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Jack Del Rio moving on, Derek Carr eyeing Super Bowl, Menelik Watson regains starting job

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ALAMEDA — Raiders coach Jack Del Rio was in the business of moving on Monday, declining to discuss any additional details on the status of quarterback Derek Carr’s broken fibula.

“I’m not really going to shed any more light on it,” Del Rio said at his weekly news conference. “I think at some point there may be more details that follow, but I don’t have any for you today.”

Carr, according to an ESPN report, will have surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles. But Del Rio claimed to not be aware.

“I don’t know the details,” Del Rio replied when asked specifically when Carr’s surgery would occur. Continue Reading

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42

Raiders notes: Bruce Irvin eyes 10-sack season; Mario Edwards Jr. likely to play vs. Colts; Kelechi Osemele returns to practice

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ALAMEDA — Bruce Irvin makes no secret about his desire to deliver his first 10-sack season.

“I definitely want to get that,” Irvin said. “I definitely … I’m gonna get it. I’m gonna get it.”

The Raiders outside linebacker, in his first season in Oakland after four years with the Seattle Seahawks, has made the elusive double-digit sack season a possibility with five in his past five games.

His seven sacks on the year leave him one away from his previous career high, set as a Seattle rookie in 2012. Defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr., Irvin’s linebackers coach for three years in Seattle, likes the fact that Irvin is motivated to reach that milestone. Continue Reading

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50

Raiders looking to fix recent red zone woes; Shilique Calhoun returns to practice, Stacy McGee, Karl Joseph still out

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ALAMEDA — It wasn’t long ago that the Raiders were humming along as one of the best red zone offenses in the league.

Nobody was better over the first four games and as recently as two weeks ago, the Raiders were seventh in the NFL with touchdowns on 64.3 percent of their possessions.

Two bad weeks — with two touchdowns on their last 11 trips — and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is suddenly answering questions about what happened to his once dynamic unit.

“A number of factors,” Musgrave said Wednesday. “We’re ready to get back on track, that’s for sure.”

The Raiders had one touchdown and three field goals on seven trips inside the 20-yard line against the San Diego Chargers. (One red zone possession was following a turnover and led to the game-ending kneel down). Continue Reading

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160

Raiders notes: Secondary welcomes Philip Rivers throwing deep again, Darius Latham ready to return vs. Chargers

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ALAMEDA — San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers offered his frank and honest assessment after his team’s first matchup with the Raiders this season.

“We didn’t think they could run with us on the back end,” Rivers said after a game in which he completed three passes of 50-plus yards.

“Well, evidently he was right,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said this week. “I mean, they got a couple behind us, so we’ll see if we can run a little faster this week.”

Rivers threw for 359 yards and four touchdowns in that game, averaging a whopping 17.1 yards per completion — the 10th-highest single-game average of his 13-year career.

Rivers’ longest connection was a 59-yard pass to tight end Hunter Henry and he also had a 54-yarder to Travis Benjamin. Both of those were of the shorter variety as the Raiders’ secondary struggled to make tackles. Continue Reading

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47

Raiders notes: Carr looks to get bad taste of loss out of his mouth, Mario Edwards Jr.’s iffy status vs. Chargers, no timetable for Aldon Smith

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ALAMEDA — The Raiders haven’t had to shake off many losses this season, so it was a welcome site Wednesday when they finally got back to the practice field to prepare for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.

There were plenty of benefits to the long weekend after losing last week on Thursday night, but the lingering taste of a bitter defeat wasn’t one of them.

“I’d rather play Friday night,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “You never like to have that taste in your mouth of a loss.”

Carr and the offense had an uncharacteristically poor night in their 21-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The third-year quarterback continually refuses to blame the conditions or his still injured right pinkie finger.

“It was just execution,” Carr said after evaluating the tape from his 17 of 41 for 117 yard performance. “There was literally inches. There’s a whole bunch of plays that I think about that we always hit and for whatever reason, sometimes it was good feet and the route was good, and we just missed by an inch. Sometimes that happens in practice and you never want it to happen in the game. To be honest with you, it was just execution.”

Did any camera wires have anything to do with those mere inches in which the Raiders were off? Carr said he has no idea. Continue Reading

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121

Raiders notes: Osemele missed game due to kidney stone, Raiders rested after mini-bye

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Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) missed the Chiefs game with a kidney stone but said he is good to go against San Diego. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Raiders guard Kelechi Osemele (70) missed the Chiefs game with a kidney stone but said he is good to go against San Diego. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Jerry McDonald

ALAMEDA — The Raiders returned to work Tuesday rested and ready.

And in the case of left guard Kelechi Osemele, relieved.

It turns out the “illness” which caused Osemele to be a late scratch from last Thursday’s 21-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs was a kidney stone, something he revealed to reporters following practice in excruciating detail.

“It’s frustrating, but you really don’t have control over the things that happen with your health,” Osemele said. “I’m just fortunate.”

Osemele indicated to Raiders fans on Twitter Monday “Great workout and it’s safe to say I’ve made a full recovery.” He is expected to be back in the starting lineup when the Raiders visit the San Diego Chargers Sunday.

As tough as it was to lose a lineman who has gone a long way toward making the Raiders one of the top lines in the NFL, rookie seventh-round pick Vadal Alexander filled in admirably.

“I didn’t know I was playing until I was warming up at the stadium,” Alexander said. “You’ve got to approach every week like you’re the starter, whether you are or not, because anything can happen. Each week can be a whole different situation.”

Alexander knows of what he speaks, for it’s been a roller coaster ride of a rookie season. First, he made the team as a seventh-round pick, then was forced into a starting role at right tackle in Weeks 4 and 5 against Baltimore and San Diego because of injuries to Austin Howard and Menelik Watson.

In four of the ensuing five games, Alexander was inactive, in part because of an ankle injury. Against the Chiefs, Alexander alternated with Jon Feliciano for three series at left guard, then played the remainder of the game, getting 66 of 75 total snaps.

Despite being without their most powerful run blocker, the Raiders rushed for 135 yards, including 102 on 23 carries by Latavius Murray. Quarterback Derek Carr was sacked only once.

“He did pretty well,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “We ran the ball well. We gave up one sack. That’s a good front. Overall, I thought he was part of a pretty solid effort up front.”

— The flip side of getting short rest following a Thursday game is the mini-bye that ensues afterward. The Raiders had a light practice Tuesday, their first since playing against the Chiefs.

“It was a quick turnaround, but they had to face the same thing, so no excuses there,” Murray said. “Now, being able to have a few days off, have the weekend off, feels really good. I think everyone feels good about that. That’s a positive going forward heading into this week in San Diego.”

Fullback Jamize Olawale said he wants to get the bad taste out of his mouth following the loss but conceded “it is necessary to rest your body as much as you can during the season. This was a good opportunity for me to get off my feet, spend time with the family.”

— The Raiders seemed to be following Del Rio’s lead with regard to how to react after seeing their six-game losing streak come to an end.

“I tell our guys, `We’re to going to lay around and bathe in the adulation of a win,’ ” Del Rio said. “We’re also not going to sit around and wallow in misery when we lose.”

In terms of playoff seeding, the Raiders went from No. 1 to No. 5, and Olawale figures if a that can happen in one week, it’s equally possible to have it go the other way in the next three games.

“Every week our objective is to win and it’s our only focus, really,” Olawale said. “I’m not really concerned about what seed we are. It can change in the matter of a week. We dropped four places. Every week that can change.”

Of more tangible interest is the fact that the Raiders can clinch a post-season berth against the Chargers with a win.

— Murray wanted no part of second-guessing the third-and-1 call that resulted in an incomplete pass from the Kansas City 14-yard line. Carr’s pass to Andre Holmes was incomplete, followed by a false start and another incomplete pass to end the game.

Even Del Rio said Monday he wished the Raiders would have run it.

“I know everybody wants to talk about what we should have did and maybe it’s one of those things we could have done differently,” Murray said. “But I trust in every call that comes in. If it had worked, we wouldn’t be talking about what we should have done. That’s just how the game goes.”

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Raiders notes: Del Rio offers new theory on pass vs. Chiefs; second-guesses third-and-1 call

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The Raiders are convinced that something funky happened on this deep pass from Derek Carr to Amari Cooper in their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

The Raiders are convinced that something funky happened on this deep pass from Derek Carr to Amari Cooper in their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

ALAMEDA — Raiders coach Jack Del Rio offered a new theory as to what may have affected a deep Derek Carr pass that fluttered off course to Amari Cooper in the team’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

“The angel in the outfield,” Del Rio said Monday at his weekly news conference, his first time speaking since postgame after the Raiders’ 21-13 loss on Thursday in Kansas City.

“I mean, it moved. You know?,” Del Rio said. “I don’t know if it hit a wire or an angel in the outfield moved it, a gust of wind. I don’t know. It moved.”

The angel in the outfield would be a reference to the 1951 movie “Angels in the Outfield” and a 1994 remake in which angels provide some heavenly assistance on the baseball field. Continue Reading

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76

Raiders notes: Mario Edwards Jr. returns to practice

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Note: Blog crashed yesterday as I was posting this so apologies for the delay.

ALAMEDA — The Raiders designated Mario Edwards Jr. to return from injured reserve and the defensive end practiced Monday for the first time since training camp.

“It felt good just to get back out there with those guys,” Edwards said afterwards. “Even if it is a practice, just to get back out there, the camaraderie and things like that definitely felt good.”

The Raiders held only a light walk-through as they recover from Sunday’s win over the Buffalo Bills and prepare on the short week to face the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday.

Edwards, out since an Aug. 12 with a hip injury suffered in the first exhibition game, now has a 21-day window in which he can practice. The Raiders can activate him to the roster at any time during the window, but he said there’s no formal target date for when he’ll play in a game.

“I’m a little different so I don’t really know,” Edwards said. “We don’t really have a date on it. It’s just more so how I’m feeling and how it’s healing.” Continue Reading

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243

Raiders notes: Derek Carr is fine, David Amerson will return, but DJ Hayden is headed to IR

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DJ Hayden's career with the Raiders may be done after suffering a substantial hamstring injury.  (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

DJ Hayden’s career with the Raiders may be done after suffering a substantial hamstring injury. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA — Raiders quarterback Derek Carr practiced without a glove on his right hand for the second straight day and is good to go for Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.

Cornerback David Amerson is also ready to make his return after missing last week’s game with a knee injury.

“I feel good, man,” Amerson said Friday. “I’m ready to get back out there and compete.”

But the news isn’t all good as cornerback DJ Hayden will be placed on injured reserve with a “substantial” hamstring injury and three other regular members of the defense are out, leaving Oakland (9-2) particularly thin up front. Continue Reading

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171

Raiders notes: McKenzie saw a contender in Week 1, team awaits word on Aldon Smith, encouraging signs from Mario Edwards Jr.

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Reggie McKenzie felt the Raiders were a contender after they beat the Saints in Week 1. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Reggie McKenzie felt the Raiders were a contender after they beat the Saints in Week 1. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Note: You’ve probably noticed this blog is started to get populated again. After being gone the last few months after our new website was launched, the powers that be have decided to try to revive the site that so many of you once used on such a regular basis. While all the Raiders content will still primarily generate from http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/oakland-raiders/ and http://www.eastbaytimes.com/sports/oakland-raiders/, the hope is to also deliver a good compilation of our content here in the form of daily notebooks. We know a lot of people were upset when the blog died off and went elsewhere, but the hope is to again give you a place to hang out and read about and chat about the Raiders.

ALAMEDA — The Raiders’ road to resurgence was clear from the season opener for general manager Reggie McKenzie.

“The guys felt like there were going to win the game,” McKenzie said Thursday. “Being in the locker room afterwards, it felt like they were supposed to win.”

That opener, of course, was the dramatic 35-34 win over the New Orleans Saints that included coach Jack Del Rio’s bold and successful decision to go for a game-winning two-point conversion with 47 seconds to play.

“It set a tone,” McKenzie said of that call. “It set a tone for the confidence that the coaching staff had in the players and the players had in each other.” Continue Reading

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