. Week 2 of the 2013 season, the Raiders home opener against Jacksonville, will mark the 50th game of Houston’s young career.

K Sebastian Janikowski

Janikowski, the Raiders all-time leading scorer and career leader in field goals and extra points made, needs just 11 points to reach 1,400 points scored. He is the 24th all-time scorer in NFL history and has a chance to move up to 19th this season. He has scored the 5th most points among active players. Janikowski needs to play in just four games to move into 2nd place all-time in games played in Raiders history with 208. P Ray Guy is currently 2nd with 207. WR Tim Brown played in 240 games with the Raiders.

WR Jacoby Ford

Ford needs just 230 kickoff return yards to pass Doug Gabriel for 8th place and 273 kickoff return yards to pass George Atkinson for 7th place in Raiders history. He has returned four kickoffs for touchdowns during his career.


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Final 2013 Training Camp Notebook

Posted by Rebecca Corman on August 21, 2013 – 5:28 pm

The wide receivers wrap camp. Photo by Tony Gonzales

The wide receivers wrap camp. Photo by Tony Gonzales

The Oakland Raiders held their final practice of Training Camp 2013, presented by California National Guard, in Napa Wednesday.

Head Coach Dennis Allen summed up training camp in a post-practice press conference. “I think it was a good camp. I thought our guys came out here and worked, and I thought we got better. I thought we had a good evaluation of what we have here in this camp right now and we’re going to continue to do everything we can right now to try to improve this football team. It was a good camp. We’re ready to break and get back to Alameda and get back to kind of a more normal, everyday type of routine.”

Coach Allen believes his team competed and made the best of their time at the Raiders Napa Valley Training Complex.  “I think when you watch practice, I thought the guys competed. I thought they worked extremely hard,” said Coach Allen. “I thought there were days, obviously, where one side of the ball got the better side of the other and that’s the way you want it. You don’t want it to be totally one-sided. That’s our goal, to continue to go out and improve every day. It’s a long season and we have to just focus on one day at a time and getting better every day.”

Now the squad will return to Alameda for a Thursday walk-through before taking on the Chicago Bears at O.co Coliseum Friday night.

Thank you for following our training camp coverage on Raiders.com. Don’t go anywhere – we’ll have plenty of coverage of the 2013 campaign each and every day.


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2013 Training Camp Notebook Day 18

Posted by Jerry Knaak on August 20, 2013 – 8:26 pm

Khalif Barnes

Raiders T Khalif Barnes (69) prepares to lock horns with DE Andre Carter. Photo By Tony Gonzales.

The Oakland Raiders hit the field Tuesday for their penultimate practice of Training Camp 2013, presented by California National Guard. The temperature in Napa has increased during the course of the past week, but the Raiders have been pushing through the heat and are avoiding the malaise that can come with four weeks of intense training away from home.

Head Coach Dennis Allen says the energy level, the enthusiasm and work ethic have remained throughout.

“I thought it was pretty good; I thought we had a pretty crisp practice today. I thought the guys got after it,” Coach Allen said. “I think the guys have continued to work throughout training camp.”

For veterans like T Khalif Barnes, pushing through the grind of training camp and working toward the end result is what being a professional football player is all about.

“You just got to. It’s part of what we do. Dog days, you have to get through them,” Barnes said. “You try not to survive them, you try to get better as you go on. It kind of simulates the fourth quarter or the end of the season. You try to train your mind to push. That’s what I try to kind of use it for.”

For a rookie like defensive back Chance Casey, the training camp experience is different than the college football season preparation. One of the main differences is Casey is able to concentrate solely on football and not a class schedule.

“Honestly, I’m just excited to be here. It’s an awesome opportunity. I’m blessed to be here,” Casey said. “It’s different. College, there’s school involved. Here it’s football all day. I was sitting in meetings one day and I thought to myself, ‘this is all I’m doing today is football.’”

Many players on the Raiders roster have played their college football or started their pro careers in warmer, more humid climates. Casey says the weather is just another one of those elements you have to push through.

“First of all, coming out here playing a game that you love, it should never be much of a thought that you have to push yourself,” Casey said. “You should be out here having fun, flying around. Regardless of that, we had Teddy Atlas come in. He spoke to us and he gave us a speech talking about there’s this dark room that you don’t want to go in to. When [people] give up they go into this dark room. We’re trying to stay away from that, just fly around, be fast and compete.”

The Raiders will get a chance to compete in a game again this Friday night as they host the Chicago Bears in Preseason Week 3 action. Barnes says the Bears will present a tough, physical challenge.

“They’re a good team, they’re a good defense, they play well, they swarm to the ball, their front is active,” Barnes said. “But, they also have to play us too. We have to make sure we match their intensity and we have to come prepared and worry about what we control. If we do that we’ll be fine.”

The Raiders conclude Training Camp 2013 with a final practice at their Napa Valley Training Complex tomorrow morning. After a walk-through Thursday at the team’s Alameda facility, the Silver and Black will return to O.co Coliseum in Oakland to face the Bears Friday night.


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2013 Training Camp Notebook Day 17

Posted by Rebecca Corman on August 19, 2013 – 5:28 pm

WR Jacoby Ford returned to practice. Photo by Tony Gonzales

WR Jacoby Ford returned to practice after battling a hamstring injury. Photo by Tony Gonzales

 

The Oakland Raiders took the field Monday for a padded practice at their Napa Valley Training Complex as training camp, presented by California National Guard, continues. The team is in regular season mode and spent much of practice replicating looks from the Chicago Bears in order to prepare for Friday’s match-up.

There were a handful of players who did not participate in Monday’s practice – WR Juron Criner, DT Pat Sims, RB Latavius Murray, DE Brandon Bair, CB Tracy Porter, T Menelik Watson, LB Kevin Burnett and SS Tyvon Branch.

G Mike Brisiel, DT Vance Walker, CB Chimdi Chekwa and WR Jacoby Ford returned to the field, after missing time with various injuries.

Head Coach Dennis Allen felt good with what he saw out of Walker and Ford, who had both been out for an extended period of time. “I thought [Walker] looked fine. I thought he looked well,” said Coach Allen. “We’re trying to ease him back into it, and I thought for his first day back, he did some good things.

“First day back,” said Ford. “It felt good to get back out there. Just kind of took my time this time coming back. I felt good, [hamstring] didn’t grab or anything. It definitely was a positive day for me.”

Ford battled a hamstring injury at the beginning of camp and had tried to come back to practice earlier. “It was the same thing [earlier in camp],” said Ford. “I just kind of came back probably a little too quick. I just wasn’t ready. It just kind of tightened up on me again. They just kind of rested me a little bit, for precautions.”

Ford feels fresh and ready to go. “[My speed and burst are] definitely back,” he said. “Before it was kind of hard to accelerate and I was probably a little bit more timid. Now I am 100 percent just full go.”

CB DJ Hayden participated in his first padded practice without a red jersey. “It went good. Felt like a normal practice to me,” said Hayden. “It feels good to be normal again. I’m excited.”

He recorded an interception early in practice. “I thought he competed today. I think we’re all anxious to see, and I think he’s anxious to see, what it’s like when he gets out there in game action,” said Coach Allen.

Coach Allen said Hayden will start this Friday against the Chicago Bears. “I anticipate him going out there; he’ll start in the game,” said Coach Allen. “We’ll see how he is on a football-shape standpoint and see what all he can do.”

The preseason game will be good for Hayden as he continues to transition into professional football. “I feel like I’m transitioning well,” said Hayden. “I feel like I’m still in the process of just knowing where all my help is, but I feel like I’m adjusting pretty well. I’m still learning, still trying to get better.”

Practice was highlighted by a couple of nice, deep throws by QB Terrelle Pryor. WR Denarius Moore also showcased some catches over the middle in traffic.

The team will take the field tomorrow for their penultimate practice at the Raiders Napa Valley Training Complex. Catch all the action on Raiders.com, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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2013 Training Camp Notebook Day 16

Posted by Rebecca Corman on August 18, 2013 – 6:59 pm

DE Ryan Robinson faces off with T Willie Smith. Photo by Tony Gonzales

DE Ryan Robinson faces off with T Willie Smith. Photo by Tony Gonzales

The Oakland Raiders took the field for the first practice since Friday’s 28-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Silver and Black began a regular season practice schedule and will start game-planning for the Chicago Bears tomorrow.

Rookie CB DJ Hayden practiced today without the red jersey. He is fully cleared for contact and will have an opportunity to go to work when the team wears pads Monday morning. Hayden is excited to finally get a chance to play in an NFL game. “Looking forward to my first NFL game,” said Hayden. “I can’t wait to get out there and play.”

Today, the team worked on correcting mistakes from the Saints game. Preseason games are an opportunity to recognize the issues and get them fixed before the regular season.

“Well that’s part of what these preseason games are all about – you need to get the experience,” said Head Coach Dennis Allen. “You need to see guys in game situations and see how they respond. It’s all part of the evaluation process. Just like everything you do, we take that game and learn from it. We correct the mistakes and move forward to Chicago.”

Rookie WR Brice Butler led the team with 3 catches for 38 yards. Despite his successes, he also recognizes where he needs to improve in order to help the team. “I honestly did have a false start penalty I think on the second drive and that kind of started a trend of false starting penalties,” said Butler. “For me, that weighs more than having more catches than everybody because, at the end of the day, we did lose the game. Even though you want to do well for yourself and all that, you also want to do everything else, so it doesn’t have to do with catches all the time. Sometimes it might be a big block, sometimes it might just be doing your assignment, so just have to keep working.”

That team-first mentality permeates the whole squad. “It has to be that way to change our team from where we were last year to where we want to be, that’s what it’s going to have to take,” said Butler. “It can’t be a team full of individuals. It’s going to have to be everybody individually working towards one team goal. So that’s the plan this year so we have to keep going.”

DE David Bass had a big play for the Raiders that led to a touchdown. His sack of Saints QB Seneca Wallace caused a fumble resulting in a scoop and score by rookie DE Ryan Robinson. “It’s definitely a confidence booster,” said Bass. “Getting sacks in this league is not easy and especially getting a sack and a forced fumble. Just sticking my arm out, swatting at the quarterback’s arm has become a habit, so I did it and the ball actually came out. That felt real good for me. Then Ryan was right there to scoop and score so he got his first touchdown of his career.”

LB Kaelin Burnett. Photo by Tony Gonzales

LB Kaelin Burnett. Photo by Tony Gonzales

Robinson could hardly believe he scored an NFL touchdown. “Yeah, it was kind of unreal. When I scored, I didn’t know what to do,” said Robinson. “I didn’t know how to react, but I feel like that’s just a bigger stepping stone for me to make more plays on the road and show what I can do. It was just a fun experience. I didn’t know where the ball was, I saw it, picked it up and just got really happy. I was excited that Bass made the play, a fellow rookie. I was just really excited.”

All three rookies are seeing improvements in their play each preseason game and each training camp practice. “I did a lot better from the first game, but at the same time, I still have mistakes to correct,” said Bass. “I’m trying to get better every day, but I can tell I was flying around, getting out of the stack and making plays and holding my own out there, so I felt like I did good.”

LB Kaelin Burnett, in his second season, led the Raiders in tackles against the Saints. “It felt great,” said Burnett. “Just felt like my number was called and I just had to step up and go out there and do what I have to do.”

Burnett is also seeing personal day-to-day improvement. “I watched the game and I could just see the improvement from OTAs, mini-camp and to now,” said Burnett. “I’m out there being way more physical, getting off blocks and I feel like I’m doing what they ask me to do now.”

His progress began during his time on the Raiders practice squad. “From practice squad, they just developed me and I feel like I’m picking up the game and reacting faster and everything,” said Burnett. “More film study and I feel like I’m actually adapting to the game, the speed, everything.”

Undrafted rookie free agent WR Conner Vernon had some playing time against the Saints as well and recorded one catch for 5 yards. After overcoming an injury early in camp, Vernon is enjoying playing under the lights.

“It was great,” said Vernon on his experience at the Superdome. “Obviously, the reality of it, living out your dream, playing in the NFL, putting on that uniform and just walking into that stadium, it’s quite the experience. It’s the best job in the world. There’s nothing else I could see myself doing right now and it was great. It was just an awesome feeling.”

Now the Raiders begin preparing for their third preseason opponent, the Chicago Bears.

Today’s practice set the tone for the week. “Obviously we have to clean up some stuff, but there’s definitely a lot of good plays out there,” said Vernon. “I’m sure once we see the tape there will be more plays that show up that we’ll look to and definitely going to be some mistakes we have to correct. It’s definitely a good step forward in preparation for the Bears.”

“Guys came out fast and ready to practice, ready to play, treating it like a real game and preparing ourselves for the game this weekend,” added Robinson.

The Raiders will take the field late morning for their Monday practice. Log on to Raiders.com, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for complete coverage.


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2013 Training Camp Notebook Day 15

Posted by Jerry Knaak on August 14, 2013 – 1:55 pm

LT Jared Veldheer (68) protects QB Matt Flynn's blindside during the Raiders 19-17 over the Dallas Cowboys. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

LT Jared Veldheer (68) protects QB Matt Flynn’s blindside during the Raiders 19-17 over the Dallas Cowboys. Photo by Tony Gonzales.

The Oakland Raiders hit the field at their Napa Valley Training complex for their 15th training camp practice, presented by California National Guard, Wednesday morning. Head Coach Dennis Allen spoke to the media after practice and delivered bad news regarding starting LT Jared Veldheer.

“Jared Veldheer, he’s got a torn tricep, we’re going to do the surgery on Jared Veldheer. He’ll be a candidate for [Injured Reserve/Designated for Return],” Coach Allen said. “It’s a disappointment, it’s a disappointment for all of us. We’re going to play 16 games this year, the mentality in the NFL and the teams that are able to push through those things mentally, those are the teams that have success. Everybody’s got injuries. That’s one we’re going to have to deal with.”

T Alex Barron, who joined the Raiders March 26, has been tapped to move into Veldheer’s spot.

“Alex Barron will go in at left tackle to start off with,” Coach Allen added. “Anytime somebody goes down, it’s an opportunity for somebody else. It’ll be a great opportunity for him and we’ll see what he does with it.”

Barron was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Florida State by the St. Louis Rams. He has played in 87 games with 75 starts.

“First and foremost, it’s tough when you get an injury; I talked to [Veldheer]. Unfortunately, he had been doing good and having good practices. Everybody was gelling as an offensive live,” Barron said. “When you got one guy go down, it’s tough on the unit, tough on the team, but everybody has to step it up all around, myself included. We have to bring it together and become even tighter. “

Barron says that although he and his teammates feel bad and are disappointed for Veldheer, he sees this as his opportunity to step up.

“Our prayers are with him and hope for a speedy recovery,” Barron said. “Every day I am just out here trying to hone in on the technique, hone in on the things I need to work on to become a better player overall. Of course it’s an opportunity. First and foremost, it’s an opportunity to be here period. It’s another opportunity to go up on the chart and help the team the best I can.”

QB Matt Flynn , a right-handed quarterback who relies on the left tackle to protect his blind side, says, “He’s tough to lose, but we have to keep going forward. Guys behind him have to step up and the mark of a good team is when one person goes down, someone steps in and you don’t notice it. So we’re going to try to get that done. The good thing is we have time right now. We’ve got time to get someone settled in and start building that chemistry with the right guard, center, and everything.”

T Khalif Barnes, who mans the opposite tackle spot, added, “It’s a real big blow. Jared Veldheer is a big part of our line. He’s a good guy. He comes to work every day, never hear him complaining, just goes in tries to get his job done. He just tries to perfect his craft every day before and after practice. He’s a good part of our team, good leader of our team, and it just sucks for him. I know what he’s going through.”

Third-year center Stefen Wisniewski says that despite the setback, the Raiders have time to work Barron in at the left tackle spot. “It’s a little different because some things kind of get to the point where they’re understood between two guys and you don’t really need a lot of communication and then when you got a new guy you kind of need to communicate a little more,” Wisniewski said. “That’s tough because you have to start from square one a little bit with new guys. We have a little bit of time here with new guys to get some work in. We certainly have to hurry because the season is getting closer.”

The Raiders will have a light practice tomorrow in Napa before heading to the Oakland Airport for the flight to New Orleans. The Raiders take on the Saints in preseason action Friday night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Flynn, who played his college football at LSU, is looking forward to the trip. “I always look forward to going to Louisiana. It’s kind of my home in the off-season so probably I will have a lot of friends there,” Flynn said.

This will be the first time the Raiders have ever played the Saints in New Orleans in the preseason.


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2013 Training Camp Notebook Day 14

Posted by Rebecca Corman on August 13, 2013 – 9:25 pm

Bowling champion TE David Ausberry. Photo by Tony Gonzales

Bowling champion TE David Ausberry. Photo by Tony Gonzales

The Oakland Raiders held their 14th practice of Training Camp 2013, presented by California National Guard, Tuesday afternoon. DE Lamarr Houston, LB Billy Boyko, and FS Charles Woodson (day off) returned to practice as the team prepares for Friday’s match-up with the New Orleans Saints.

Yesterday, the players were 13 practices and one preseason game into camp. Head Coach Dennis Allen, recognizing the mid-camp exhaustion, scheduled a team-outing to a local bowling alley. “Coach realized we’ve been in camp for a couple weeks now and he didn’t want us to lose focus,” said WR Josh Cribbs. “He wanted to give us a night off to show us like, ‘hey, I’m not all whistles and chalkboard and on the field.’ I think we needed that.”

The offense was pitted against the defense. Not only was the bowling competition about pride, but there was a prize involved. The winning squad won a steak and lobster dinner, while the losing team was stuck with create-your-own sandwiches.

The offense won and apparently it wasn’t even close.

“It’s obvious to me that the offense is better than the defense,” said Coach Allen on the Raiders bowling skills.

The offense’s win was crucial for Cribbs. “Yes, we did win. I knew we were going to win anyway, but it felt great because we get a decent meal and not just a gourmet sandwich,” he said. “We need a lot to eat to refill our bodies and a sandwich isn’t going to do it. If we have to win another game of bowling to get it again, then so be it.”

The players were determined to win once they heard about the competition. “That was the goal,” said Ausberry, who bowled a team-high 194. “The offense, we always try to take over. Got a chance and we took advantage of it. We’re athletes so we want to compete and anything offense versus defense is going to be fun.”

LB Sio Moore, a member of the losing bowling squad. Photo by Tony Gonzales

LB Sio Moore, a member of the losing bowling squad. Photo by Tony Gonzales

The defense had a different explanation for the offense’s win. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I have no idea what you’re talking about,” said S Reggie Smith on the loss. “I think somebody messed up the counting. They just gave it to them, so I don’t know.”

LB Sio Moore had a different explanation for the loss. “Yeah, so what ended up happening was the defense, we decided we didn’t want steak and lobster, we wanted a sandwich,” said Moore. “We’re blue [collar] guys and gave the offense the steak and lobster…We took the ‘L’ so we’ll have sandwiches tonight but it’s all good.”

Both sides of the ball were able to laugh about the win and loss and they were also able to appreciate Coach Allen allowing them a night away from training camp. “You know what, it was needed,” said Smith. “I don’t think anybody was looking forward to the night meetings yesterday so it was really good to get out there and have some fun, get out there and bowl.”

The timing of bowling night was perfect for the team. “It was really important. It’s sluggish,” said Cribbs. “I think we needed that. I feel like we had a really good practice today. We showed coach that given a day off we can make the most of it.”

Cancelling evening meetings and doing something fun revitalized the squad. “It was good just to get away from the camp scene for a little bit and just hang out with your boys,” said Ausberry. “We’re out here every day grinding so any chance you get to bond with your teammates and get out of your element a little bit, it’s pretty good for the team. All that team cohesion is really good.”

Team bonding is important for success on the field and the bowling night was a great way to build that camaraderie.

“It’s everything. How we know each other off the field helps on the field being able to work with each other,” said Moore. “Having more and more opportunities allows us to be a family. That’s just how it is when we’re out here – we’re a family, together.”

Cribbs believes camaraderie is extremely important. “When you have that bond with a guy, you tend to fight harder for him because you don’t want to let him down,” explained Cribbs. “When a guy doesn’t mean that much to you, you go out there and do whatever and not even care. But that camaraderie, it builds confidence within the players, and it builds dependability. When a guy can be dependable to another that’s one of the greatest things you can have on a football team.”

Bowling night was a success for the entire team, although more so for the offense.

It was also successful for Raiders.com, who was championed by the offense. The steak, lobster, and strawberry shortcake were excellent. Thanks guys!


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