Based on Reid's track record coming off bye, history not on Raiders' side

Based on Reid's track record coming off bye, history not on Raiders' side

ALAMEDA – Playing the Kansas City Chiefs after a bye week is no fun. Head coach Andy Reid is excellent outsmarting the opposition when given an extra week to prepare, leading his teams to victory under those circumstances at an alarming rate.

His teams are 15-2 coming off a bye.

The Raiders drew the short straw this year.

They host Kansas City on Sunday at Oakland Coliseum. The Chiefs were idle the week before.

That often spells trouble. There’s extra motivation to right their ship after Pittsburgh humiliated them 43-14 on national television.

What’s his secret? Reid isn’t telling, but he seems to have found a delicate balance of rest and new looks.

“I think certainly he does a great job of giving us some good time off and getting rested and getting back healthy,” Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said. “I think he’s efficient with it. Then when we do come back, we dive right back into our normal schedule, which is really well thought out, and I know he puts a lot of time into. It’s hard. Certainly, obviously, in any bye week you hope you’re getting healthy, getting rested. I don’t know if there’s any one thing though that would point to that success.”

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Sunday’s game was given extra juice when San Diego beat Denver on Thursday night. That moved the Raiders into sole possession of first place in the AFC West, a spot they’ll keep by beating Kansas City. The Chiefs can equal Denver and Oakland in the loss column with a victory over the Raiders.

The Raiders have only had a week to game-plan for Kansas City, though some advance work was certainly done beforehand.

The Chiefs are certainly right physically. They didn’t have a single player miss practice on Thursday, and running back Jamaal Charles claimed to be fully fit after returning from ACL surgery.

Del Rio is ready for Reid’s best and a healthy team coming off a bye.

“Good time off; time off well spent,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I think we all like to put together a plan and come out of our byes and play good football. He’s done a good job of that.”

Whether it’s coming off a bye or on regular rest, the Raiders have had trouble with Kansas City recently. The Chiefs swept the Raiders last season, and have won five of the last six meetings. The Raiders lone win since 2012 was Derek Carr’s first, a come-from-behind victory that snapped a 10-game losing streak.

“We need to go out there and we need to compete and try and get a win against a team that we didn’t beat last year and we know how tough it is to play them,” Carr said. “But, that’s the mindset that we have is, yes the records are what they are right now, but that that means absolutely nothing. We didn’t beat them last year but this is a new year and we have a new opportunity.”

Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection


Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection

The Raiders entered this free agency period needing defensive help throughout the depth chart. They signed presumptive starters earlier in this veteran acquisition process, but didn’t stop there.

The Silver and Black have added depth this week especially, signing a key cog in linebacker Emmanuel Lamur on Wednesday afternoon.

Lamur spent the last two years in Minnesota and the previous four in Cincinnati with new Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Guenther was his position coach from 2012-13 and his DC from 2014-15. He also knows Raiders linebackers coach David Lippincott from the Bengals days

Lamur has primarily been a reserve, but Guenther gave him an opportunity to start in 2014. He had 59 tackles and two interceptions in 13 starts that year as a strongside linebacker.

The Raiders have options at that spot, but no firm starter at this stage if Bruce Irvin plays defensive end full time.

Lamur hasn’t played much defense the last two years, but is known as a quality special teams contributor. The Raiders have signed several of those players in an attempt to improve coverage and returns.

All told, the Raiders have signed 14 unrestricted free agents with a shot to make the 53-man roster since last week began. The roster will turnover significantly in Jon Gruden’s return to the Raiders, and it’s possible he signs more players in coming days.

The Raiders are still looking for upgrades at receiver, and might add another bargain defensive lineman.

Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders

Ndamukong Suh won’t meet with the Raiders, after all. The star defensive tackle cut Alameda out of his free-agent tour, according to NFL Network, choosing instead to head home after stops in New Orleans, Tennessee and the L.A. Rams.

NFLN reports that Suh had dinner with Rams coach Sean McVay on Tuesday night, and was due in Oakland the following day. The Rams made a solid impression

Suh is reportedly mulling options from all three aforementioned playoff teams, all of which have more working salary-cap space and other stalwarts along the defensive line.

That’s surely a disappointment for the Raiders, who have had interest in Suh dating back to his last free-agent experience in 2015. The Silver and Black couldn’t afford him then. It seems unlikely they can afford him now, with precious little salary-cap space remaining after being active in free agency’s second wave.

The Raiders also hope to lock Khalil Mack up long-term with a massive extension this offseason.

It’s uncertain at this stage whether player or team cancelled the meeting, or exactly why it was called off. The Raiders could still sign a veteran defensive tackle, and/or acquire one early in the NFL Draft.