Raiders

Al's rage would have powered a neighborhood

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Al's rage would have powered a neighborhood

Jerry Jones angrily pounded the Dallas locker room door after the Cowboys latest eggy performance. Bud Adams essentially threw his entire Tennessee Titans team under the road grader he was driving for giving up 51 to Chicago.But there was not a sound in Oakland, where the Raiders let Doug Martin become a household name. In other words, just one more reason to wish Al Davis was still around.Not that he would have said anything after Sundays 42-32 loss to Tampa Bay, mind you. He reserved that level of entertainment for coaches hirings and firings, so he averaged a performance a year for the last 10.But his rage would have powered a neighborhood, and the walls at Raiders Intergalactic Headquarters would have bled for days. Youd have known he was there. Damn straight you would have.This is something we get too little of these days. The new generation of sporting entrepreneur is good at hiding from the public eye, hiring people to explain his (or her) whims and demands without him ever having to pop up at all.The old owners tended to stand out front more, doing odd things like taking responsibility and blowing off steam and shaking their fists and saying Why I oughta . . . The new ones want to lay in pile of money and dream of being holograms.In the Bay Area, the only owner who is eminently visible is Joe Lacob, who sits courtside, often with his arms folded across his chest and looking like he wishes he had heat vision. He is the Warriors, and the Warriors are him. And hell pretty well talk to anyone, any time.This could change, of course, if the Warriors overcome their quick start and settle into their much-predicted high-30s win projection. He is reaching that stage in his progression as an owner in which someone with a tape recorder or camera is more bother than opportunity.But he isnt there yet. And that makes him, well, special. Especially in these parts.

Mark Davis, who inherited the big chair from his father, fulminated privately Sunday if at all. Jed York leaves the football P.R. to Jim Harbaugh (and wouldnt you have killed to see him do the Raiders presser today?), though he will bloviate about the new stadium pretty much on command.The As and Giants exceeded expectations, the Giants winning it all, and other than celebratory moments, neither John-Boy Fisher nor Charlie Johnson made an appearance. Sharks front man Kevin Compton has spoken for the record once, before the lockout.In other words, Jones and Adams are old school. Lacob is kind of old school. The rest of them are . . . well, no school. They attend, but their participation in classroom discussion is nil.It is a safer place to be. Someone else deals with the outside world. Someone else has to handle the art of the spin. The value of invisibility is evident.But its also a little weak.The perfect owner is available for blame deflection after losses, even if its just to say, These are my guys, and theyre going to stay my guys. You want to yell, yell at me. After all, Im part of this too.The perfectly awful owner is available only for victories, to explain his (or her) magnificence when it is safe to do so.But the perpetually invisible owner resides in a netherworld where their very existence is really none of your business. Being above it all is a constant, and frankly, safety is boring.None of this will change, mind you. Our localities owners will occasionally be there when they need us, but never when we need them. They like that deal. Its the one where they win either way, and it explains their business practices in general. Thats how they got to be owners.But I speak for all America when I say that we could have used some public Mark Davis rage Sunday. It was a game that demanded it, frankly, and there are so few demands the Raiders make upon us otherwise.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

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USATSI

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

The Raiders are razor thin at cornerback, without many bodies or talent they can trust. They were down to three healthy career cornerbacks heading into Sunday’s game against New England, with TJ Carrie, Sean Smith and Dexter McDonald available.

Head coach Jack Del Rio added a new name to the mix. He started second-round safety Obi Melifonwu at cornerback against the high-flying Patriots, an experiment that didn’t work out well.

Melifonwu played 26 snaps at cornerback, where he had been working some in practice since becoming eligible to return off injured reserve. He spent the early season on IR after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

Melifonwu was put in a tough spot, and struggled as a result. He allowed two receptions for 69 yards on four targets, including a 64-yard touchdown to Brandin Cooks where he had his eyes in the backfield when the Patriots speedster blew right by.

This position switch came in Melifonwu’s second NFL game, with just seven defensive snaps under his belt. 

Head coach Jack Del Rio admitted it was a move made out of desperation.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Del Rio said after Sunday’s 33-8 loss to New England at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. “We need more production (at cornerback). We're willing to try just about anything and we talked about being lean there and needing more production from that spot.

“(Melifonwu’s) a talented kid and it was probably asking a little too much, but we are going to roll those guys, we rolled our guys in the secondary tonight, and we're going to do that. We have got to do that until somebody starts playing well enough to stay in there full-time.”

The Raiders are in a bind at cornerback with Gareon Conley on injured reserve and David Amerson out three straight games with a foot injury. Demetrius McCray and Antonio Hamilton are also on season-ending injured reserve.

Carrie was a mainstay on Sunday, playing all 60 defensive snaps. Smith took over early, when the Melifonwu experiment wasn’t working out. He played 43 snaps, allowing three catches for 34 yards on five targets. McDonald played just eight snaps.

The Raiders are hoping someone can improve and settle into a full-time spot. The secondary has been thin for some time, but the personnel department has declined to sign anyone new off the street for depth.

That means Del Rio’s staff is still searching for answers at that position from a small pool.

“We're not playing really well on the back end and we have to find a way,” Del Rio said. “And we're going to make it competitive and let guys challenge for it and challenge for time and the guys that play the best are going to play the most.”

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Derek Carr 74
Running back – DeAndre Washington 24, Marshawn Lynch 21, Jamize Olawale 14, Jalen Richard 11,
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 67, Seth Roberts 59, Michael Crabtree 58, Cordarelle Patterson 25, Johnny Holton 13
Tight end – Jared Cook 54, Clive Walford 14, Lee Smith 10
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 74, Rodney Hudson 74, Donald Penn 74, Gabe Jackson 74, Vadal Alexander 74

DEFENSE
Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 53, Mario Edwards 44, Justin Ellis 38, Eddie Vanderdoes 34, Denico Autry 31, Treyvon Hester 24, James Cowser 14
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 51, Bruce Irvin 46, Cory James 44, Nicholas Morrow 15, Marquel Lee 9
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 60, Sean Smith 43, Obi Melifonwu 26, Dexter McDonald 8
Safety – Reggie Nelson 60, Karl Joseph 51, Shalom Luani 9

SPECIAL TEAMS
Nicholas Morrow 18, James Cowser 18, Marquel Lee 15, Erik Harris 15, Xavier Woodson-Luster 15, Keith McGill 15, Jamize Olawale 15, Cordarrelle Patterson 13, Dexter McDonald 12, DeAndre Washington 11, Jalen Richard 9, Shalom Luani 9, Lee Smith 7, Khalil Mack 7, Mario Edwards 7, Eddie Vanderdoes 7, Denico Autry 7, Treyvon Hester 7, Jon Feliciano 7, Johnny Holton 6, TJ Carrie 6, Jon Condo 4, Marquette King 4, Karl Joseph 2, Cory James 2, Obi Melifonwu 2, Giorgio Tavecchio 2

DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel, OT David Sharpe

INACTIVE
QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, DL Jihad Ward, CB David Amerson, LB Shilique Calhoun, RT Marshall Newhouse, DT Darius Latham

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery

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USATSI

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery

Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley will have surgery to repair his injured shin on Monday, a week after he was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

This year’s No. 24 overall pick announced that news in an Instagram post, accompanied by a picture of his young son.

Surgery was always a likely outcome after heading to IR, though the team never formally stated that would occur.

The Raiders believe Conley will return completely healthy for the 2018 campaign, and have high hopes for him as a lock down cover man.

They could certainly use him this season. He was expected to contribute heavily as a rookie, but a shin injury suffered in a June minicamp prevented that from happening. He missed training camp and the entire preseason slate, but eventually made his NFL debut in Week 2. He suffered a setback in a Week 3 game at Washington, and was shut down indefinitely on Oct. 6.

Conley was re-evaluated early last week, and the Raiders didn’t see enough progress to keep him on the 2017 roster.

The Raiders are lacking at cornerback with Conley down and David Amerson dealing with a foot injury.

Head coach Jack Del Rio will speak to the media Monday afternoon, and provide an update on Conley’s procedure.