Gutierrez: Where do Raiders go from here at TE?


Gutierrez: Where do Raiders go from here at TE?

Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comOK, Raider Nation, you've had a night to sleep on it.Now that Zach Miller has chosen Seattle, Tom Cable and a guaranteed 17 million over returning to Oakland, what do you think the Raiders' next move should be at tight end?The answer seems obvious, at least by your responses to the poll on my Facebook "fan" page, where a whopping 78 percent of you voted for Al Davis to put the full-court press on unrestricted free agent Kevin Boss.The feeling, apparently, is mutual.
NEWS: Seahawks sign TE Miller away from Raiders
Last week on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Boss told host Adam Schein he was keeping tabs on the Miller situation and that Oakland would "interest" him if Miller left, what with Boss being from the West Coast and all.So now with Miller gone, Boss, who played college ball at Western Oregon and was selected in the same 2007 draft as Miller would seemingly help ease the pain.Miller is the more accomplished pass catcher, with 226 receptions for 2,712 yards and a Pro Bowl invitation, compared to Boss' 119 receptions for 1,600 yards and a Super Bowl ring with the New York Giants as a rookie.But Boss has been more dangerous in the red zone, coming up with 18 touchdown catches, compared to Miller's 12 TDs. And, many see Boss as a better run blocker, though Miller is underrated in that area.At 6-feet-7, Boss is also two inches taller than Miller.But does that make him the obvious target, not only for Al Davis in training camp, but for quarterback Jason Campbell in actual games?Or is it another pipe dream? Could the Raiders already have the answer in house?Brandon Myers jumps to the top of the depth chart and played admirably when Miller was slowed by injury the past two seasons. But few, if any, see Myers maintaining the role needed in new coach Hue Jackson's system.Plus, the Raiders drafted a tight end in the sixth round out of Miami in Richard Gordon and seventh-rounder David Ausberry from USC is impressing in camp as he gets snaps at tight end.Then, there's the wild card - fullback Marcel Reece. He was a receiver in college and caught 25 passes out of the backfield for 333 yards last season with three touchdowns. Might he be able to make the conversion to tight end? Thing is, he's only 6-3, 240 pounds, not quite the size of the Raiders' prototypical tight end.So where do the Raiders go from here? Time is of the essence since veteran free agents signed after the lockout can begin practicing Thursday. And the exhibition opener is Aug. 11.That's eight more nights to sleep on it, Raider Nation.

Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'


Carr excited to work with Gruden: 'I want him to be tough on me'

Jon Gruden has been interviewed several times since becoming Raiders head coach. Quarterback Derek Carr hasn’t listened to most of those sessions, and certainly doesn’t seek them out.

One landed in Carr’s inbox recently, and something Gruden said really resonated.

Gruden’s message, paraphrased: If Derek Carr is not successful, then I’ve failed as a coach.

There are two comments in that one. Gruden considers Carr extremely talented, and he’s taking responsibility for unlocking the quarterback's vast potential.

Gruden will be hands on in Carr’s development, with all the coaching intensity and fire and eyebrow raises that have become Gruden’s signature.

“He’s going to demand of me. He’s going to push me,” Carr said on this week’s episode of the Raiders Insider Podcast, which will drop Tuesday morning (Subcribe right here). “He’s going to make me be the best version of myself.”

Carr had a direct answer to skeptics wondering aloud whether he can thrive under Gruden’s particular coaching style.

“I want him to be tough on me,” Carr said. “For anyone who thinks I want him to be a different way has no clue about me or how I play football or how I prepare to play this game. I don’t need to tell stories about how I prepare or manage myself.

“(Jon) and I are going to get along great. I hope that he demands of me. I hope he’s hard on me. I don’t need to know he loves me. He has already told me that about 20 times. I appreciate that and we’ll be friends forever, but I know he’ll be demanding and tell me what I need to do. Let’s go fix problems that I have and let’s do what I need to do to win championships. Hopefully that will give people some insight and hopefully that’s the story that gets out, because that’s the truth.”

Carr met his new head coach briefly before his introductory press conference, but has known Gruden since filming the Gruden QB Camp segment back in 2014. They got along great then, and in each interaction since.

“We have so much more in common that people realize,” Carr said. “I think it would blow some people’s minds. Him and I are very similar in the way we go about our business and how we carry ourselves. It’s an exciting time.”

Carr’s excited to have some stability in his football life. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback will start his fifth NFL season with his fourth head coach, fourth go-round with an offensive coordinator and third offensive scheme. Gruden signed a 10-year contract. OC Greg Olson signed a four-year pact. They’ll be here a while, and Carr’s excited about that.

“It’s going to be really nice,” Carr said. “To know Jon signed on for a 10 years and (Olson) signed on for a long time shows me a couple of things. No. 1: that they believe in me. I don’t think Coach Gruden would’ve quit his day job, which I’m thankful he did. To get (Olson) out of a good spot in L.A (with the Rams), shows that they believe in me and that’s awesome. And, No. 2: I’m going to have two people I can talk to in a different language for years to come. We can grow within the relationship, and hopefully we’ll all ride off together. It’s set up that way right now, and we have a lot of work to do to reach that point.”

Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl


Raiders QB Derek Carr named to third straight Pro Bowl

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is headed to his third consecutive Pro Bowl. He became eligible once New England qualified for the Super Bowl and Tom Brady was out of the running for next week’s NFL all-star game in Orlando.

Carr was the next alternate up, and accepted the invitation to represent the Silver and Black. Khalil Mack, Rodney Hudson, Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn were named to the original roster, though Penn has bowed out with injury.

Carr will join his teammates in Florida for game-week festivities, followed by the inter-conference clash on Sunday at noon at Camping World Stadium. The game can be seen on ABC.

He joins Rich Gannon and Ken Stabler as Raiders quarterbacks with at least three Pro Bowl selections. Carr had a down year relative to his previous two, but still posted standout numbers. He had 3,496 passing yards, 22 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and an 86.4 passer rating.

The Raiders finished a disappointing 6-10, and head coach Jack Del Rio was fired in favor of Jon Gruden.

“It was not the year we wanted, but to still be recognized by you, Raider Nation and fans everywhere, and the players and coaches you go against is an extremely high honor I will always be thankful for!” Carr wrote in a note posted on Twitter. “Although I am extremely blessed to be thought of in such a way by my peers, I understand there is more work to do. There is more to achieve and more to accomplish and I will now ret until we get there, Raider Nation!”