Quarterback Derek Carr made it through practice Friday without any setbacks in his recovery from left knee and ankle sprains. As a result, Raiders coach Tony Sparano said Carr is on track to start against the San Diego Chargers. Continue Reading
Former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon was highly critical of the Raiders in a recent rant on his radio show. Raiders fullback Marcel Reece implored Gannon to watch a practice before he questioned the team’s leadership, work ethic and commitment.
On Friday, Gannon showed up as soon as the media were permitted access to practice and watched the proceedings. Gannon is part of the crew assigned to broadcast the Raiders game against the Chargers on Sunday.
At one point, Reece and the rest of the running backs went through a drill 30 feet or so away from Gannon. No words were exchanged.
The day after Gannon railed against the Raiders, he said via Twitter that he “lost himself” in his rant. He acknowledged that there are people within the organization that want to win.
Reece was a guest on Gannon’s show earlier in the day, before Gannon went off on the team he played for and guided to a Super Bowl appearance in 2002.
After Reece heard about the rant, he said:
“My question to Rich is, when is the last time Rich actually came to watch us practice and watch the work that we put in? And for Rich to be a guy who people love, Raider fans love him, the organization has showed him a ton of love and he’s talking about the organization that gave him a chance and let him do his thing here and now he’s just bashing us.
“I’m in the business of fixing problems and not causing them. I invite Rich to a practice, come see how myself and my guys work every day, day in and day out and the excellence that we do demand of each other. That’s what I ask him.”
– In on-field news, quarterback Derek Carr is moving around well at practice and showing no obvious signs of the left knee and ankle sprains he suffered against the Dolphins in London.
Linebacker Sio Moore and fullback Marcel Reece also don’t appear limited in any way, which bodes well for their playing Sunday against the Chargers.
The same can’t be said for right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, who isn’t at practice once again. Therefore, it seems almost certain that Menelik Watson will get the nod Sunday.
Beyond that, everyone else appears healthy and ready to go, with the possible exception of cornerback Keith McGill. He wasn’t spotted during the media-access window. We won’t know for sure until coach Tony Sparano speaks with the media later today and the injury report is released.
BREAKING DOWN THE CHARGERS
* The skinny: The Chargers are on a four-game winning streak after a gut-wrenching loss to the Cardinals in their regular-season opener. Quarterback Philip Rivers is one of the league’s hottest players this season. The Chargers are on their fourth starting center and fourth starting running back as a result of a rash of injuries. Defensively, the Chargers are among the best in points allowed (first), passing yards allowed (second), total yards allowed (third) and rushing yards allowed (ninth).
* Players to fear/Offense
QB Rivers. He has 12 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. Coach Mike McCoy says Rivers is playing at a high level once again, as he has his entire NFL career.
TE Antonio Gates. He has 21 receptions for 275 yards, one behind leader Eddie Royal, and a team-high five touchdowns. The Pro Football Hall of Fame-bound player shows little signs of slowing down.
WR Royal. He has four touchdowns and five receptions of 20 yards or more.
* Players to fear/Defense
CB Brandon Flowers. He leads the Chargers with two interceptions and five passes broken up.
DE Corey Liuget. He has proved to be a consistent disruptive force in the middle of the Chargers defensive line.
S Eric Weddle. He has 26 tackles, which is one shy of the team-high figure, and serves as the glue of the defense.
* Key numbers
12.6 – The Chargers have allowed a league-low 12.6 points per game through five game. That’s more than 3 points fewer, on average, than the second-best defense.
194.8 – Average passing yards allowed by Chargers defense, which is good for second-fewest in the league.
116.3 – Rivers’ passer rating is the highest in the league and well beyond his career average. He also has four straight games with a passer rating of 120 or higher, tied for the most ever.
259 – The Chargers have four receivers with 259 yards or more receiving so far. The Raiders have only one (James Jones, with 272).
* Injury report: WR Keenan Allen (quadriceps), WR Malcom Floyd (calf), RB Donald Brown (concussion), RB Ryan Mathews (knee), OT D.J. Fluker (ankle), OL Rich Ohrnberger (back), LB Jerry Attaochu (hamstring), LB Dwight Freeney (knee), LB Jarrett Johnson (back, ankle), LB Cordarro Law (ankle), LB Reggie Walker (ankle), LB Manti Te’o (foot), CB Shareece Wright (knee) and S Darrell Stuckey (quadriceps).
* Vegas says: Chargers by 6 1/2
* What others are saying: All of the 13 so-called ESPN experts that predict the outcome of games each week have the Chargers beating the Raiders.
Filed for print . . .
Part of the reason Dennis Allen is no longer coaching the Raiders is he arrived with a reputation for defense that was seldom validated on the field.
One of the myriad conversations interim head coach Tony Sparano has had the past week came with starting quarterback Derek Carr. Sparano wanted to make one thing perfectly clear: Continue Reading
Derek Carr is doing everything asked of the quarterbacks in practice today, which bodes well for Carr being able to play against the San Diego Chargers. Continue Reading
Veteran middle linebacker Nick Roach was placed on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday. He suffered a concussion against the Green Bay Packers in an exhibition game Aug. 22 and never recovered well enough to play in a regular-season game or take part in full-contact practices. Continue Reading
The Raiders addressed their depleted corps of linebackers Tuesday by claiming Ray-Ray Armstrong off waivers from the St. Louis Rams.
Filed for print . . .
Tony Sparano has seen the enemy, and it’s wearing silver and black.