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Raiders’ GM Reggie McKenzie confirms wide receiver Amari Cooper was a shell of himself late last season

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General manager Reggie McKenzie touched on a number of issues at the NFL owner's meetings. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

General manager Reggie McKenzie touched on a number of issues at the NFL owner’s meetings. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

That rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper simply wasn’t himself through much of the second half of the season was obvious to both the naked eye as well in the statistics.

Over the last five games of the season, the rookie first-round draft pick caught 14 passes for 219 yards — and most of that damage came in a six-catch, 120-yard effort against Green Bay.

General manager Reggie McKenzie told Sirius XM radio Monday night there were times Cooper was merely running routes to draw coverage his way.

“That hurt us at the end of the season. The last five games, people don’t know, Amari, he could hardly practice,” McKenzie said. “We held him out, he just could not do the things he could do early in the season because that foot was bothering him. He showed his toughness by playing every game. In some of the games he was just a decoy, but he gave it all he had.”

Other observations from McKenzie during a seven-minute interview included:

End of first wave of free agency

“We’re probably done with the big spending, yes, but there are always ways to improve your roster.”

The signing of guard Kelechi Osemele to huge money for a guard and what he brings

“He’s a guard that can play tackle, that’s just the added plus we have with him. He can play a lot of positions. During the course of a game, you need that … The bottom line is he’s a good football player and you’ve got to pay for the good football players. That’s just the way it goes. Any time you play in the free agency market, money is going to be involved, so you’ve just got to set you mind to it and that’s the way it is.”

The progression of quarterback Derek Carr

“Derek is going to get better year after year. I mean, he’s going to get better game after game. The thing about Derek, he wants to do so much, all the time . . . and he’s hard on himself. He’s one of those guys, if he relaxes, he’s going to be fine. His stats have gotten better Year 1 to Year 2, we’re hoping that it gets even much better in Year 2 to 3. We’re looking forward to Derek having a great year and carrying this team this year.”

Issues at running back

“I feel good about Latavius (Murray). We’re going to have to get healthy there. We were hurt with (Roy) Helu and Taiwan Jones. They both were hurt. So we’ve got to get healthy. We’ve got to get better there. Both our fullbacks can play running back, too, that helps, we’ve got Olawale and Marcel, he’ll miss the first (three) games, but those guys can step in and kind of run some power plays. We have some guys, you always want to create competition, you never just let a good player go by. If somebody wants to cut one, then I’ll claim him.”

Whether Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack are interchangeable

“No question. Those guys got the size, they got he speed, and Bruce is not a power player that Khalil Mack can be, but Bruce can do multiple things and our coaching staff will put him in position to make plays, and that’s where we’re all looking forward to that.”

Irvin’s position — outside linebacker or defensive end

“I think he’s a linebacker. He’s an outside linebacker that can play defensive end whenever you need him to. He’s too athletic and fast to not put him at linebacker and at least let him roam around and do some things. He can cover, he can run. He can do many things they’re excited to figure out how they’re going to use him in many ways. It’s going to be fun to watch.”

Thoughts on bringing back Aldon Smith

“The first thing is we want Aldon to take care of Aldon and that’s my first order of business. I’m not worried about re-signing him until he gets himself together, then we’re going to talk. I want Aldon to take the right steps that he needs to do to get his life in order and get back mentally ready.”

What cornerback Sean Smith brings to the defense

“Two things, he brings valuable experience and he brings a skill set. With his size and length and ability to cover, especially the way we play our corners, he’s going to fit right in. So it’s just a right fit, I mean, it was perfect for what we do. Him being available for us to sign, that was gravy, that was gravy for us.”

The continuity of the staff and the team growing with it

“I see it as going nothing but up. Any time you keep the staff together, and they’ve been through it. they’ve been through it with new players, and now they know these guys and they know each other better after going through it. I see much improved football team going into 2016. They’re hard workers, they work well together. I think the sky’s the limit.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • R8erEduc8er

    1 every 4 1/4 games will get him there. Possible.

  • Back-N-Black

    Biscuits and sausage gravy is the stuff!

  • DEFENDER90

    That’s not right!

  • The Machine

    Ian Rapoport
    ‏@RapSheet

    3m3 minutes ago

    LB Erin Henderson is re-upping with the #Jets, source said. It’s 2 years, worth up to $5 million.

  • Dakota

    Good.

  • Dakota

    I wish.

  • You could be our Jim Buss!

  • RaiderCODE

    wow thats cheap…

  • Dakota

    I’d seduce Libby until money came pouring out of her….cut Condo….and make sure we never drafted another U of Mich loser again.

  • It has everything to do with a woman not using birth control…

  • BABY AL

    New post

  • IVRaider

    38 / year is 2 year good seasons

  • Max Cherry

    Then the NFL will just stop him. You wanted a crony capitalist system, you got it. On a platter.

  • Screw Libby, just introduce the Sturgis Raiders. Instead of dirt, we play on PAVEMENT.

  • Why “has at most”? No team will want him after Yankees contract is done?

  • 24

    Yeah but Mark and sex…I don’t think they exist

  • Max Cherry

    We’re moving in the right direction, but I think the other shoe still hasn’t yet dropped when it comes to Mark being like his dad. I see him trying to run Reggie out to make it look like he built the team, then a mess ensuing on the field in a couple of years time.

  • RaidingTexas

    Report came out two hours ago that he is retiring after the 2017 season.

  • Good luck and goodbye Aldon.
    Here is Reggie giving Smith the kiss of death

    “The first thing is we want Aldon to take care of Aldon and that’s my
    first order of business. I’m not worried about re-signing him until he
    gets himself together, then we’re going to talk. I want Aldon to take
    the right steps that he needs to do to get his life in order and get
    back mentally ready.”

  • 909RaiderLifer

    The old bar we used to watch the games at, served breakfast on Sunday mornings.. One of the gals that cooked there periodically made the best B & G I’ve ever have had.. Sadly the place has closed.. )- ,;

  • What happened to
    “Aldon did a great job last year. We look forward to him resuming his career as a Raider as soon as his suspension is lifted”

  • Back-N-Black

    Raiders choose Lobo with the #14 pick in the DC Comics Draft…(refresh for pic)

    Oakland Raiders: Lobo
    The Oakland Raiders are building an explosive offense, but they need someone who can fend off any pass rush. Lobo has developed quite the reputation for being the best bounty hunter in the galaxy. With enough strength to go against Superman in a fistfight, Lobo’s skills are more than enough to be in the trenches. While he does have some off-field issues, Lobo is sure to be a fan favorite in the Raiders’ black hole.
    http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap3000000646331

  • My training as a blog detective leads me to believe that Aldon has been drinking again

  • Rik-good guys wear black…

    Oakland Raiders select Stone Cold Steve Austin.” Sound of glass smashing” lol…

  • who wont be 1/2 the man he was…

  • Anita Martin

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

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  • Anita Martin

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  • Wow…..

    ————

    It’s long been believed that the Rams used a late-round draft pick two years ago on defensive end Michael Sam at the behest of the league office. Long-time NFL reporter Howard Balzer, who has focused his attention in recent years on the Rams, reports that the arrangement had a quid pro quo.

    Balzer cites multiple unnamed sources in support of the notion that, in exchange for the Rams drafting Sam, the league office agreed not to compel the Rams to serve as the focus of the Hard Knocks series in 2014.

    Per Balzer, the league viewed the Rams as the ideal landing spot for Sam, the first openly-gay NFL player, because of the team’s proximity (at the time) to the University of Missouri, where Sam played college football.

    Balzer also speculates that the league office possibly twisted arms elsewhere to ensure that defensive end Ethan Westbrooks would not be drafted by other teams over the final seven picks in the 2014 draft so that the Rams could sign him as an undrafted free agent. Westbrooks made the 53-man roster that year. Westbrooks received a $20,000 signing bonus and $30,000 in guaranteed salary for the first year of his contract.

  • Jeff Fisher just called in to Mike and Mike to say this is a lie by a vindictive St Louis media person.

  • Leticiatnau1

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

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  • Leticiatnau1

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  • Mark Ratto

    i think it will go to his twin brother dr. zaius

  • Sandrashunsaker4

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  • Sandrashunsaker4

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!289➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!289………

  • Marjorie Smith

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here!oi1624➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsHub/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::!oi1624…

  • Marjorie Smith

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here!oi1625➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsHub/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::!oi1625…….

  • Pamelamwoodard4

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!261➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsMedia/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!261……….

  • Pamelamwoodard4

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month .,3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!262➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsMedia/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!262…….

  • Cecilia Kaczmarek

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  • Cecilia Kaczmarek

    “my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….

    two days ago new Mc.Laren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month .,3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Hereo!520➤➤➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsJobs/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:❖:❦:::::o!520…….