Raiders begin post-Carr phase expressing confidence in McGloin


ALAMEDA — Life without Derek Carr officially began Tuesday, with the Raiders returning to work for the first time since losing their starting quarterback to a broken fibula.


The Raiders as a matter of policy don’t confirm surgical procedures, but Carr himself passed along the news on Twitter.


“Surgery couldn’t have gone better! Received great news! Already started the recovery process!,” Carr said. “Thank you for all of your prayers as I heal up!”


Meanwhile, the long faces in the locker room on Christmas Eve have given way to optimism, with players invoking the NFL custom of “next man up.” In the Raiders case, that means backup quarterback Matt McGloin.


“Nobody wants to lose the starting quarterback, so it was an adjustment for that moment,” center Rodney Hudson said. “We’re confident (Matt’s) going to do a good job. He prepares well, works hard, and we’ve just got to do our part to make sure we stay sharp.”


McGloin started six games as an undrafted rookie in 2013, winning his starting debut in a 23-20 road win against the Houston Texans and losing his next five starts.


His only extended playing time in the last 47 games were single appearances replacing Carr due to injury in London against the Miami Dolphins in 2014 and in the 2015 regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.


The good news for the Raiders is there will be need for major tweaks to the offensive system, given that McGloin operates in a similar way in terms of execution and delivery.


McGloin, who will speak to the media Wednesday, goes about his job Monday through Friday much like the man he is replacing.


“I would say the only thing is McGloin probably swears a little more than Derek,” rookie quarterback Connor Cook said. “That’s the main difference.”


Tight end Mychal Rivera said McGloin brings a competitive edge that was evident when both players were rookies in 2013.


“He’s a leader at heart and a hard worker,” Rivera said. “It’s almost like he lives for being that underdog, and that’s what fuels him. We’re going to rally behind him and we’re excited for Sunday.”


In McGloin’s first start, Rivera caught five passes for 54 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown.


Wide receiver Andre Holmes, who also played with McGloin in 2013, cited the quarterback’s late 19-yard completion to Amari Cooper which put the Indianapolis game away after Carr was injured.


“He put the ball out there for Amari to go up and make a play on it,” Holmes said. “Those aer some of the things he did a lot when he was starting here a few years ago. He understands the abilities that his playmakers have. He has full confidence in those players having his back.”


This time around, McGloin has a far superior team around him as opposed to the Dennis Allen-coached Raiders that finished 4-12 in 2013.


“Now he’s got a running game and he’s got weapons like Crab and Amari, and tight ends that do a good job working the middle of the field,” running back Taiwan Jones said. “He knows we’ve got his back and we’ll keep the show going.”


In a podcast Tuesday with Monday Morning Quarteback’s Albert Breer, former Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson seconded the notion that Carr to McGloin should be a smooth transition in terms of preparation.


“You can’t minimize the loss of Derek Carr and how well he’s playing, but I think the staff believes in Matt and the locker room believes in Matt,” Olson said. “A lot of the traits they have are similar. They’re accurate, they make good decisions.”


Olson, the offensive coordinator in 2013-14, said McGloin is a “very capable backup quarterback and one that could probably be starting for a lot of teams this season. I think they’re confidenet in that, and there won’t have to be a lot of changes.”


Carr, whose chances of returning to the field even if the Raiders were to make the Super Bowl are extremely remote, is expected back soon.


“I think he’ll be back around tomorrow,” running back Latavius Murray said. “I know he’s not going to take time off or be away from this building if he doesn’t have to — that’s the kind of guy he is.”


When will Raiders QB Derek Carr take snap from center? Mum’s the word



Staff photo

Derek Carr hasn’t taken a snap from iunder center in 231 snaps

ALAMEDA — When we last saw Raiders quarterback Derek Carr under center on Nov. 27, he exited with his right pinkie finger bent in different directions after an exchange with Rodney Hudson.

Since Carr’s return that day, he has taken 231 snaps from center — every one of them in either the shotgun or pistol formations, when the snap travels at least four yards through the air and with limited force on the hands of the quarterback.

Whether the Raiders return to plays run from under center against Indianapolis Saturday at the Coliseum remains to be seen, and certainly won’t be advertised by the coaching staff in advance.

In a 19-16 win over San Diego, Carr actually lined up under center late in the first quarter long enough to draw Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa offsides for a penalty. The ball was never snapped.

The rest of the game was strictly shotgun and pistol. Carr is playing with the finger taped, his brother David telling NFL Media at the time of the injury it was dislocated in two places.

While Carr directed the Raiders to a wins over Carolina and Buffalo, the offense has struggled in the last two games against division opponents Kansas City and San Diego with two touchdowns in 10 red zone possessions.

The Raiders haven’t run plays from under center in either short yardage or goal line, which usually calls for those formations, and even ran five snaps in kneel-down formations against Carolina and San Diego out of shotgun.

All of which suggests Carr’s pinkie is limiting the Raiders to some extent offensively, although neither coach Jack Del Rio nor Carr were conceding that point Monday.

“I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from that,” Del Rio said at his weekly press conference. “I think we’re doing what we think is right for us and it’s not that we can’t or we haven’t, it’s just that we’re choosing to proceed the way we are.”

Asked when he might be lining up under center on his weekly radio appearance on 95.7 The Game, Carr said, “I haven’t been limited at all. I’m taking snaps from center (in warm-ups). I did it before the game, for those that saw that. There’s no limitations so I’m just going to do what the coaches call.”

Since the injury, Carr has completed 53.3 percent of his passes (65 of 122) for 721 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, a passer rating of 75.2. A passer rating that was 101.2 at the time of the injury has dropped to 95.2.

On Nov. 6, the Raiders had their best rushing performance of the season, with 43 attempts for 218 yards against the Denver Broncos. They ran the ball from under center on 34 of those 43 carries.

It defies logic to suggest Del Rio and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave have made a conscious decision to abandon an entire section of the playbook and that it has nothing to do with the health of their quarterback.

In the postgame locker room after the Chargers win, Del Rio said using the shotgun in the red zone: was “an issue we’re working through . . . at some point (when) we feel better about going under center, we will.”

— Del Rio, while ecstatic for a fan base which hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2002, was getting on with the business of preparing to face the Colts.

“There’s been a drought here. We got here two years ago and talked about winning the division and being in the playoffs. The being in the playoffs part is there. The winning the division (part) is yet to be determined. We need to continue to work on that.”

— When Del Rio won a challenge which re-spotted a scramble gain by Carr for a first down, it was his third win in five challenges. The Raiders got a huge ruling in their favor when Michael Crabtree’s 13-yard catch was ruled a touchdown after originally being ruled out of bounds.

“I believe in getting it right when you can,” Del Rio said. “I’d like to see it expanded to any call you think is important enough for your  team. I’ve got a bunch of good people to help with that decision making. We’ve been fortunate to be on the right side of a bunch of those.”

— Wide receiver Amari Cooper caught one pass for 28 yards and has 12 catches for 138 yards in his last four games.

“It’d be nice to get him a few more balls, but I think at the end of the day, we want to stack up wins,” Del Rio said. “I think that’s the most important thing, but I think getting your premiere players involved is usually a good thing.”


Raiders QB Derek Carr learning how to say no

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) is finding more demands on his time.. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) is finding more demands on his time.. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA — Derek Carr is learning the art of avoidance.

Carr was bestowed early with the gift of gab, a trait that dates back to his days as a youth when his mother was aghast that young Derek would strike up conversations people he’d never seen before in the grocery store.

“I used to have to tell him, `You can’t just talk to strangers like that,’ ” his mother Sheryl Carr said in 2015. “He just loved talking to people — he’s still that way.”

Now that Carr is a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate on a 10-2 team that is creating a national buzz, the “strangers” bring recorders and cameras and want to hear his story.

Which has led to a few talks on the subject of time management by coach Jack Del Rio.

“We talk about how to protect his time from guys like you that come in here,” Del Rio said good-naturedly to a national writer in town to write about the Raiders success. “When the game is bigger and there’s more people around, you’ve got to protect your time, your preparation time, your time with your family.”

Carr concedes it hasn’t always been easy.

“Sometimes it’s been had for me, to be honest, because I try to be nice to everybody and a lot of people try to take advantage of it. That’s just the truth. I’m trying to learn as we go through it, how to say no, because everyone wants a piece of what’s going on. They didn’t much want a piece of it when we were 3-13.”

That’s about as close to an edge as you’ll get from Carr, who dutifully answered questions for nearly 12 minutes Monday, pleasantly revisiting stories about his brother’s David’s influence he’s told dozens of times.

Carr has a weekly radio spot on the Raiders flagship on Mondays, his usual time with the local reporters is Wednesday and he occasionally does conference calls with media from the Raiders opponent that week. National opportunities are screened mostly through the Raiders, as well as Carr’s representation.

Because the Raiders play Thursday night, Carr talked Monday and other than pleasantries in the locker room, will be unavailable until post-game questioning. A meticulous planner, Carr goes into media sessions with talking points and deftly avoids anything of a controversial manner.

It’s much appreciated by Del Rio, who never finds himself dealing with issues because of something controversial his quarterback told reporters.

“As a young player, he’s maturing and that’s probably the thing I’m most pleased with,” Del Rio said. “Obviously the productivity is awesome. But the way he’s conducted himself, continuing to heap praise on his teammates, to make it more about us, not about anything he’s doing individually. And I think that’s really healthy for us.”

Carr, along with running back Latavius Murray, treated the offensive line to choice seats at the Warriors game Monday night. He extolled the virtues of the team in an interview with CSN Bay-Area.


“We have a great group of guys, honestly. We have guys with character,” Carr said.

— Safety Nate Allen played just 12 snaps on defense in 10 games (missing two with a quadriceps injury) before playing 40 snaps against Buffalo. He got an interception on the play Khalil Mack hit Tyrod Taylor in the end zone.

Allen was playing in place of Karl Joseph, who left with a toe injury.

“You can’t sit around and mope,” Allen said. “You’ve got to be ready when your number is called.”

Del Rio said, “Nate really has been a pro. It’s good to have that kind of depth we can go to. He’s had an impact for us on special teams and he showed up big (against Buffalo).

Allen is the likely starter at strong safety against Kansas City, with Joseph hobbling and unlikely to play against Kansas City.

— Defensive tackle Darius Latham, defensive tackle Stacy McGee and linebacker Shilique Calhoun did not practice. Guard Kelchi Osemele and linebacker Cory James were limited.


Raiders recap: Kelechi Osemele is not a nice guy; Howard out vs. Saints; Dennis Allen has no hard feelings; unprecedented continuity in coaching

Oakland Raiders tackle Kelechi Osemele during the team's football minicamp Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Oakland Raiders tackle Kelechi Osemele during the team’s football minicamp Wednesday, June 15, 2016, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Here’s a recap from stories today on our web site:

ALAMEDA — The name Kelechi Osemele used to bring a grimace in the defensive meeting room of the Raiders.

As the left guard of the Baltimore Ravens, Osemele won no friends with his penchant for picking unsuspecting defenders off when they least expect it.

“You watch K.O., and he’s the guy that plays to the whistle and gets in the last shove,” Raiders defensive tackle Justin Ellis said. “You don’t really like him too much unless he’s on your team.”

Click here to read the story in its entirety:

Continue Reading


Raiders add eight to practice squad

The Browns claimed George Atkinson III of waivers. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

The Browns claimed George Atkinson III of waivers. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA _ Eight players made their way back to the Raiders practice squad Sunday, a day after being waived in the final cutdown to 53 players.

In addition, running back George Atkinson III and cornerback Neiko Thorpe, who were wavied during Saturday’s final cutdown to 53, found new homes _ Atkinson with the Cleveland Browns and Thorpe with the Indianapolis Colts.

Players signed to the practice squad were wide receiver K.J. Brent, cornerback Kennth Durden, defensive lineman Brandon Jackson, wide receiver Jaydon Mickens, tight end Ryan O’Malley, center-guard Oni Omoile and linebacker Korey Toomer.

The Raiders still have two openings on the practice squad.

Two players who were waived/injured, linebacker Neiron Ball and defensive end/linebacker James Cowser, cleared waivers, were placed on injured reserve and will be ineligble to play for the Raiders this year. Continue Reading


Jon Gruden having difficulty seeing Raiders in Las Vegas, but believes his old team will step up this year

Former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, right, now an ESPN broadcaster, greets denizens of the Black Hole. D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

Former Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, right, now an ESPN broadcaster, greets denizens of the Black Hole. D. Ross Cameron/Staff)

Jon Gruden said he gets a little emotional thinking about the future of the Raiders, but he likes what he sees in the present.

The former Raiders coach and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst was asked during a national conference call Tuesday what he thought about the idea of the franchise residing in Las Vegas.

“The Las Vegas Raiders? I don’t know, man, that’s hard for me to imagine,” Gruden said. “The Oakland Raiders have a real place in my heart. I’d hate to see ’em leave. I love where they are. I love the tradition of the Raiders. I’m tearing up right now thinking about them moving, but I certainly understand their situation and I hope it all works out for ’em. Continue Reading


Raiders coach Jack Del Rio not overly concerned by preseason loss in Green Bay

Jack Del RIo isn't losing sleep over preseason loss to Packers. (AP Photo)

Jack Del RIo isn’t losing sleep over preseason loss to Packers. (AP Photo)

ALAMEDA _ Worried about the Raiders?

Judging from the social media reaction following a 20-12 loss to the Green Bay Packers, it seems a lot of people are wondering if the consensus trendy pick to make a playoff run is really just more of the same.

Following practice Saturday, the first one since the loss to Green Bay two days ago, it’s pretty clear Jack Del Rio can live with the results because 1) They don’t count; and 2) His team is reasonably healthy. Continue Reading


Raiders QB Derek Carr gets last word as camp breaks

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) has taken control of the Raiders.(Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) has taken control of the Raiders.(Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

NAPA — Derek Carr had the last word Tuesday, which is as it should be.

The Raiders quarterback took the podium to address the media after the 13th and final training camp practice as teammates were making their way to their rooms, their cars, and hightailing it out of the Napa Valley Marriott until next year.

Carr is the team’s most conspicuous presence, constantly working the room (or field) with a seemingly endless stream of information, encouragement and the most gentle and good-natured form of criticism when warranted.

As the quarterback in a league driven by quarterbacks, Carr went into training camp as the most important player on the Raiders. At this point, as the Raiders adjourn to the team facility in Alameda, Carr’s influence has grown, if that’s possible. Continue Reading


More from former Raiders teammates on Hall of Fame quarterback Ken Stabler

Receiver Fred Biletnikoff celebrates with Ken Stabler at the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/File)

Receiver Fred Biletnikoff celebrates with Ken Stabler at the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/File)

NAPA _ Had lots of stuff left over from story earlier this week on former Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, who will be inducted Saturday into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

The story went on-line Tuesday and was in print in Thursday’s editions of the Bay Area News Group papers . .


Raymond Chester

“When I got to the Raiders, Kenny as third string, behind Daryle Lamonica and George Blanda, but everybody knew the talent he had. The arm, the vision, it was just going to be a matter of time.” Continue Reading


Raiders RB DeAndre Washington sees height as advantage

Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington says his height enables him to hide behind linemen.(Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington says his height enables him to hide behind linemen.(Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

NAPA _ Running back DeAndre Washington had solid day Sunday on the first padded practice of training camp for the Raiders.

Washington, a fifth-round pick out of Texas Tech, had some nice inside runs, broke his biggest play on a screen pass from Matt McGloin and was fielding punts in the No. 2 position, right behind third-year player TJ Carrie.

In a manner similar to Maurice Jones-Drew, who had his biggest seasons with Jacksonville under Jack Del Rio, the 5-foot-8, 204-pound Washington sees his height as a positive rather than a negative. Continue Reading