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When will Raiders QB Derek Carr take snap from center? Mum’s the word

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Derek Carr hasn’t taken a snap from iunder center in 231 snaps

ALAMEDA — When we last saw Raiders quarterback Derek Carr under center on Nov. 27, he exited with his right pinkie finger bent in different directions after an exchange with Rodney Hudson.

Since Carr’s return that day, he has taken 231 snaps from center — every one of them in either the shotgun or pistol formations, when the snap travels at least four yards through the air and with limited force on the hands of the quarterback.

Whether the Raiders return to plays run from under center against Indianapolis Saturday at the Coliseum remains to be seen, and certainly won’t be advertised by the coaching staff in advance.

In a 19-16 win over San Diego, Carr actually lined up under center late in the first quarter long enough to draw Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa offsides for a penalty. The ball was never snapped.

The rest of the game was strictly shotgun and pistol. Carr is playing with the finger taped, his brother David telling NFL Media at the time of the injury it was dislocated in two places.

While Carr directed the Raiders to a wins over Carolina and Buffalo, the offense has struggled in the last two games against division opponents Kansas City and San Diego with two touchdowns in 10 red zone possessions.

The Raiders haven’t run plays from under center in either short yardage or goal line, which usually calls for those formations, and even ran five snaps in kneel-down formations against Carolina and San Diego out of shotgun.

All of which suggests Carr’s pinkie is limiting the Raiders to some extent offensively, although neither coach Jack Del Rio nor Carr were conceding that point Monday.

“I wouldn’t draw any conclusions from that,” Del Rio said at his weekly press conference. “I think we’re doing what we think is right for us and it’s not that we can’t or we haven’t, it’s just that we’re choosing to proceed the way we are.”

Asked when he might be lining up under center on his weekly radio appearance on 95.7 The Game, Carr said, “I haven’t been limited at all. I’m taking snaps from center (in warm-ups). I did it before the game, for those that saw that. There’s no limitations so I’m just going to do what the coaches call.”

Since the injury, Carr has completed 53.3 percent of his passes (65 of 122) for 721 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions, a passer rating of 75.2. A passer rating that was 101.2 at the time of the injury has dropped to 95.2.

On Nov. 6, the Raiders had their best rushing performance of the season, with 43 attempts for 218 yards against the Denver Broncos. They ran the ball from under center on 34 of those 43 carries.

It defies logic to suggest Del Rio and offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave have made a conscious decision to abandon an entire section of the playbook and that it has nothing to do with the health of their quarterback.

In the postgame locker room after the Chargers win, Del Rio said using the shotgun in the red zone: was “an issue we’re working through . . . at some point (when) we feel better about going under center, we will.”

— Del Rio, while ecstatic for a fan base which hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2002, was getting on with the business of preparing to face the Colts.

“There’s been a drought here. We got here two years ago and talked about winning the division and being in the playoffs. The being in the playoffs part is there. The winning the division (part) is yet to be determined. We need to continue to work on that.”

— When Del Rio won a challenge which re-spotted a scramble gain by Carr for a first down, it was his third win in five challenges. The Raiders got a huge ruling in their favor when Michael Crabtree’s 13-yard catch was ruled a touchdown after originally being ruled out of bounds.

“I believe in getting it right when you can,” Del Rio said. “I’d like to see it expanded to any call you think is important enough for your  team. I’ve got a bunch of good people to help with that decision making. We’ve been fortunate to be on the right side of a bunch of those.”

— Wide receiver Amari Cooper caught one pass for 28 yards and has 12 catches for 138 yards in his last four games.

“It’d be nice to get him a few more balls, but I think at the end of the day, we want to stack up wins,” Del Rio said. “I think that’s the most important thing, but I think getting your premiere players involved is usually a good thing.”

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907

Raiders QB Derek Carr learning how to say no

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) is finding more demands on his time.. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) is finding more demands on his time.. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

ALAMEDA — Derek Carr is learning the art of avoidance.

Carr was bestowed early with the gift of gab, a trait that dates back to his days as a youth when his mother was aghast that young Derek would strike up conversations people he’d never seen before in the grocery store.

“I used to have to tell him, `You can’t just talk to strangers like that,’ ” his mother Sheryl Carr said in 2015. “He just loved talking to people — he’s still that way.”

Now that Carr is a legitimate Most Valuable Player candidate on a 10-2 team that is creating a national buzz, the “strangers” bring recorders and cameras and want to hear his story.

Which has led to a few talks on the subject of time management by coach Jack Del Rio.

“We talk about how to protect his time from guys like you that come in here,” Del Rio said good-naturedly to a national writer in town to write about the Raiders success. “When the game is bigger and there’s more people around, you’ve got to protect your time, your preparation time, your time with your family.”

Carr concedes it hasn’t always been easy.

“Sometimes it’s been had for me, to be honest, because I try to be nice to everybody and a lot of people try to take advantage of it. That’s just the truth. I’m trying to learn as we go through it, how to say no, because everyone wants a piece of what’s going on. They didn’t much want a piece of it when we were 3-13.”

That’s about as close to an edge as you’ll get from Carr, who dutifully answered questions for nearly 12 minutes Monday, pleasantly revisiting stories about his brother’s David’s influence he’s told dozens of times.

Carr has a weekly radio spot on the Raiders flagship on Mondays, his usual time with the local reporters is Wednesday and he occasionally does conference calls with media from the Raiders opponent that week. National opportunities are screened mostly through the Raiders, as well as Carr’s representation.

Because the Raiders play Thursday night, Carr talked Monday and other than pleasantries in the locker room, will be unavailable until post-game questioning. A meticulous planner, Carr goes into media sessions with talking points and deftly avoids anything of a controversial manner.

It’s much appreciated by Del Rio, who never finds himself dealing with issues because of something controversial his quarterback told reporters.

“As a young player, he’s maturing and that’s probably the thing I’m most pleased with,” Del Rio said. “Obviously the productivity is awesome. But the way he’s conducted himself, continuing to heap praise on his teammates, to make it more about us, not about anything he’s doing individually. And I think that’s really healthy for us.”

Carr, along with running back Latavius Murray, treated the offensive line to choice seats at the Warriors game Monday night. He extolled the virtues of the team in an interview with CSN Bay-Area.

 

“We have a great group of guys, honestly. We have guys with character,” Carr said.

— Safety Nate Allen played just 12 snaps on defense in 10 games (missing two with a quadriceps injury) before playing 40 snaps against Buffalo. He got an interception on the play Khalil Mack hit Tyrod Taylor in the end zone.

Allen was playing in place of Karl Joseph, who left with a toe injury.

“You can’t sit around and mope,” Allen said. “You’ve got to be ready when your number is called.”

Del Rio said, “Nate really has been a pro. It’s good to have that kind of depth we can go to. He’s had an impact for us on special teams and he showed up big (against Buffalo).

Allen is the likely starter at strong safety against Kansas City, with Joseph hobbling and unlikely to play against Kansas City.

— Defensive tackle Darius Latham, defensive tackle Stacy McGee and linebacker Shilique Calhoun did not practice. Guard Kelchi Osemele and linebacker Cory James were limited.

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1,740

Raiders recap: Reggie Nelson a captain, Edwards’ IR status, Del Rio’s Superdome gaffe

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Reggie Nelson is already a captain for the Raiders. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Reggie Nelson is already a captain for the Raiders. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Here’s a recap of what was written today that you can check out on our new updated web site:

Scan the Raiders roster and there’s a lot of good, young talent. But it’s thin on veterans.

That’s where 32-year-old safety Reggie Nelson comes into play. Nelson’s entering his 10th season, but his first with the Raiders after spending the past six years in Cincinnati. That didn’t stop him from being announced recently as one of the team’s four captains.

“To be voted amongst your peers, that’s a great thing,” Nelson said Wednesday as the Raiders held their first practice of the regular season in preparation of Sunday’s opener against the New Orleans Saints.

Read the rest of that story here:  Continue Reading

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1,124

Raiders’ Karl Joseph confident he’ll regain starting safety spot

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Karl Joseph was listed Tuesday as the Raiders' second-team strong safety for the season-opener. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Karl Joseph was listed Tuesday as the Raiders’ second-team strong safety for the season-opener. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

ALAMEDA — Karl Joseph wasn’t down on himself Tuesday after the news came out that he was shifted to second-team safety on the Raiders’ depth chart for Sunday’s season-opener against the New Orleans Saints.

“I didn’t expect anything given to me,” Joseph told this newspaper. “I’ve just got to keep learning, keep getting better and keep growing as a player and everything else will fall in its place.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself and I have no doubt in myself that I’ll get my spot back.” Continue Reading

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407

Karl Joseph replaced in starting lineup by Nate Allen

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Karl Joseph is now listed as the backup at strong safety for Week 1. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Karl Joseph is now listed as the backup at strong safety for Week 1. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

The Karl Joseph era apparently won’t begin with him in the starting lineup.

The Raiders released their updated depth chart Tuesday and have Nate Allen listed as the starter at strong safety. Joseph, the team’s first-round pick, had held that spot since the team’s initial depth chart of the exhibition season.

It’s not a huge surprise if you consider how Joseph has been used in recent weeks. In the third exhibition game against Tennessee in which the starters played into the third quarter, he played only 22 defensive snaps. That was the fewest among projected starters. Continue Reading

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1,934

Raiders place DE Mario Edwards Jr. on injured reserve

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Mario Edwards Jr. was placed on injured reserve and will miss at least half the Raiders' season. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Mario Edwards Jr. was placed on injured reserve and will miss at least half the Raiders’ season. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

The Raiders placed second-year defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. on injured reserve Monday, costing him at least half of the 2016 season.

Edwards injured his hip early in the first exhibition game of the season, an ailment that didn’t require surgery and was expected to initially sideline him 4-6 weeks. Continue Reading

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684

Atkinson claimed by Browns, Ball and Cowser to IR

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The Browns claimed George Atkinson III of waivers. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

The Browns claimed George Atkinson III of waivers. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

Running back Georger Atkinson III’s series of spectacular preseason plays earned him a spot on the Cleveland Browns roster.

Former Raiders coach Hue Jackson, the new coach of the Browns, will get his hands on Atkinson after Cleveland was awarded a waiver claim on the former Granada High and Notre Dame speedster.

Atkinson spent most of the past two years on the Raiders practice squad, with a brief 2014 stint on the active roster. He had issues with ball security, but had been improving as a player and delivered three electric plays during the exhibition games. He had touchdown runs of 53 and 35 yards in the first preseason game at Arizona and added a 1-yard touchdown run and an 81-yard kick return for a score against Seattle on Thursday.  Continue Reading

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1,310

Raiders roster cut tracker: Jalen Richard makes cut, Dewey McDonald traded, Neiko Thorpe cut

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Running back Jalen Richard reportedly will open the year on the Raiders 53-man roster. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Running back Jalen Richard reportedly will open the year on the Raiders 53-man roster. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Raiders must trim their roster to 53 by Saturday’s 1 p.m. deadline, although it’s important to note that’s the deadline to get their list of cuts to the NFL, not the media or public.

Reports may leak out throughout the day until the Raiders announce their official cuts and we’ll track those here:

In news that was expected, a pair of reports indicate that rookie undrafted running back Jalen Richard has made the roster. A reporter from KALB in Louisiana and Southwestern Mississippi cited members of Richard’s family that said the Southern Miss product had made the squad. ESPN also confirmed Richard was sticking around. Continue Reading

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