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Archive for November, 2013

Allen doesn’t see any quit in his players

ALAMEDA – Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Friday that he intends to stick with Matt McGloin as his starting quarterback for now. However, Allen also wants to get another look at Terrelle Pryor before this season ends.
It’s all part of Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie gathering as much information as possible on their quarterback situation before they head into the offseason.
“I don’t think he’s done anything to play himself out of that position,” Allen said of McGloin, who started the past three games in place of Pryor.
At the same time, Allen stopped short of anointing McGloin the unquestioned starter the final four games.
Most important, the Raiders need to have a firm grasp on what they have in McGloin and Pryor. To that end, Allen said he wants to see more of Pryor this season, too.
“We need to have a good evaluation of what we have at the quarterback position as we move forward,” Allen said. “These last four weeks will be instrumental in us being able to do that.”
Next year’s NFL draft is regarded as a quarterback-rich one. The Raiders can’t afford to overlook that position if they aren’t sold on either McGloin or Pryor as the long-term answer at a position that has been unsettled since Rich Gannon retired.
Pryor backed up McGloin the past two games – he sat out a third game with a right MCL sprain — and he is the only other quarterback on the roster now that the Raiders waived rookie Tyler Wilson, a fourth-round draft pick in April.
The Raiders hitched their fortunes to Matt Flynn as soon as they traded incumbent Carson Palmer to the Arizona Cardinals and acquired Flynn via trade with the Seattle Seahawks.
By the end of training camp, it became apparent that Pryor was the better option as the starter for the regular-season opener.
Pryor played well enough in his first four starts to validate Allen’s decision. In the midst of that four-game stretch, the Raiders waived Flynn on the heels of a disastrous start in place of an injured Pryor.
Then came a lackluster four-game stretch in which Pryor had eight passes intercepted, completed 50.8 percent of his passes and recorded one touchdown pass, some of that while Pryor played with a hurt knee.
McGloin sparkled in relief of Pryor against the Houston Texans, and then played well enough against the Titans and Cowboys for Allen to stick with him for the foreseeable future.
Yet, there’s also the matter of next season and beyond, especially since the Raiders are 4-8 and close to being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

– Allen said he’s more concerned than usual about the players that suffered injuries against the Cowboys because there’s only a month left in the season.
Right guard Mike Brisiel (knee), running backs Rashad Jennings (concussion) and Jeremy Stewart (ankle/knee), linebacker Kaluka Maiava (calf), safety Usama Young (neck) and cornerback Mike Jenkins (stinger) got hurt against the Cowboys.
Darren McFadden is healthy enough to handle a full workload if Jennings isn’t cleared to play against the New York Jets on Dec. 8, Allen said. McFadden returned Thursday from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for most of four games.

– The Raiders are assured a non-winning season for the 11th straight season. They finished 8-8 twice during that span.
Some of those teams came under fire for players tuning out the coach or throttling down once things went south. Allen is confident that his players won’t go down that road.
“When you watch us play and you watch us work every day, there is absolutely nothing that would give me any indication that there is anybody in that locker room that has any give up in them,” Allen said.
Long-time observers routinely mention how hard the Raiders play under Allen and his staff. At some point, Allen said, the hard work will manifest itself in more victories.
“I like the guys that are in that locker room,” Allen said. “I understand where we’re at from a record standpoint, but these guys have gone out there and given us everything that they’ve had every single week. I continue to expect to see that for the last four weeks of the season.”

– Khalif Barnes’ first NFL start at guard didn’t go quite as well as planned, Allen said. However, he got better as the game progressed and is considered an option at the position moving forward.

– Left offensive tackle Jared Veldheer played every snap Thursday in his first game action since last season.
“He held up good,” Allen said. “I saw him (Friday) morning, and he said he was feeling pretty good, so he got out of that clean.”
Allen planned on spelling Veldheer with Matt McCants from time to time, but Veldheer’s surgically repaired triceps didn’t present any issues.

– Strong safety Tyvon Branch (ankle) worked out with team trainers Friday. Allen said he is hopeful that Branch will return to game action soon. Branch missed the past 10 games.

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Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 5,240 Comments »

Allen sticking with McGloin, at least for short term

ALAMEDA – Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Friday that he intends to stick with Matt McGloin as his starting quarterback for now. However, Allen also wants to get another look at Terrelle Pryor before this season ends.
It’s all part of Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie gathering as much information as possible on their quarterback situation before they head into the offseason.
“I don’t think he’s done anything to play himself out of that position,” Allen said of McGloin.
At the same time, Allen stopped short of anointing McGloin the unquestioned starter the final four games.
Most important, the Raiders need to have a firm grasp on what they have in McGloin and Pryor. To that end, Allen said he wants to see more of Pryor this season, too.
“We need to have a good evaluation of what we have at the quarterback position as we move forward,” Allen said. “These last four weeks will be instrumental in us being able to do that.”
Next year’s NFL draft is regarded as a quarterback-rich one. The Raiders can’t afford to overlook that position if they aren’t sold on either McGloin or Pryor as the long-term answer at a position that has been unsettled since Rich Gannon retired.
Pryor backed up McGloin the past two games, and he is the only other quarterback on the roster now that the Raiders waived rookie Tyler Wilson, a fourth-round draft pick in April.

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Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 271 Comments »

Raiders live chat Friday at noon

Join NFL writer Steve Corkran for a Black Hole Friday chat a day after the Raiders’ Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Dallas Cowboys.

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Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 206 Comments »

McDonald’s grades Raiders off Cowboys game

Beat writer Jerry McDonald graded the Raiders off their 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Here’s a look at the Raiders’ grades:

Passing offense: For two series in the first half, Matt McGloin gave the Raiders quarterback play that was as good or better than anything they’d seen this season. He led two touchdown drives and was 5-for-5 on third-down conversion passes for 81 yards. Other than that, not much. He lost a snap from center at the 2-yard line that turned into a touchdown. Threw a fourth-quarter interception into the end zone toward Jacoby Ford — a jump ball to a 5-foot-9 receiver. Andre Holmes had the best game a Raiders receiver has had this season with seven catches for 136 yards.

Grade: C

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) is tackled by Oakland Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter (23) during the first half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. ((AP Photo/Tim Sharp) )

Rushing offense: The Cowboys, giving up more than 133 yards per game against the run, were supposed to be easy to run against given Dallas’ Tampa 2 defense that plays it fairly straight. Instead, the Raiders had their second worst rushing performance of the season (25 carries, 50 yards). Rashad Jennings had only 35 yards on 17 carries, but had two 1-yard touchdown runs. Darren McFadden had 13 on five attempts, a 2.6 yards per carry average below the 3.6 he had before.

Grade: D-minus

Pass defense: The Raiders never got close to an interception against Tony Romo, who started slowly but finished 23 of 32 for 225 yards and a 4-yard touchdown to Dez Bryant. Romo completed 17 of his last 19 passes, starting with a 73-yard drive to end the first half that swung momentum decidedly in the favor of the Cowboys. The Raiders were mostly OK with the “top down” coverage which prevents deep balls, but Romo too often found open receivers in short and intermediate range.

Grade: D

Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar (25) run away from Oakland Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter (23) for a first down during the second half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. ((AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Jose Yau))

Rush defense: The big surprise was how the Cowboys, the NFL’s 30th ranked rushing offense, pushed around the Raiders in the second half. Lance Dunbar, an undrafted rookie free agent, had 12 carries for 82 yards, including a 45-yard run. DeMarco Murray was kept in check for much of the game but began to gain ground late. He finished with 63 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns. Dallas had only one game of more than 100 yards rushing all season and had 132 of their 144 yards in the second half in taking control of the game.

Grade: D

Special teams: Great start with a 23-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Greg Jenkins, with Kaelin Burnett forcing the fumble from Terrance Williams. Punter Marquette King continued his excellentccpunting of late, with a 53.0 average, a 43.6 net and two punts inside the 20-yard line. Jenkins averaged 10.5 yards on four punt returns, an upgrade over Ford, who whose duties as a wide receiver were expanded because of injuries. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 45-yard field goal when the Raiders were trying to hang close in the fourth quarter.

Grade: B

Coaching: Another fast start, no finish game for the Raiders, although it’s hard to know if the coaching staff can do anything to help the team’s psyche. Coach Dennis Allen insisted the Raiders threw everything they had at the Cowboys and didn’t play “coverage” and limit rushers with a 21-7 lead. If so, they weren’t doing it very well. Still hard to fathom why Raiders didn’t involve Terrelle Pryor, their most explosive runner, in the wildcat instead of using Rashad Jennings.

Grade: D

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Posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 13 Comments »

Final: Cowboys 31, Raiders 24

Was sure I posted this at the end of the game . . . guess not

The Raiders have been tired of losing for more than a decade.
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Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 846 Comments »

End 3rd qtr: Raiders 21, Cowboys 21

The Cowboys scored on a 4-yard run by DeMarco Murray and were at the Raiders’ 17-yard line with first-and-10 to open the fourth quarter.
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Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 1,571 Comments »

Halftime: Raiders 21, Cowboys 14

The Raiders were up at halftime but had reason to feel some frustration after letting Dallas drive 73 yards in eight plays for a far-too-easy touchdown with 10 seconds left in the half.
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Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 325 Comments »

End 1st qtr: Raiders 7, Cowboys 7

The Raiders and Cowboys traded gift touchdowns, with Greg Jenkins running 23 yards with a Terrance Williams fumble on the opening kickoff and DeMarco Murray getting a 2-yard run courtesy of a Matt McGloin fumbled snap at the 2-yard line with 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

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Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 306 Comments »

Raiders-Cowboys undeway . . .

Raiders captains: Mike Jenkins (ex-Cowboy), Lamarr Houston, Jon Condo, Marcel Reece . . . Mary J. Blige sings the National Anthem and I’m fairly certain she was not lip-synching.
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Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 205 Comments »

Raiders vs. Cowboys live blog, Thanksgiving Day, 1:30 p.m.

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Posted on Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Under: Oakland Raiders | 125 Comments »