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Consistency is next step in Khalil Mack’s All-Pro game

Khalil Mack can still improve from his All-Pro season. (Bay Area News Group)

Khalil Mack can still improve from his All-Pro season. (Bay Area News Group file photo)

Khalil Mack’s jump from his rookie to sophomore season was impressive, but he can still reach another level.

“Consistency,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said when asked what the next step is for his All-Pro pass rusher.

“We expect him to play at that level all the time,” Norton said. “The really good players know how to make players around them better. It can’t just be Khalil. It has to be Bruce (Irvin), it has to be all the guys up front. The group, as a whole, has to take the same leap that Khalil does. Khalil has to learn how to bring everybody with him.” Continue Reading

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793

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio joins Twitter

Jack Del RIo is now on Twitter, @coachdelrio. (AP Photo)

Jack Del RIo is now on Twitter, @coachdelrio. (AP Photo)

Jack Del Rio has joined the digital age.

The Raiders head coach signed up for Twitter on Wednesday, posting a selfie with the team for his first post from his verified account. He can be followed @coachdelrio.

“Just an opportunity to, I guess be a little more current and share a little insight,” Del Rio said. “Give you a little peek into what we’re doing here and how hard we’re working, be purposeful, building for this season and how excited we are for it.” Continue Reading

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33

Crabtree loves gunslinging Carr and Raiders offseason moves

Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree sees his team building a championship roster. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree sees his team building a championship roster. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Michael Crabtree started the domino fall late last season when he signed a four-year contract extension with the Raiders.

Then he got to sit back and watch in the offseason as the Raiders added a steady stream of talented free agents to create a roster that many is projecting as a playoff contender.

“Just really trying to build a championship team,” Crabtree said Wednesday of the team’s moves. “Doing the most we can do to win and building a winning team. I like what we’re doing.” Continue Reading

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43

Raiders lighten the load as OTAs wind down

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio guided a lighter practice on Wednesday. (AP photo)

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio guided a lighter practice on Wednesday. (AP photo)

ALAMEDA — The Raiders held a toned-down practice session on Wednesday in their final open session of organized team activities before next week’s three-day mini-camp.

“Had a good mental day and backed it down a little bit,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “We’ll be full speed tomorrow.”

The lighter session meant no helmets at practice — by rule, they can’t wear pads until training camp anyway — and a practice nothing like the one last week that saw a few skirmishes.

“We have to learn how to practice in shorts and sometimes with taking the helmets off and lightening it up,” Del Rio said. “We have to be the team that understands what it looks like to maintain that mental intensity and back it down physically. We’ll do that in training camp. It’s an opportunity for us to help them understand what it looks like.” Continue Reading

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1,317

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. talks about his father and Muhammad Ali _ full transcript

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

A full transcript of an interview with Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. on the relationship and the three fights between his late father Ken Norton Sr. and Muhammad Ali:

Q: Muhammad Ali was one of the biggest personalities in the world, not only in sports, and a part of his legacy were the three bouts with your father. What were your thoughts when you heard Friday Ali had passed away? Continue Reading

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Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. recalls his father’s fights and friendship with Muhammad Ali

Ken Norton and Muhammad Ali fought three times, with Ali winning twice. All were extremely close (AP photo)

Ken Norton and Muhammad Ali fought three times, with Ali winning twice. All were extremely close (AP photo)

ALAMEDA _ When Muhammad Ali passed away Friday, the memories came to Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. in a rush.

His first thoughts were of being a 6-year-old kid, sitting in a room at the LaJolla Village Inn with his grandmother. His father, Ken Norton Sr., was fighting Ali at the nearby San Diego Sports Arena on March 31, 1973.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Norton said Tuesday in an interview with the Bay Area News Group. “My father didn’t allow me to go to the fights, so we had to sit around and wait for the news to get back to the hotel. We finally got the news that he had won, that he had broke (Ali’s) jaw . . . it was one of the most exciting times of my life.”

It turned out to be a life-changing experience for father and son. Ali and Norton would fight twice more, with each one as close as the split-decision win awarded to Norton in the first bout. Continue Reading

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397

Marshawn Lynch says `I’m not playing football anymore’ and won’t play for Raiders or anyone else

Marshawn Lynch told Showtime 60 Minutes Sports he wasn't laying for the Raiders or anyone else.

Marshawn Lynch told Showtime 60 Minutes Sports he wasn’t laying for the Raiders or anyone else.

Marshawn Lynch has made it clear.

 

No more football. Not even in his hometown for the Raiders.

Lynch came out and stated it for the record on Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports in an interview which will be telecast Tuesday night.

Asked specifically about the Raiders, a team in need of an upgraded running game, Lynch said to host Jon Wertheim, “No, I’m done. I enjoyed my time playing. Now it’s time to watch my cousins do their thing.” Continue Reading

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8,707

Raiders G Gabe Jackson adjusting to life on the right side

Gabe jackson photoALAMEDA _ It came as at least a minor surprise when the Raiders determined that Gabe Jackson would switch to the right side following the signing of Kelechi Osemele.

Jackson was exclusively a left guard throughout four years as a starter at Mississippi State and two seasons with the Raiders. Osemele was a left guard as well, but had experience on the right side as a rookie tackle when the Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl.

Once the Raiders re-signed Donald Penn and it was clear Osemele wouldn’t be a tackle, Jackson got a call from line coach Mike Tice.

“I mean, coach said he wanted to experiment with it and see which one of us would be comfortable playing it, so that’s what phase we’re in right now,” Jackson said Tuesday following the Raiders’ organized team activity. Continue Reading

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1,339

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr thriving in second year of system after missing most of off-season a year ago

Quarterback Derek Carr feels ahead of the game with a second year in the offensive system. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Quarterback Derek Carr feels ahead of the game with a second year in the offensive system. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

ALAMEDA _ Team rules concerning the media don’t allow for specific reporting when it comes to plays run in practice, so the end result will suffice _ and Tuesday one play concluded with quarterback Derek Carr in the end zone, having scored a touchdown.

There was hooting and hollering from the defense, coordinator Ken Norton Jr. in particular, and much rejoicing from the offense.

In the middle of it was Carr, doing something he was unable to do a year ago when an undisclosed injury limited him to spectator status until the final off-season workout before training camp.

“We did something in the red zone we haven’t even installed yet but we just checked with it and went with it because we’re already at that point,” Carr said. “Everyone celebrated and it was awesome.”

Carr is in his second year in offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s system and is familiar with most of his starters. In his third year with the Raiders, Carr is adding on rather than starting from scratch.

“Having Derek out there for these practices is more than we had last year with his injury, so we’re looking to take advantage of that,” Musgrave said. “He doesn’t have to learn a new language. Two years in the league, two different systems, now he feels like he’s got a grasp of things. He can put his own signature on the system.” Continue Reading

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