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Five Raiders to watch in exhibition opener vs. Cardinals

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Second-round pick Jihad Ward is a Raiders player to watch Friday night. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Second-round pick Jihad Ward is a Raiders player to watch Friday night. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Raiders opened last preseason by using their first drive to feed their new hog. Then rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper had four offensive touches on the opening possession.

That doesn’t figure to be the case Friday with their latest first-round pick, as safety Karl Joseph is likely to sit out when the Raiders kick off against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Continue Reading

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Del Rio address fights, says Edwards Jr. (hand) should be fine

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Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio expects Mario Edwards Jr.'s hand to be fine after getting hurt in a fight at practice. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio expects Mario Edwards Jr.’s hand to be fine after getting hurt in a fight at practice. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. was held out of team drills and dealt with soreness in his right hand a day after being ejected from practice along with left guard Kelechi Osemele for getting in a pair of fights. Edwards presumably injured the hand when he and Osemele both exchanged punches on Saturday.

Coach Jack Del Rio didn’t wait to be asked when he met the media on Sunday, jumping right in during his opening statement.

“I think before I even get asked I’ll just go ahead and speak to it so you don’t have to go there with yesterday,” Del Rio said. “A couple of guys got ejected from practice. I just didn’t think they were prepared to do the things we needed to do to help our team continue to work. They were both talked to and understand that’s not how we do things, not what we’re looking for. We basically handled that and put it to rest. Continue Reading

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Mario Edwards Jr. and Kelechi Osemele both return to practice

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Mario Edwards Jr. and Kelechi Osemele are both practicing Sunday after being booted from practice the day before. (Raiders.com photo)

Mario Edwards Jr. and Kelechi Osemele are both practicing Sunday after being booted from practice the day before. (Raiders.com photo)

Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. and left guard Kelechi Osemele returned to practice Sunday morning following their ejection for fighting the day before.

The two exchanged punches twice in about a five-minute period Saturday that led coach Jack Del Rio to sending them both off. Edwards later had ice on his right hand.

When Edwards first took the field Sunday, he was not wearing shoulder pads. He chatted with defensive line coach Jetthro Franklin and later Del Rio before jogging back to the locker room to put on his pads and join the practice. He had just a little bit of tape on the right hand. Continue Reading

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228

Raiders boot Osemele and Edwards from practice for fighting

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Mario Edwards Jr. (pictured) and Kelechi Osemele were tossed out of practice for fightin.. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Mario Edwards Jr. (pictured) and Kelechi Osemele were tossed out of practice for fightin.. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

The Raiders are teetering on the edge of overagression.
For the second time in three days, the Raiders saw a training camp practice marred by fighting. This time, it forced Raiders coach Jack Del Rio to kick two players out of practice.

Starting left guard Kelechi Osemele and right defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. threw punches twice in about a five-minute span that led Del Rio to declare he had seen enough. Both players left the field and a team spokesman confirmed they were kicked out of practice. Del Rio was not scheduled to speak to the media and was not available to comment. Continue Reading

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1,300

Tice: Raiders interior line could be the best he’s seen

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The Raiders offensive line interior of Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson has potential to be dominant.

The Raiders offensive line interior of Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson has potential to be dominant.

The Raiders have earned plenty of praise for their offensive line, with some pundits calling it potentially one of the best in the league.

The strength of that group is on the interior. Left guard Kelechi Osemele, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson form a group that’s smart, big and incredibly powerful.

Raiders offensive line coach Mike Tice, who has been coaching in the NFL for 20 years to follow up a 14-year player career, isn’t sure he’s seen a better group. Continue Reading

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571

Raiders training camp roster breakdown: Offensive line

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Signing Kelechi Osemele in free agency boosts the Raiders' offensive line. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Signing Kelechi Osemele in free agency boosts the Raiders’ offensive line. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The offensive line jumps in for part six of this 10-part series breaking down the Raiders training camp roster.

Kelechi Osemele‘s signing in free agency created plenty of hype for this group. The deal to retain left tackle Donald Penn gave it another boost.

The group may only have one combined Pro Bowl appearance — Penn in 2010 — but it’s a solid group that could see that number rise. Let’s take a look at them:  Continue Reading

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778

Del Rio on free agency spending spree: “We just got started”

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Raiders coach Jack Del Rio says the team still has a lot of work to do. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio says the team still has a lot of work to do. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

The Raiders’ offseason is generating plenty of compliments league wide, but coach Jack Del Rio isn’t ready to declare they’ve made any statements yet.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Del Rio said to reporters Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “We just got started. I don’t feel like (we’re) sending any signal or doing anything other than recognizing needs and desires to acquire good players, recognizing the need on our roster to fortify ourselves, make ourselves stronger. That remains the approach.” Continue Reading

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228

Howard to miss start of offseason, Watson questionable

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Austin Howard and Menelik Watson, both returning from injury, will eventually battle for the Raiders' right tackle job. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Austin Howard and Menelik Watson, both returning from injury, will eventually battle for the Raiders’ right tackle job. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Menelik Watson and Austin Howard will battle for the starting right tackle job again, but not until they make returns from injury.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio told reporters Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton,, Fla., that Watson has a chance to be ready when the team’s offseason program starts April 18, but Howard will miss at least the beginning. Continue Reading

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Penn re-signs with Raiders, ‘ready to look forward to winning’

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Donald Penn is happy to be back with the Raiders and he and offensive line coach Mike Tice are excited for what that group can do. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Donald Penn is happy to be back with the Raiders and he and offensive line coach Mike Tice are excited for what that group can do. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The Raiders and Donald Penn were both always in each other’s plans — just on different pathways.

Those paths finally merged and led to Penn agreeing to a deal to remain in Oakland. The deal was made late Tuesday night and formally announced by the team on Thursday.

The return of the team’s starting left tackle, reportedly on a two-year, $14 million deal, stabilizes an offensive line that added the top available free agent in Kelechi Osemele and now enters the discussion among the league’s top units. Continue Reading

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