Geno Smith, Giants have Raiders' full attention: 'Our plan is...'


Geno Smith, Giants have Raiders' full attention: 'Our plan is...'

ALAMEDA – The New York Giants are 2-1 against the AFC West. They haven’t won a game outside that division.

Head coach Ben McAdoo was asked about playing well against that division in a conference call previewing Sunday’s game against the Raiders at Oakland Coliseum.

“That was not the first question I expected today. that to be the first question,” McAdoo said.

There are a few other things to discuss.

Eli Manning was benched in favor of Geno Smith after 210 consecutive starts. Yeah, you read that right. The Giants organization has come under fire for how it was handled, the latest in a series of gaffes by a blue blood organization.

That’s just one issue plaguing the 2-9 Giants, a playoff team one year ago and the one team playing farther below expectations than the Raiders.

The Giants have 20 guys in injured reserve, including Odell Beckham and Brandon Marshall and Janoris Jenkins, who was put on the shelf Wednesday morning.

In short, this team is in shambles. The Giants are clearly beatable, even if Raiders receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper sit out as expected.

Jack Del Rio tried to pump them up, as NFL head coaches are known to do, extolling the talent on both lines and, in a funny twist, how good the Giants have played against the AFC West.

“We’re getting ready to play a talented team with a lot of talented coaches,” Del Rio said. “We’re gearing up for a tough battle that we’ve got to have. Our margin for error is already in the rearview mirror. They have our full attention.”

Injured talent isn’t coming back. The Raiders don’t care much for Giants brass’ job security. The quarterback switch, however, could be impactful.

Manning has two Super Bowl rings and 212 games of experience, though he couldn’t win many games without weapons. Geno Smith is now charged with that same task as the Giants evaluate quarterbacks on the roster. Rookie Cal product Davis Webb will get a shot at some point, though McAdoo said Manning will be the No. 2 guy on Sunday.

Smith has done well against the Raiders. The former New York Jet is 2-0 as a starter against the Silver and Black – he came in once as a backup, when his team lost – completing 70 percent of his passes with 4 touchdowns, three picks and a 91.8 passer rating. Whether it’s Smith or Manning, the Raiders take this opponent seriously.

“We’re prepared for anybody who steps out there,” cornerback David Amerson said. “Geno is an athlete. Everybody knows about his throwing talent. He’s very capable, and can get hot if you let him. Our plan is to not let him get hot, him or Eli. We have our hands full. We can’t ever take anything lightly.”

Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order


Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Oakland Raiders player Aldon Smith surrendered to police Friday on charges he violated a domestic violence restraining order.

San Francisco police said the 28-year-old Smith turned himself and was booked on three misdemeanor charges of violating a court order to stay away from a domestic violence victim.

Earlier this month, Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges and a judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Police said Smith violated the restraining order earlier this week.

Smith’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, did not return a voicemail message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Raiders released the linebacker days after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

He had been on the suspended list since late 2015 for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”