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Raiders defense looking for redemption against Titans

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ALAMEDA — The Raiders defense hopes to leave a better first impression when it faces the Tennessee Titans on Saturday.

Oakalnd was ramshackled a week ago on its opening possession when the Green Bay Packers marched down on a 14-play touchdown drive. Eddie Lacy had 45 yards on nine carries.

Now the Raiders get a crack at the Titans, who through the first two weeks of exhibition games were second only to the 49ers in rushing, gaining 192.0 yards per game. Continue Reading

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Raiders training camp roster breakdown: Linebackers

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Ben Heeney showed his potential late last season and figures to be among the starting linebackers. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Ben Heeney showed his potential late last season and figures to be among the starting linebackers. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

We turn our attention to linebackers for part four of this 10-part series looking at each of the Raiders position groups before training camp begins on Friday.

This is when it starts to get a little tricky, especially for a team like the Raiders. The line between linebacker and defensive end can get very blurry. Consider this: Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin play essentially the same position on opposite sides of the defense. Mack is listed at defensive end and Irvin at linebacker.

For the purposes of this breakdown, I’ll go with the positions each player is listed at on the Raiders official roster. Irvin and Shilique Calhoun will appear here. Mack will be in the next post for defensive lineman. Continue Reading

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

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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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Mario Edwards Jr. not involved in team drills at first OTA

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Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards didn't join in for team drills when OTAs began Tuesday. (Raiders.com photo)

Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards didn’t join in for team drills when OTAs began Tuesday. (Raiders.com photo)

Mario Edwards Jr. was on the field when the Raiders opened their first organized team activity Tuesday, but the second-year defensive end left the field when team drills began.

Edwards, who has said on social media that he’s been cleared to play, is returning from a neck injury suffered in Week 15 of last season. He stretched with the team, but left the field and went to the weight room when practiced ramped up.

The team has remained mum on his status, with coach Jack Del Rio falling back on his personal policy to not speak about injured players except for during the season when the league requires teams to provide updates. Continue Reading

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