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Jones ready to bust out in second season

By Steve Corkran
Saturday, July 28th, 2012 at 5:16 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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

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  • http://000 Bob Marley

    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

  • Intrepid

    Yeah, Marley, I was thinking that also. Possibly even an orchestrated test case. But why did they have to pick on the Raiders?

  • http://000 Bob Marley

    That’s if Criner and his advisors (I’m sure his Agent is not the only one who talks to him) are smart, that way he can still miss a day or two and blame it on Schaffer for bad advice so he won’t get the whole organization angry at him.

  • http://000 Bob Marley

    Intrepid Says:

    Yeah, Marley, I was thinking that also. Possibly even an orchestrated test case. But why did they have to pick on the Raiders?.

    —————————————————

    I don’t think Schaffer is picking on the Raiders, it just happens that Criner is his player and was picked by us, the other supplemental picks are not with him (I guess) and his Agents didn’t want any trouble or lacked the rep and guts to try to pull this move.

  • Try Some Reality

    Not a lot between the ears of this Criner kid. Letting his agent make a spectacle of him to set a new precedent.

  • Deja vu

    Great read Steve, keep em’ coming!

    This whole Criner situation is a lil overblown. I’m sure Criner will be in camp by Monday. His agent may have wanted to test Regg after dealing Murph and thinking we’re in need of WR’s. Technically we do need him. But if he’s not signed by the beginning of the week, Regg should bring in some FA Wr’s, Plax (if still available) or whoever for a work out and let Criners agent sweat it out over a few bucks.

    Sign the damn contract and get to work.

  • Try Some Reality

    Criner getting used like a puppet. What a clown.

  • Missus Beeecham

    HOLLA

    hope i aint to sick to make the practice tomorrow and see all the dudes. very sick today. too much party with my girlfreind. too much alchohol and sin.

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    From Twitter:

    Juron Criner
    Quick to judge but never went to #LawSkool smh
    less than 1 minute ago from Echofon

  • TxRaider210

    Side note to Criner before I head out for lunch
    Juron if the Nation gets wind that you wanted the 14k for any of the following:
    1) Multi-colored fur coat
    2) Lime green Gator boots
    3) Tag Heuer custom watch
    4) Custom grill from Paul Wall
    5) Season tix to board Beeecher’s Party Dude 8000

    ….we won’t be happy campers.lol

  • morilla

    RaiderDuck Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:37 am
    From Twitter:

    Juron Criner
    Quick to judge but never went to #LawSkool smh
    less than 1 minute ago from Echofon
    ———————

    Wow. He really isn’t doing himself any favors.

  • mcfadden20.

    Go Raiders! GO A’s! only an hour away from completing 3 game sweep .. Yah baby.. and Juron Criner get your ass in camp already .. you will get enough chances to make money when your contract is over

  • TxRaider210

    RaiderDuck Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    From Twitter:

    Juron Criner
    Quick to judge but never went to #LawSkool smh
    less than 1 minute ago from Echofon
    ——————
    Hey Criner, you didn’t even need a lawyer to work out that Rookie bonus mayne!!lmao

  • CanuckRaider

    Get a new agent Juron…Not a good way to start your pro career.

  • mcfadden20.

    Guys calm down , 12k isn’t that much they will work something out , and he will be in camp ready to explode on the scene

  • TxRaider210

    Brooklyn Law School told me all I needed to know about Schaffer…out to lunch gents will return later.

  • TxRaider210

    Reggie ain’t gonna pay Criner, so only thing to work out are his ego problems.imo

  • DJ Johnny

    210.RaiderDuck Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:37 am
    From Twitter:

    Juron Criner
    Quick to judge but never went to #LawSkool smh
    less than 1 minute ago from Echofon

    What does this mean?

  • mcfadden20.

    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Reggie ain’t gonna pay Criner, so only thing to work out are his ego problems.imo

    __

    Oh he will trust me , Reggie doesn’t want to be labeled as dysfunctional like the last guy that was in charge here (RIP) and 12 k is not much when you know what kinda player you’re getting .. He’s easily going to be one of the best rookie in this league when its all said and done

  • Just Fire Baby

    LOL at #LawSkool

    SMH at you Criner!!!!!

  • http://www.GodIsImaginary.com RaiderDuck

    Mcfadden20. Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:57 am
    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Reggie ain’t gonna pay Criner, so only thing to work out are his ego problems.imo

    __

    Oh he will trust me , Reggie doesn’t want to be labeled as dysfunctional like the last guy that was in charge here (RIP) and 12 k is not much when you know what kinda player you’re getting .. He’s easily going to be one of the best rookie in this league when its all said and done

    ==============================================

    No, he won’t pay him. Criner has two options:

    1) Show up and sign the Raiders’ reasonable offer, or
    2) Sit out the season.

    That’s it.

  • Just Fire Baby

    How can The Reggie play hard ball with guys like Bush, Branch, Wimbley and Routt, restructure Palmer and Carlisle, and then just fold to a 5th round sup pick, who is asking for more than the other 5th round sup picks?

    He HAS TO stand firm on this, and he will.

    The 14K has nothing to do with it. It don’t matter if it is 4K, 14K or 44K.

    It is the principle and integrity of the draft slotting system.

  • mcfadden20.

    Regarding the article , yes I believe Jones would be pretty good in this ZB Scheme, dude could cut and go the other way with the best of them

  • DJ Johnny

    I’d never heard of this Schaffer guy before. Guess he’s been around awhile and done some things.

    I’m sure he’s telling Criner “don’t worry, i got this”.

  • mcfadden20.

    RaiderDuck Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Mcfadden20. Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:57 am
    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Reggie ain’t gonna pay Criner, so only thing to work out are his ego problems.imo

    __

    Oh he will trust me , Reggie doesn’t want to be labeled as dysfunctional like the last guy that was in charge here (RIP) and 12 k is not much when you know what kinda player you’re getting .. He’s easily going to be one of the best rookie in this league when its all said and done

    ==============================================

    No, he won’t pay him. Criner has two options:

    1) Show up and sign the Raiders’ reasonable offer, or
    2) Sit out the season.

    That’s it.

    _____

    Yes i hope Raiders don’t give in , it just sets a bad example , whats going to happen next all the guys would just hold out for more money, but on the other hand i don’t want to see JC take this like an insult to the face and start acting like a child , so that’s why i don’t know .. lets see how this situation is played

  • morilla

    DJ Johnny Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:55 am
    210.RaiderDuck Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 9:37 am
    From Twitter:

    Juron Criner
    Quick to judge but never went to #LawSkool smh
    less than 1 minute ago from Echofon

    What does this mean?
    ——————-

    It means Criner is shooting his mouth of in a condescending manner. SMH stands for ” shake my head”.

    He’s basically calling out critics, media and fans and thinking they are idiots. I could understand this coming from Wallace or Moss. But not a 5th rounder. A very brash way of going about things.

  • Just Fire Baby

    but on the other hand i don’t want to see JC take this like an insult to the face and start acting like a child

    ***************************

    How is that our fault?

    If he takes one of the greatest moments and accomplishments of his life (getting drafted) and parlays that into some scenario where he feels insulted and acts like a child, that’s on him.

  • r8eray

    Vegas, how about them Dodgers?

    ;)

  • mcfadden20.

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    but on the other hand i don’t want to see JC take this like an insult to the face and start acting like a child

    ***************************

    How is that our fault?

    If he takes one of the greatest moments and accomplishments of his life (getting drafted) and parlays that into some scenario where he feels insulted and acts like a child, that’s on him.

    ___
    Yes, you’re right sometimes we just want the management to give in based on a guy’s potential but it is always team sport, and New England is a pretty good example of this

  • Just Fire Baby

    Zito looked great yesterday didn’t he,lol??

    I am hoping Voggy puts one in the ribcage for ‘ol HanRam today.

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Reg should bring in a few undrafted FA Wr’s today.

  • mcfadden20.

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Zito looked great yesterday didn’t he,lol??

    I am hoping Voggy puts one in the ribcage for ‘ol HanRam today.

    ___

    You guys are still paying him like 20M a year? how many more years does he have left on his contract?

  • Just Fire Baby

    This is his last year I believe.

    Hey, at least he never missed a start, lol.

  • Intrepid

    OAKLAND RAIDERS ‏@RAIDERS

    The Raiders have signed WR Juron Criner.

  • TxRaider210

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Reg should bring in a few undrafted FA Wr’s today.
    —————–
    Reg did bring in undrafted FA Muhammed yesterday, right in the midst of Cryner’s hold out report.lol

  • mcfadden20.

    DonManoukiansNeighbor Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Reg should bring in a few undrafted FA Wr’s today.

    ____

    Yes, a 5th rd pick holding out for more money is unheard of , lets bring in some more WR and let him hold out for the year

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Riff,

    I liked how Al treated those roaches aka media. It’s not good business, but it was fun.
    I dont agree about Criner being a Diva, the system is not fair IMO, and he/ his agent are trying to get what they think is fair value. There is nothing wrong with that IMO. If he doesn’t show up soon, he is a diva, which seems to be the norm for NFL WRs. lol

  • TxRaider210

    Reg, you better not have paid this punk the 14k!!

  • TxRaider210

    O
    Criner’s already taking shots at the fans for not being lawyers, via twitter.

  • realtruraider

    Vic Tafur‏@VicTafur

    Criner here. Signed

  • Intrepid

    Juron Criner ‏@JbamaCriner82

    It just wouldn’t let me leave the store w/o it. Had to https://twitter.com/JbamaCriner82/status/228257586393280513

  • TxRaider210

    Texan’s Andre Johnson already out with a groin injury.

  • No Mas Diamante

    Criner in on time

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Reg should go drop 14k on a clown car and make JC drive it to and from the field everyday once he does show up.

  • TxRaider210

    We need to know who gave in over the 14k..lol

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    If I was in his shoes, I would do the same thing. I want my agent to do everything he can to get me more money. Don’t leave any money on the table. Just because other players in my position signed, it doesn’t mean I have to.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    TxRaider210 Says:
    July 29th, 2012 at 10:32 am
    O
    Criner’s already taking shots at the fans for not being lawyers, via twitter.
    $$$$$$$$$$$

    Some of You People deserve it.

  • TxRaider210

    Wrong, he was offered the right amount of money according to the new CBA, just simple greed.

  • DonManoukiansNeighbor

    Raider O
    I don’t think either side is wrong here. I understand why Reg would hold his ground. It affects more people then just JC if he caved.