Houshmandzadeh signing a high-risk, high-reward move


Houshmandzadeh signing a high-risk, high-reward move

HueJackson likes to play fast and loose.Since the death of Al Davis, the Raidersrookie head coach has swung a pair of eyebrow-raising trades, landing linebackerAaron Curry in a low-risk, high-reward deal and quarterback Carson Palmer in afranchise-altering swap that, if it works out to the Raiders advantage, will actually cost Oakland a pair of first-round draft picks.Tuesday's signing of free-agent receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, however, might bethe epitome of a high-risk, high-reward situation. And not becauseHoushmandzadeh is a diva, or a headcase wideout in the mold of Terrell Owens,Randy Moss or Chad Ochocinco. Because he's not. And not because Houshmandzadehinking a contract threatens the potential bounty of compensation picks theRaiders might receive in next year's draft. Even though it does.

Mostly, though, because his presence, and the manner in which Jackson pursuedHoushmandzadeh, could threaten the fragile balance and growing chemistrybetween the Raiders young receiving corps andtheir new quarterback. Especially if, as some have suggested, Palmer himselflobbied for a familiar target.The likes of Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy, Denarius Moore,Chaz Schilens and Derek Hagan could actually take the addition of a guy who hasnot played a down of football since January as a slight to their position groupand the work they have put in all offseason.When in fact, Murphy, Schilens or Hagan could actually face the chopping block,unless Jacksondecides to keep seven receivers.Truth is, Houshmandzadeh's resume is one the current group of pass catcherscould only dream of emulating.From 2004 through 2008, and with Palmer throwing him the ball, Houshmandzadehaveraged 89 catches, 1,012 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, including hismonster 2007 season, in which he caught an NFL-high 112 passes for 1,143 yardsand 12 TDs.Of course, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Houshmandzadeh has a history with Jackson, too, as he was his position coach in Cincinnati from 2004through 2006. In those three seasons, Houshmandzadeh caught a combined 241passes for 3,015 yards and 20 TDs.
Reached by text message early Tuesday evening, Houshmandzadeh said he was still at the Raiders' Alameda headquarters.
"In meetings tryn 2 learn offense," Houshmandzadeh texted.
Obviously, Jackson liked what he saw inTuesday's workout and feels he can bring some of that production out of the34-year-old Houshmandzadeh, who caught only 30 balls for Baltimorelast season, is still haunted by a costly drop in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh and he has already had four hernia surgeries.But at what cost?Financially, he's getting a prorated part of the 10-year veteran's minimum of 910,000,which should be about 482,000 for the final nine games. Not that bad a deal,really, if Houshmandzadeh, who will wear No. 84, provides Palmer with thatsecurity blanket-type comfort he could use and the offense benefits as aresult.Logistically, though, it could be counter-productive to the development of theyoung guys. And really, isn't the role of solid, possession receiver supposedto be filled by Schilens andor Hagan?Big risk, big reward. That's just the way Jacksonrolls these days.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game


Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch watched most of Thursday night’s game versus Kansas City from the stands after getting ejected for making contact with an official.

He’ll also be a spectator next week.

The NFL suspended him one game for unsportsmanlike conduct stemming from an incident where left the sidelines to join an on-field scuffle and ended up pushing an official.

The league announced the suspension Friday afternoon. Lynch has already appealed the suspension, per multiple reports.

He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and automatically ejected by rule.

Punishment after the fact has gotten expensive.

By rule, Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official. He could get hit with other penalties, including entering a fight unnecessarily.

Lynch is also suspended without pay, meaning he’ll forfeit a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

The Cal alum won’t play a Week 8 contest in Buffalo, against a Bills team that drafted him No. 12 overall in 2007.

Lynch was on the sidelines during a third down draw play where quarterback Derek Carr incurred what officials called a late hit from Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters.

The Raiders offensive line took offense, and came after Peters in a scrum. Lynch and Peters, both Oakland natives, are extremely close. Lynch ran on the field to get between his teammates and his friend, but ended up inadvertently pushing an official. The league has zero tolerance for that, and sent him off the field.

Lynch watched a dramatic 31-30 victory over Kansas City from the stands and screens near the field, and congratulated his teammates after a big win.

Lynch did not explain why he entered the fray, though he seemed to be trying to get Peters out of harm’s way.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group’s Logan Murdock.

His Raiders teammates and coaches must carry on without the 31-year old power back. They’ll roll with Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and fullback Jamize Olawale against the Bills, as they did against the Chiefs.

Lynch had two carries for nine yards before getting tossed. He has just 266 yards and two touchdowns on 72 carries through seven games.

If the suspension is upheld, Lynch will be eligible to return in Week 9 against Miami.

Snap count: Bowman worked overtime to be 'hunting dog' in Raiders' defense


Snap count: Bowman worked overtime to be 'hunting dog' in Raiders' defense

OAKLAND – NaVorro Bowman would’ve been forgiven for skipping Thursday’s game. The veteran inside linebacker signed with the Raiders, and had one practice and a pair of walk-throughs before facing Kansas City.

That isn’t much time to absorb a new scheme. No matter. As he said Monday, Bowman wanted to show you something.

The former 49er certainly did, even more than Bowman expected. He played 60 of 62 defensive snaps in a crucial 31-30 victory over the Chiefs.

He didn’t just play. He performed. Bowman led the Raiders with 11 tackles, including one for a loss and a crucial hit on Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith on a crucial third-down stop in the fourth quarter.

He wore the green dot – play calls were relayed to his helmet speaker -- and helped get the defense lined up.

“I just absolutely love the football player in him. He’s a hunting dog,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He loves to play. He brought experience during the week. He was a settling influence, kind of a determined influence on the sideline. I thought he did a remarkable job.”

That’s the result. The process of getting there was remarkable. He put in 40 hours of work in three days, memorizing terminology and defensive concepts specific to the game plan. He bunkered down and ignored the world during his acclimation process, and came out a functional member of the Raiders defense.

“Everyone knows I’ve only been here for three days and must be wondering how I did it,” Bowman said. “It was my commitment to the game, and my family understanding how much I love the work and giving me that peace and quiet time in hours away from them to really get everything down. This is why you want to come out so well and execute. So many people are sacrificing so you can play the game.”

Bowman helped keep the Raiders close down the stretch, and had key stops in a pair of defensive stops that allowed quarterback Derek Carr to orchestrate a successful two-minute drill.

"I was on the sidelines with my back turned, saying ‘I can’t watch, I can’t watch,’” Bowman said. “They all looked at me funny like, ‘This is what we do.’ They went out and won, and acted all normal. I guess that’s how we roll. It was a great game, and I enjoyed it.”

That was clear after the game. There was a good reason for it. Bowman hadn’t won a game since September 2016. Bowman lost most of last season recovering from an Achilles’ tendon injury, meaning he last tasted victory in Week 2 last season.

“I’ve worked my way back from the Achilles injury, and to have a shot to better and get better and possibly win a division is huge,” Bowman said. “We just beat a really good team. I think this will propel us and get us going.”

Quarterback –
Derek Carr 82
Running back – Jalen Richard 26, DeAndre Washington 25, Jamize Olawale 11, Marshawn Lynch 10
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 78, Seth Roberts 72, Michael Crabtree 72, Cordarelle Patterson 18, Johnny Holton 6
Tight end – Jared Cook 67, Lee Smith 17, Clive Walford 8
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 82, Rodney Hudson 82, Donald Penn 82, Vadal Alexander 82, Gabe Jackson 82

Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 62, Denico Autry 46, Justin Ellis 44, Treyvon Hester 32, Mario Edwards 28, Eddie Vanderdoes 19, James Cowser 3
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 60, Bruce Irvin 59, Nicholas Morrow 38,
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 62, Dexter McDonald 50, David Amerson 28, Sean Smith 19
Safety – Reggie Nelson 62, Karl Joseph 62, Keith McGill 7, Shalom Luani 1

Keith McGill 25, James Cowser 25, Shalom Luani 21, Xavier Woodson-Luster 19, Erik Harris 19, Jamize Olawale 19, Shlique Calhoun 16, Jon Feliciano 14, Lee Smith 14, Giorgio Tavecchio 12, Johnny Holton 12, Marquette King 11, Jon Condo 11, Cordarrelle Patterson 11, Jalen Richard 10, Nicholas Morrow 10, Darius McCray 8, Kelechi Osemele 7, Gabe Jackson 7, Vadal Alexander 7, Clive Walford 7, Justin Ellis 7, David Sharpe 7, Khalil Mack 6, TJ Carrie 6, Denico Autry 6, Treyvon Hester 6, Eddie Vanderdoes 6, Mario Edwards Jr. 5, Karl Joseph 5, DeAndre Washington 4,

QB EJ Manuel

CB Gareon Conley, QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, LB Marquel Lee, LB Cory James, DL Jihad Ward, RT Marshall Newhouse