Jones ready to bust out in second season


Running back Taiwan Jones touched the ball 18 times in the 10 regular-season games he played in 2011. Now that backup back Michael Bush is gone and Jones is healthy, combined with a new offensive scheme, Jones said he expects to see quite a bit more action.
“Just from hearing (coach) Dennis Allen talk, he wants to run the ball,” Jones said soon after his arrival at training camp in Napa on Saturday. “And the offense that we’ve got installed, they’ve got a lot of run game, so I believe there will be more than one running back getting touches.”
Last season, it was Darren McFadden doing most of the touching of the ball last season, at least until he suffered a season-ending foot injury. From there, the workload fell upon Bush.
McFadden is healthy once again, and he no doubt will resume the role as the lead back. One of the burning questions that needs answering during training camp is whether Jones or recently acquired back Mike Goodson is next in line.
Jones arrived in tip-top shape, weighing about the same as he did last season (198 pounds) and fresh from an offseason spent working out with personal trainer Terrell Gaines in Los Angeles.
Jones said he isn’t taking any chances after missing considerable time in training camp last year and the final six regular-season games with a hamstring injury.
“You’ve got to know to listen to your body and also eating right and stretching and taking care of yourself, as far as massages and doing ice baths and things like that,” Jones said.
As for the conversion to the zone-blocking scheme, Jones said that fits his game well, given he likes to make one cut, get into the open field and let his speed take over.
“Yeah, most definitely,” Jones said. “That’s a big part of my game is the one cut and go. Everybody knows that I’m a speed guy and I’m able to stop on the go and change direction, so this plays well for me.”
For now, Goodson and Jones are competing for the vacancy created by the departure of Bush in free agency. How well they fare in camp and Oakland’s four exhibition games will be the determining factors.
Jones said he is ready to assert himself and show people why the Raiders selected him in the 2011 NFL draft.
“When Michael Bush left, I felt like there was more demand on me needing to step up to help this offense,” Jones said.

In a vast departure from the past several decades, the Raiders handed out media guides on the first day of training camp.
Of particular ntoe, the media guide features colors other than black, silver and white for the first time. In short, it’s an impressive guide.
Also, no mention of past catchphrases such as “commitment to excellence” and “the greatness of the Raiders.” Instead, in block letters on page 6 is the motto: “THE FUTURE IS NOW. A NEW ERA OF EXCELLENCE.”
To realize how much things have changed in one year, this is the first training camp in a long, long time without the likes of late owner Al Davis and senior executive John Herrera, as well as the addition of a media tent on the field.
It’s all part of the Raiders massive effort to overhaul the organization. So far, all the changes appear positive and paint the Raiders in a positive light.
Numerous national media have commented on how refreshing the changes are.
Thinking back to last year at this time, it does seem rather stunning how much things have changed.
Mark Davis is the owner, Allen the coach, Jason Tarver the defensive coordinator, Greg Knapp the offensive coordinator, Carson Palmer the quarterback and the roster chock full of new faces.

The coaches went through a walk-through on the fields Saturday afternoon, getting a feel for the layout and the environs that they will call home for the next three weeks or so.
The players won’t hit the fields until Sunday, when they will be put through a conditioning test. The first practice is Monday. The first padded practice isn’t scheduled until Wednesday.
Coach Allen will speak with the media for the first time in Napa on Sunday afternoon.

Right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes said he knew two weeks ago that assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewksi wasn’t sticking around this season.
On Thursday, the Raiders announced Wisniewski’s resignation because of “personal reasons.”
Left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer said he intends to keep in touch with Wisniewski, who was a huge influence on his career.
“He was a big help,” Veldheer said. “I was able to learn a lot of little technique things, and he was able to help me a lot. So, I’d like to maintain that relationship with him because I know he’s still in the area. Obviously, he helped, and now, for whatever reasons, had to step away from it. We all wish him the best, and we’re going to move on with what’s to be had now.”
Barnes said he gleaned quite a bit from his time learning from Wisniewski.
“he texted me a couple of weeks ago, and I was surprised to hear it,” Barnes said. “He wished me all the best. I wished him all the best. Wiz, I know he was special to me. When he first came in, he gave me some of his 13 years of experience and knowledge, and how it was to be in the trenches.
“I don’t think anyone did it better to him when he was with the Raiders. Talk to some old defensive players, and they’ll tell you they didn’t like to play against that guy at all. He was rough in there. I wish him all the best and I hope to see him around from time to time.”
Veldheer said the Raiders offensive line remains in capable hands with Frank Pollack at the helm.
“I’m really excited to continue to work with him through the summer here and get ready for the season,” Veldheer said. “He’s helped us out with a bunch of stuff. As far as breaking it down in the classroom and on the field, he’s been great.”
As for life without Al Davis, Veldheer said the goal that Davis set each year remains the same.
“It’s probably going to be a little different (without Davis around),” Velhdeer said. “That’s to be expected, I suppose. But, we’re moving forward and moving in the right direction and, obviously, going for a championship.”

Raiders fifth-round draft pick Juron Criner is one of only three draftees leaguewide that remain unsigned. The two others also are wide receivers. One important difference, though: Justin Blackmon (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Kendall Wright (Tennessee Titans) were selected in the first round.
As mentioned earlier, ESPN reported that Criner and the Raiders are $14,000 apart in the signing bonus portion of Criner’s contract negotiations.
Criner has until Sunday morning to report. If he fails to report by that time, then he is considered a holdout of sorts. Difficult to say a player is holding out if he doesn’t have a contract but, in essence, that’s what it amounts to.

With the new Collective Bargaining Agreement limiting teams to one padded practice per day, there’s a premium on getting as much out of that practice as possible.
Defensive lineman Dave Tollefson ought to know what it takes to be successful. He arrives after a five-year stint with the New York Giants in which he earned two Super Bowl rings.
“It’s on us,” Tollefson said. “It’s not on coach (Allen), it’s up to the players to enforce that amongst ourselves that work is being done and we’re getting better because now, more than ever, a wasted day can hurt you. You’ve got to take advantage of every single day you have on the field, whether that’s a walk-through or a padded practice. Obviously, the walk-throughs become exponentially more important now than ever so you’ve got to make sure you take advantage of that.”

Quote of the day: “I kind of am what I usually am. I probably dropped a few. What are you saying, do I look good? — Barnes, when asked if he lost any weight during the offseason


Steve Corkran

  • gogo0

    really? so none of you would fight for $14k, especially when precedents have already been set by other teams?

    sure he will get paid huge bucks to play a game; of course that is ridiculous, but dont pretend that $14k is pocket change and that in the same situation you would sign on the dotted line in its absence as though you were capitulating for a $4 phantom drink at the bar.

  • raidertbone

    Training camp hasn’t started yet, so (technically) the Criner “holdout” is not really an issue – yet. Now, once camp rolls around, if Criner continues to remain unsigned, then he’s banking on what the team saw in him during OTA’s (in my book, the equivalent to what everyone saw of Bruce Campbell during the combines a couple of years ago). If the Raiders had to pin their hopes for the season on an unproven 5th Round pick who is squabbling over a mere $14,000 instead of paying his dues and earning a spot on the squad, then – well, ’nuff said!

  • raidertbone

    I will also say that Criner has now created a real pressure-cooker of a situation for himself. Just by coming into camp, he becomes the “holdout kid”, if for nothing more than a simple hazing joke; but not really, because then he would have to actually make the team – quite a few third and fourth round receivers out there who will be available, come cuts. And if he doesn’t sign – well, then he just becomes the laughingstock of the NFL — that’s a lot of unnecessary pressure you throw upon yourself, if you ask me. This is what happens when your agent gets his law degree out of a cereal box!

  • Raider Riff

    I agree with Raider O. Pay Criner. It’sjust 14k. And lets not act like he hasnt played a down. He put in his years at college making millions for other people. He has every right to want to make as much as he can now.

    But it does scream of diva and possible future issues. He better realize that we could easily bring in another diva that we know will produce (TO) if he decides to hold out.

    Either way, this guy will be a problem down the road. Future trade bait if you ask me.

    Oh, and BTW, adding color to the media guide and removing the catch-phrases is lame IMO. Im not digging this “new era” crap at all. I preferred it when we treated the media like crap.

  • raidertbone

    Let’s just sit back and see what Criner does today … we’ll either be smiling that all our players are signed, or ROFLMAO!!!

  • Twinkle

    Hey Nation………..it’s time.
    my 2 cents worth on Mr Criner ………….we have a hell of a lot of receivers and OTA’s are not in pads.
    GM is sending the GB (small market team with not a lot of money) message to a low round draft pick.This guy would have to be better than our fullback to even get a look.Can’t blame Kelly for not wanting to play NT….he simply isn’t one…..dude is a damn good DT even if he is overpaid.That’s not his fault but a rookie NG in a 3-4?…..with a shortage of proven LB’s?….Who’s smoking what?

  • RaidingTexas

    $14,000? Are you f’in kidding me? Don’t tell me this kid is one of those prima donna receivers – a 5th round Crabtree.

  • missus beeecham

    holla dudes

  • RaidingTexas

    Raider Riff Says:

    I agree with Raider O. Pay Criner.


    That sets a bad precedent – for the Raiders and other teams. The guidelines are clear. He gets a $144,000 bonus. Nobody else seemed to want him before that 33rd pick in the 5th round, so he doesn’t exactly have any leverage.

    I’m guessing he doesn’t already have a lot of money on hand, so he’ll cave in. He doesn’t want to go a whole year without even base salary.

  • Twinkle

    simply sorting out the hay from the straw.I never want to see another R.Moss ever!!!but I guess it gives us something to talk about.

  • Twinkle


  • Just Fire Baby

    I get the feeling The Reggie isn’t one for a whole lot of negotiating.

    The first offer, is also the final offer.

  • So many experts on the Criner situation and yet he hasn’t played a single down for the Oakland Raiders.

    Love this blog!

  • What we should be focused on is Billy Beane dismantling the A’s or its infield until Halloween in Oaktown!

    C’mon Beane start your “rebuild”

  • Obviously another one of Seymour Bush’s alias’s. You finally hit the nail on the head OakGlenn!

    A Person In The Know Says:
    July 28th, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I have no credentials and I have no idea about anything in regard to footbal

  • DMAC in a boot yet?

  • DJ Johnny

    Another aspect of this I see is an agent that might be trying to make a bigger name for himself. He IS getting some press…and they say ANY press is good press. I never heard of Peter Schaffer until this.

    Maybe the guy is trying to show other players “Hey. I’ll fight for every single penny for you. 14k is still 14k and you guys deserve EVERY bit you can get”.

    Like Try Some Reality said, this may come back to bite this agent in the buttocks, but it may be Schaffer is just trying to make a name for himself.

  • DJ Johnny

    168.Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 7:43 am
    DMAC in a boot yet?

    Fair question.

  • If that’s what Schaffer is doing, it’s a dangerous game. Wait until he has a client drop in the first round because of “signability concerns.”

  • 168.Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 7:43 am
    DMAC in a boot yet?

    He will be ready Wednesday if there is a game Sunday.

  • DJ Johnny

    I love the vague reference to “a person in the know” saying he’s gonna sign and be there today.

    I don’t like that a 5th round draft pick wanting more money than what the CBA calls for is becoming the the Raiders’ 1st “distraction” of the season.

    On one hand I think “Geez Reggie; just give him the 14k and move on” but on the other hand why acquiesce to some punk azz 5th round wanna be diva who thinks cuz he made a few nice catches in a non padded practice he deserves to hold the Raiders hostage.

    I personally think he’s gonna be a stud though so at the end of the day…just get it done.

  • Little Ding- out 6-8 weeks minimum
    Big Ding-Live threatening ie. Al Davis

  • Correction:
    174.exlaraiderseasonticketholder Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 8:06 am
    Little Ding- out 6-8 weeks minimum
    Big Ding-Life threatening ie. Al Davis

  • TxRaider210

    Criner pulled his head out of his agent’s azz yet?lol

  • DJ Johnny

    Well, camp starts today with meetings etc. so the long wait is finally over.

    The only “drama” being this Criner issue to spoil the vibe a bit.

    If Criner signs and shows up in a limo with a white fur coat on…well at least it means he signed.

  • DJ Johnny

    176.TxRaider210 Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 8:15 am
    Criner pulled his head out of his agent’s azz yet?lol

    Not yet…but a “person in the know” says he’s fixin’ to sign and be there today.

  • TxRaider210

    DJ Johnny Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 8:17 am

    176.TxRaider210 Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 8:15 am
    Criner pulled his head out of his agent’s azz yet?lol

    Not yet…but a “person in the know” says he’s fixin’ to sign and be there today.
    Sweet, thanks for the update man. Still Reggie needs to make him do 200 extra push-ups for being a weiner.

  • DJ Johnny

    171.RaiderDuck Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 7:55 am
    If that’s what Schaffer is doing, it’s a dangerous game. Wait until he has a client drop in the first round because of “signability concerns.”

    Yeah. I think in the court of public opinion so far it’s he and Criner who look like the idiots.

  • TxRaider210

    When Criner shows up with his agent, Reg is going to show them the empty hour-glass on his desk and make the agent shine his shoes.

  • Intrepid

    That’s what I find odd about this. He’s not a newbie. Peter Schaffer 1997

    Made Barry Sanders highest paid player in NFL history.[3] Made Chad Brown the highest paid linebacker in NFL history.[4]

    Made Trevor Pryce the highest paid defensive player in NFL history.[5]

    Made Joe Thomas the highest paid offensive lineman in NFL history.[6]

  • TxRaider210

    Dang sounds like Schaffer has a good track record, maybe he’s having a mid-life crisis or just losing his marbles..

  • Intrepid

    But you’ve gotta love this from his agencys’ website, Authentic Athletix. “Record-setting, carefully negotiated contracts, individualized service, unparalleled connections, and the highest level of integrity.”

  • TxRaider210

    Hilarious!! Integrity is holding out over a rookie’s 14k, and a 6th rounder at that. lol

  • Nnamdi21

    What it do Nation?

    Heres the RNS Jones piece from 10 days ago…


    Love this kid


  • TxRaider210

    All I need to know is that Schaffer is a lawyer from Brooklyn Law School.lol

  • TxRaider210

    Thanks Nnamdi
    Good read, other than his laundry list of injuries.lol

  • Intrepid

    I read that camp officially starts at breakfast this morning, but couldn’t find out what time that is. Wonder if Criner can be considered late for camp and fined under new CBA, if he’s not signed.

  • TxRaider210

    I hope Criner gets fined 14k if he doesn’t show.

  • Intrepid

    165 49ers Darius Fleming LB $164,800
    166 Bengals Marvin Jones WR $162,800
    167 Bengals George Iloka S $160,300
    169 Ravens Asa Jackson CB $144,560
    170 Colts Vick Ballard RB $144,560
    171 Rams Greg Zuerlein K $128,820

  • Nnamdi21

    188. Have a good morning Tx!

    189. RNS says they are lining up to weigh n right now…that means breakfast afterward so probably less than a few hours tops.

  • Nnamdi21

    190. Exactly! Fire your agent Juron!

  • Nnamdi21

    191. Nice…Criner is no doubt a great prospect but not terribly bright it seems. Do the deal, add in a few more escalators and performance based escalators and lets GO!

  • TxRaider210

    Criner is only making LB’s and DB’s want to hit him harder, at this point.lol

  • Just Fire Baby

    169 Ravens Asa Jackson CB $144,560
    170 Colts Vick Ballard RB $144,560


    Both taken after Criner as sup picks, both signed that deal with no issues, almost 2 months ago.

    I can see Criner’s “point” more, if these two didn’t sign yet either, but he is the only one of the 33 sup picks taken this year, unsigned and pulling this charade.

  • TxRaider210

    Well JFB, finally case closed on this issue, Reg is right and Juron is Wrong!lol

  • Just Fire Baby

    Well JFB, finally case closed on this issue, Reg is right and Juron is Wrong!lol


    I think Criner will sign tomorrow morning, and miss one day of practice.

    Won’t be an issue come mid-season whatsoever, but WTF else are we going to talk about?

    Taiwan? The new media guide?


  • alf_capone

    I can see Criner’s “point” more, if these two didn’t sign yet either, but he is the only one of the 33 sup picks taken this year, unsigned and pulling this charade.


    i wouldnt sweat it…..he’ll be signed

  • Raider guy

    Regneeded this and he can’t back down. This is when he defines his method. The days of players dictating what’s up are over. More EVERY free agent that came in, except for benson, was signed. Reggie knows what he’s doing. Criner and his agent do not. If he is there at breakfast or not, he has already made a mistake.

  • What I see is a veteran Agent trying to work his way around the new CBA agreement, see how far he can take this issue not only for Criner but for future clients, he’s dealing with a rookie GM and probably testing Reggie’s negotiating skills as well.

    Juron Criner is caught in the middle and is probably enticed to get a few more bucks his way too, but he should give his Agent today to work it out or report on his own tomorrow, maybe not even dress for practice, just show up and prove he’s no head-case and get a new Agent and sign the contract so he’s ready to go on tuesday.

  • TxRaider210

    Note to Criner,
    Hey Juron, before this minor fiasco, I was highly considering purchasing your jersey this season. However, you’ve raised the bar on yourself, so I expect 800 yards and 8 TD’s this year, and maybe I’ll pick up the jersey next season.lol