Michael Huff didn’t have much time to digest the switch from free safety to cornerback two games into the season. Yet, it hasn’t taken him long to make himself right at home. Continue Reading
Cornerback Ron Bartell is practicing today for the first time since he suffered a shoulder injury in the regular-season opener. Continue Reading
The Raiders worked out the following six players Tuesday, per Aaron Wilson of NFL Fox Sports: Quarterback Aaron Corp, wide receviers Saalim Hakim and Shaky Smithson, tight end Cooper Helfet, cornerback Buddy Jackson and safety Cory Nelms.
None of the six was signed by the Raiders. However, they did release cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah from their practice squad and signed guard Jason Foster to take his place.
Headed out to the practice field in about 15 minutes. Stay tuned for Tweets and Twitpics on the latest with the Raiders as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Steve Corkran will be on hand today at noon to discuss the Raiders, who are riding a two-game winning streak and awaiting Tampa Bay’s arrival in Oakland this week.
The expected return of cornerback Ron Bartell to practice this week comes as a bit of good news for the Raiders as they persevere despite a long list of injured players.
Bartell went down with a shoulder injury in the regular-season opener against the San Diego Chargers on Sept. 10, and he missed the past six games while on injured-reserve/designated to return.
Bartell isn’t eligible to play in a game until Nov. 11, when the Raiders play the Baltimore Ravens.
Shawntae Spencer, the other starting cornerback, has missed the past five games with a foot injury. There is no timetable for his return.
The injuries to Bartell and Spencer prompted the Raiders to move free safety Michael Huff to cornerback.
Allen said Monday that he hasn’t decided whether to leave Huff at cornerback once Bartell returns or move him back to free safety.
Bartell’s return comes at a time when the Raiders added a few more names to an injury report that featured 20 players for Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Backup running back Mike Goodson suffered a turf-toe injury Sunday and center Stefen Wisniewski hurt an ankle.
Allen said he is hopeful that Goodson and Wisniewski will recover well enough to play against the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Goodson’s injury is the one of most concern, Allen said. If Goodson can’t play Sunday, second-year back Taiwan Jones and fullback Marcel Reece would pick up the slack behind lead back Darren McFadden.
— Allen has succeeded where so many of his predecessors failed in terms of curbing the penalties.
Then-coach Hue Jackson last season promised that he would get the problem under control, even if it took all season.
As it turned out, Jackson left town with his name attached to a season in which the Raiders set league marks for most penalties (163) and yards penalized (1,358).
Through seven games, the Raiders have committed 42 penalties (tied for 26th) and been penalized for 331 yards (27th). They are on pace for 96 penalties for 757 yards this season.
“It’s the players,” Allen said. “We can preach the message and we’ll continue to preach the same message day in and day out. That won’t change. But, really, as with most things that happen successfully on the football field, it’s because the players understand that it correlates to winning and losing games.”
— The league pushed back the trade deadline from Tuesday to Thursday at 1 p.m. Allen said he won’t rule out the Raiders making any trades between now and the deadline.
“We’ll look and see what’s out there,” Allen said. “We’re not going to close all our doors to anything that might be available.”
Last season, the Raiders traded for quarterback Carson Palmer two days after starter Jason Campbell suffered a season-ending collarbone injury.
— Rookie Rod Streater has emerged as the Raiders clear-cut No. 3 wide receiver through seven games.
Streater played 32 snaps Sunday against the Chiefs, while veteran Derek Hagan played only four and rookie Juron Criner one.
Jacoby Ford entered training camp as the No. 3 receiver, behind Darrius Heyward-Bey and Denarius Moore. However, he suffered a season-ending foot injury in an exhibition game.
— The Raiders held the Chiefs to 102 yards rushing Sunday, though 53 of those came on nine quarterback scrambles.
The Raiders are 11th against the run so far, at an average of 102.1 yards per game and tied for ninth in yards per carry (3.9).
Last season, the Raiders finished 27th against the run (136.1) and last in yards per carry (5.1).
— Allen gave his players the day off Monday as a reward for how well they played against the Chiefs. They return to practice Wednesday in preparation for the Buccaneers.
“There are times during the season where players need a mental break and a physical break,” Allen said. “I felt like, we had the bye, we’ve gone through three straight tough weeks, it was time to give them a little bit of a mental break.”
Even so, numerous players showed up at the team’s facility to get a jump on breaking down video.
Beat writer Jerry McDonald graded the Raiders performance in their 26-16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium:
After an interception on his first pass to Stanford Routt, Carson Palmer was mistake free and threw touchdown passes of 9 yards to Denarius Moore and 32 yards to Darrius Heyward-Bey. Maximum protection schemes were excellent as Palmer wasn’t sacked and barely touched. Too many dropped passes — at least four. Grade: B
Darren McFadden had his second 100-yard game on the strength of a 12-carry, 73-yard fourth quarter. Ideally, it’s the way a zone blocking system is supposed to work — running with a lead. He finished with 29 carries and 114 yards. Need to run better earlier in the game, however. Grade: B-minus
Free safety Matt Giordano had his first interception of the season, a classic read of Brady Quinn, and Pat Lee halted a Chiefs drive deep in Raiders territory with an acrobatic interception of Matt Cassel. The Raiders pass rush was very good as Rolando McClain, Philip Wheeler and Richard Seymour had sacks. Grade: B
The only flaw was allowing Quinn and Cassel the opportunity to exploit an open middle when pressured from the outside as quarterbacks gained 53 yards on nine carries. The rest of the running game was stuffed as the Broncos finished with 22 attempts for 102 yards. Jamal Charles had just five carries and 4 yards. Grade: B-plus
The game swung on a special teams hustle play, with long-snapper Jon Condo getting downfield to recover a muffed punt return attempt by Javier Arenas late in the first half. It set up the Palmer-to-Moore touchdown and gave the Raiders permanent momentum. Sebastian Janikowski was 4-for-4 kicking field goals, flawless as usual in Arrowhead. Grade: B-plus
Raiders were much better prepared for a team coming off a bye than the previous week against Jacksonville, and were ready to play from the outset. Good mix of defensive play-calling kept Chiefs guessing all day. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp placed a priority on pass protection and it paid off, as did sticking with a sluggish running game in the fourth quarter. Grade: B-plus
Ignore the fact, if you will, that two of Oakland’s three victories are against 1-6 teams, but they are a Broncos loss to the Saints away from a first-place tie in the AFC West after their win against the Kansas City Chiefs today. Continue Reading
The Raiders inserted themselves into the AFC West picture with the help of four Sebastian Janikowski field goals and two touchdown passes from Carson Palmer in a 26-16 win Sunday over the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
A 32-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to Darrius Heyward-Bey _ with Heyward-Bey slipping a tackle attempt by Stanford Routt _ put the Raiders in command.
Turnovers have plagued the Chiefs all season, and cost them dearly late in the first half when Javier Arenas muffed a punt, Jon Condo recovered, and Carson Palmer hit Denarius Moore for a 9-yard touchdown pass on third down with 49 seconds left in the half.