Raiders

McFadden key cog in Allen's plans for Raiders

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McFadden key cog in Allen's plans for Raiders

Finally, thankfully, cooler heads appeared to have prevailed.Granted, the drum to trade Darren McFadden for draft picks was being beaten by fans and media types. Not purportedly by anyone who actually works inside the walls of Silver and Blackdom.Still, it was a relief, or at least, it should be a relief to hear new Raiders coach Dennis Allen say today at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis that the artist known as Run DMC is in his plans for next season, even if he's been a more injury-plagued Limp DMC of late. Especially after being was lost for the season after spraining his right foot on a tackle by Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson after picking up three yards on a pass play from Kyle Boller with 12 minutes to go in the first quarter on Oct. 23.RELATED: Q&A with Raiders HC Dennis Allen
In fact, Allen said McFadden was actually in the Raiders' Alameda facility working out last week."Yes, his foot is better," Allen said. "And we got a good evaluation on him. Darren will be ready to go whenever we get ready to kick off the season, that's for sure."I think he's an extremely dynamic player. Again, from playing the Oakland Raiders twice last year, they were much more challenging to defend when Darren McFadden was in the backfield, and having that kind of two-headed monster between him and (Michael) Bush, that was a real challenge. Darren is a vital part of what we're going to try and get done next year."So there you have it. And really, trading away so much potential -- yes, I realize McFadden has missed 19 of 64 games due to injury since being the No. 4 overall pick of the 2008 draft -- for draft picks made little sense, what with the Raiders' salary cap issues.But retaining McFadden might spell the end of Bush, who is an unrestricted free agent.Consider: McFadden is due 5.65 million this season and if the Raiders use the franchise tag to retain Bush, they'd owe two running backs a combined 13 million. And why would they want to pay a back-up in Bush more than a starter in McFadden.Granted, Bush excelled immediately after McFadden went down, but seemed to wear down at the end of the season. If he gets offered starter's money elsewhere -- Cincinnati? -- Bush is gone. Which leaves Taiwan Jones as the primary back-up tailback, and he does not seem to be ready physically.Meaning the Raiders are scanning all possible reasons for McFadden's health issues in the NFL."We're looking at everything within the organization, how we can improve in every aspect of the organization, and obviously practice fields is one of the things that were looking at," Allen said. "Is there something we can do to improve that, and is their a correlation between the foot injuries and the practice fields? If we can deduce there is a correlation between the two, well do everything we can to get them right."A healthy McFadden is one of the more electric backs in the NFL, and a hybrid player coming out of the backfield.But how will he fit in new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp's West Coast system, which uses zone-blocking schemes not seen in these parts in a few years?"We're going to give him the opportunity to be successful," Allen said. "Whatever gives him that opportunity, that's what we're going to do. I will say this, when you look at the running games that Greg has been a part of, they've all been very successful with a lot of different of styles of runners. And even look at what Darren was able to do a couple years ago, really running the same scheme with Tom Cable."I think Darren McFadden will be successful in any type of running game that you put him in because he's that explosive."And still a member of the Raiders, which is the most important aspect. Now if they can just keep him healthy...

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch suspended one game

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AP

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

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AP

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.”

OFFENSE
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

DEFENSE
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

SPECIAL TEAMS
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,

DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel

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