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Healthy Raiders wrap up offseason program

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio expects to have his entire roster available when training camp begins. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio expects to have his entire roster available when training camp begins. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The Raiders wrapped their offseason program Thursday happy and, more importantly, healthy.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he expects to have his entire roster available when training camp begins in Napa in six weeks.

“I think we feel good about the whole team coming into camp being ready to work,” Del Rio said. “Obviously, we’ll see when we get there, but that’s the anticipation, that we’d have a healthy team going into camp.”

The Raiders got through this week’s three-day mandatory minicamp with only seven players among the 90-man active roster unable to see any action. Only one player, cornerback DJ Hayden, suffered an injury during the three days of practice that caused him to miss a day. He sat out Thursday with what Del Rio termed “a little tweak.” Continue Reading

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Amari Cooper letting his voice be heard a little more

Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper is talking a little more this year. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper is talking a little more this year. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Amari Cooper seems to be taking on a slightly more talkative role thus far with both his teammates and the media.

The Raiders’ second-year wide receiver chatted on Wednesday following Day 2 of the team’s mandatory three-day minicamp and hit a solid range of topics.

Regarding the foot injury that hampered him toward the end of last season, Cooper said: “It’s always frustrating when you can’t do all the things you really want to do out there. But injuries are a part of the game. But I did learn from it. You’re supposed to take care of your body and not take it lightly.”

He spoke of his increased comfort level as a second-year player. Continue Reading

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Carr honored by Crabtree’s Favre comparison

Derek Carr was honored by Michael Crabtree's comparison to Brett Favre. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Derek Carr was honored by Michael Crabtree’s comparison to Brett Favre. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was honored by the compliment paid to him recently by Michael Crabtree, who said last week that his quarterback reminded him a lot of Hall of Famer Brett Favre.

“Brett is somebody that I looked up to as a kid, the way he played the game,” Carr said. “So I wore No. 4 ever since I could remember, I always wanted to wear 4 somehow, some way. For him to say that, it was so cool because I don’t think I’ve told him that. Continue Reading

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Raiders’ Carr and Cooper connection coalescing in second season together

The chemistry of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper is growing in their second year together. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The chemistry of Derek Carr and Amari Cooper is growing in their second year together. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Their first year together saw both Derek Carr and Amari Cooper find their way to the Pro Bowl, albeit as alternates.

Add a full offseason to that and what can the Raiders expect from their potentially dynamic young quarterback and wide receiver combination?

The early signs show the young duo is ready to jump to another level.

“I’m able to throw the ball a lot earlier,” Carr said of his increased rapport with Cooper. “I’m able to trust where he’s going to be at. I’m used to seeing his routes run a certain way. Those are the things that take time.

“It’s always going to take time getting that chemistry down, but it’s nice to see all the hard work in practice that we’ve had together paying off out here in practice and hopefully come August, September and through the season.” Continue Reading

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Raiders minicamp Day 1: Malcolm Smith returns, Carr and Cooper hook up, backup QBs rotate reps

Derek Carr had a strong first day of Raiders minicamp. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Derek Carr had a strong first day of Raiders minicamp. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Along with defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr., Tuesday’s first day of the Raiders minicamp also marked the return of linebacker Malcolm Smith. An undisclosed injury had kept him from participating in team drills during OTAs.

“Good to get out there and starting to get more guys healthy and able to join us today, which is good to see,” coach Jack Del Rio said.

Safety Reggie Nelson has still yet to see the field for the Raiders, although the team says he has been on site at the facility. Running back Roy Helu Jr., who had offseason hip surgery, and defensive lineman Denico Autry, also were not at practice. Continue Reading

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Del Rio lends ‘passionate support’ toward Warriors

Jack Del Rio isn’t afraid to get behind his fellow Bay Area teams. It’s not a false fandom either when you consider the Oakland Raiders coach is a Hayward native who grew up cheering for the home teams, including the Golden State Warriors.

Del Rio showed off his passion during Monday night’s Game 5 of the NBA Finals in which he was seated right behind one of the baskets. Any questions about how much he was into the game were answered when he jumped from his seat to protest what he was ruled a jump ball situation between the Warriors’ Klay Thompson and Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson. Continue Reading

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Mario Edwards Jr. returns to practice, says he’s fully cleared

Mario Edwards Jr. practiced and spoke to the media for the first time since late last season.

Mario Edwards Jr. practiced and spoke to the media for the first time since late last season.

Mario Edwards Jr. returned as a full practice participant Tuesday for the first time since suffering a neck injury in Week 15 of last season.

Edwards, a second-year defensive lineman whose promising rookie season was cut short by the injury, said he’s fully cleared and will suit up for full contact when training camp begins in late July.

“It felt great to be back with the team, out there working hard with the guys,” said Edwards, addressing the media for the first time since his injury. “Ready for the next day.” Continue Reading

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Max McCaffrey saw ‘opportunity’ with Raiders when spurning dad’s Broncos

Max McCaffrey is trying to make the Raiders roster as an undrafted free agent. (AP Photo)

Max McCaffrey is trying to make the Raiders roster as an undrafted free agent. (AP Photo)

Max McCaffrey didn’t have to apologize to his dad or offer some long, deep explanation when he spurned the Denver Broncos to sign an undrafted free agent contract with the Raiders.

“He was right there with me when I made that decision,” McCaffrey said of his father, Ed, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Broncos.

“It’s a great opportunity,” the younger McCaffrey said of joining the Raiders. “There’s a lot of great people in this organization so he was obviously supportive.

“I obviously grew up watching my dad on the Broncos, cheering for them, but at the same time, there’s 32 teams. I just want to play football and this organization has been nothing but amazing for me.” Continue Reading

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After offseason moves, could Raiders’ secondary suddenly be a strength?

David Amerson boosted the Raiders secondary last season and could help it be a strength in 2016. (Getty Images)

David Amerson boosted the Raiders secondary last season and could help it be a strength in 2016. (Getty Images)

Anyone who evaluated the Raiders’ roster at the start of the 2015 season likely came to the same conclusion: the secondary is the weakness.

The first-half of the season did nothing to alter that opinion. The Raiders allowed an average of 314.6 passing yards per game, on pace to be the worst in franchise history.

But the group improved over the second half, particularly as waiver wire claim David Amerson came into his own. Oakland surrendered only 202.9 pass yards per game in the second half.

Suddenly, with an offseason spent fortifying the defense — and secondary in particularly — the group has a chance to be among the Raiders’ strengths. Continue Reading

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Ken Norton Jr.: New Raiders safety Karl Joseph ‘a pack of dynamite’

New Raiders safety Karl Joseph is "dynamite". (Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports)

New Raiders safety Karl Joseph is “a pack dynamite”. (Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports)

Ken Norton Jr. has been able to get his hands on a couple of his new toys, but one is still wrapped up in its packaging.

First-round pick Karl Joseph, a safety from West Virginia, isn’t expected to be ready until training camp after tearing his ACL during his senior season.

So while Norton, the Raiders’ defensive coordinator, has gotten a look at new cornerback Sean Smith and outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, Joseph has remained in the weight room and on the sidelines. (Free agent safety Reggie Nelson also has not practice, presumably due to an injury). Continue Reading

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