Raiders

Raiders drop preseason opener to Arizona, 24-18

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Raiders drop preseason opener to Arizona, 24-18

Aug. 11, 2011
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OAKLAND (AP) -- Kevin Kolb learned quite quickly how easy life can be with Larry Fitzgerald as a teammate.Kolb found his new favorite target twice in his Arizona debut but was unable to get his offense on the scoreboard in two drives before the Cardinals rallied to beat the Oakland Raiders 24-18 in their exhibition opener Thursday night.The highlight was a 43-yard pass on a play that appeared to be covered by Demarcus Van Dyke before Fitzgerald leaped and took the ball away for the big gain."That's his specialty right?" Kolb said. "The guy had him beat, I gave him a shot at it anyway, and he squeezed it and made a great play. That's why I am glad he is in red and white."Arizona's other three quarterbacks all threw touchdown passes, including a 28-yarder from Max Hall to Isaiah Williams with 39 seconds left for the win.Raiders third-stringer Trent Edwards threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to rookie David Ausberry, and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals, including a go-ahead 57-yarder with 2:32 to play, but the Raiders lost in Hue Jackson's head coaching debut.
RELATED: Raiders notes -- 1st, 2nd team defenses step up
Oakland committed 10 penalties and settled for field goals on three drives inside the Arizona 25 as the team looked sloppy at times with only two weeks of practice after the lockout."There are 31 other teams with the same issues," Jackson said. "I'm not going to make an excuse. What we have to do is find a better way to address these issues. That's my job. I'll get those addressed."After a year of poor quarterback play following Kurt Warner's retirement, Arizona made the big move to acquire Kolb from Philadelphia after the lockout ended last month. The Cardinals sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round draft pick to the Eagles and gave Kolb a five-year, 63 million contract, with 21 million guaranteed.Kolb was unable to practice right away because he signed the new contract, giving him only five practices before his exhibition debut. He completed four of seven passes for 68 yards and also scrambled for 19 yards."It's crazy to think the five days I've been here, because we've already come a long way," Kolb said. "It's exciting to see what the future holds and how much better I can get."Kolb targeted Fitzgerald on four of his seven throws. He struggled on the first drive against Oakland's first-team defense, with his only completion going for no gain to Early Doucet.But when the Raiders brought mostly reserves for the second drive, Kolb got the Cardinals moving. He completed an 8-yard pass to newly acquired tight end Todd Heap on the first play. Kolb then completed the long ball to Fitzgerald followed two plays later by a 17-yard pass."He's a great quarterback," receiver Stephen Williams said. "He's got a great arm. You can just tell the difference and stuff out there. We're still working on timing and stuff. We've only been working out with him for a few practices, but you can just tell the greatness in Kevin already."The Cardinals then moved the ball down to the 1 but Beanie Wells was stopped for no gain on consecutive runs by Oakland's defensive line.The Cardinals got on the board in the final minute of the half on an 18-yard touchdown pass from John Skelton to Stephen Williams that gave them a 7-6 lead. Skelton also drove Arizona to a field goal on the opening drive of the second half.Richard Bartel threw an 8-yard score to Rob Housler in the third quarter for the Cardinals.The Raiders had to settle for field goals on their two first-half scoring drives as the offense stalled as it got near the Arizona end zone. Jason Campbell opened the Jackson era with the deep ball owner Al Davis loves as the Raiders drew a 35-yard penalty when Rashad Johnson interfered with Marcel Reece down the sideline.The Raiders moved to the 21 but Campbell's third-down pass was batted down at the line by Darnell Dockett, leading to a 39-yard field goal by Janikowski.Campbell moved the Raiders from their 1 to field goal range on his second drive with help from a 26-yard pass on third-and-long to training camp rookie sensation Denarius Moore. Khalif Barnes was then called for his third false start penalty of the game as Janikowski lined up for a 52-yard field goal attempt, forcing a punt.Moore had three catches for 37 yards, as well as a 56-yard punt return called back by a penalty."There was a question in my mind that pretty much nothing matters until it happens in a game so I just wanted to come out here, keep a positive head and show my team I'm capable of doing it in a game, too," Moore said. "I'm not going to worry about it anymore."Notes: Heap had a sprained left thumb. X-rays were negative and he said he could have returned. ... Raiders backup S Hiram Eugene left in the third quarter with a dislocated hip.

Khalil Mack wants to be Raider for life: 'That’s a no-brainer for me'

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AP

Khalil Mack wants to be Raider for life: 'That’s a no-brainer for me'

The Raiders gave quarterback Derek Carr a massive contract extension last June. Right guard Gabe Jackson got paid later that month.

Khalil Mack’s big deal is coming, likely this offseason. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie anticipates a deal getting done, and hopes Mack’s agent feels the same way.

Mack’s rep and Raiders contract folks will work out details of a massive contract extension. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year doesn’t have interest in all that. He has one preference above all.

Mack doesn’t want to go anywhere. He wants to stay with the Raiders long term.

“Of course. That’s not even a question,” Mack said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Fallon Smith, which airs in this week's episode of "Raiders Central." “That’s a no-brainer for me, especially when you think about coming into this organization and try to build something special, that’s something you want to be a part of for a lifetime”

Mack has plenty of money, top-5 overall draft picks often do. The No. 5 selection in 2014 considered that first deal life-changing money, enough to help his family.

“That has been a treat for me so far,” Mack said.

He doesn’t daydream about signing a nine-figure contract. He doesn’t long to be the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player (although that might be in the cards, anyway).

“I’m not really even thinking about that,” Mack said. “I’m thinking about the Patriots, that’s just my focus that’s just my mindset – anybody who talked to me about that matter, whether it be my best friend, my mom, my dad, I tell them the same thing. I’m thinking about the Patriots and sacking Tom Brady.”

That, unlike signing a record contract, was a career a goal. Mack said in a post-draft press conference he wanted to sack legends. Peyton Manning and Brady topped the list.

Manning retired before Mack could check his box. Mack will have a second chance at Brady Sunday when the Raiders play New England in Mexico City. He had eight tackles and two quarterback hits against Brady’s Patriots in 2014, but didn’t bring the quarterback down.

Mack considered his third regular season game a welcome-to-the-NFL moment.

The University of Buffalo alum has accomplished a ton since then, with 34.5 sacks and last year’s top defensive honor to his credit. He’ll need a Herculean performance against the Patriots to help the Raiders win a pivotal game. A sack would certainly help, but Mack isn’t calling his shot.

“Yeah, I’m not one to talk,” Mack said. “I’ll express that when I get on the field, but I can’t wait, I can’t wait to play against him.”

How Guy Fieri became friends with his childhood idol Ken Stabler

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AP

How Guy Fieri became friends with his childhood idol Ken Stabler

Guy Fieri has long been a gregarious sort, a risk taker to be sure. That was the case well before he became one of the planet’s most popular celebrity chefs. The Food Network star and restaurant mogul owned a few spots around the North Bay, only starting to build what has become a vast empire.

He heard legendary Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler had an endorsement with a local Chevrolet car dealership. That was Fieri’s hero growing up a diehard Raiders fan, when the Silver and Black mystique reached its zenith.

Fieri thought he’d take a shot in the dark. If Stabler was interested, Fieri told the car dealer, the quarterback could have a meal at his place, on the house.

One Saturday night shortly after, Fieri got a call he’ll never forget.

“They said, ‘Someone who looks a lot like Kenny Stabler just walked in the restaurant,” Fieri said on this week’s episode of NBC Sports Bay Area's Raiders Insider Podcast. “I had a bunch of people over for a dinner party, but I left right away and rushed to the restaurant. There was Kenny having dinner. I introduced myself, and we just started talking football and food, and became fast friends.”

That was the start of a long-lasting friendship with the Raiders. Fieri is as die-hard as they come, and has bled Silver and Black his entire life. He’s become an honorary Raider of sorts, and remains incredibly active in the Raiders community. He has hosted tailgate shows from the Raiders parking lot. He has cooked for John Madden’s birthday parties, and hosts a special cookout each year at Raiders training camp. He participates in Raiders charitable endeavors, and even participated in Jack Del Rio’s charity bocce tournament last week.

Nothing however, compares to becoming friends with Stabler. The relationship started as fan and favorite athlete, but they bonded over common interests and stayed in contact for a long time before Stabler died from complications of colon cancer in 2015.

“Kenny and I became great friends, and getting to meet and get to know him in the last 10 years of his life was a great opportunity for me,” Fieri said. “He could tell you a story about a play or moment in history like he was there. He had such a great memory. I remember talking to him one night and asking, ‘Do you know why I am the way I am? You had such an influence on me.’ I mean, he made his own rules. He had his own style, and he wasn’t going to be put in a corner. He was going to play the way he played and live the way he lived. I always admired him so much.”

Fieri has strong relationships with modern Raiders as well, from ownership down to the players.

Before he got on the inside, he was a fan who owned the Oakland Coliseum parking lot. He would come to Raiders games ready to cook.

“I used to bring an arsenal of cooking gear,” Fieri said. “I would bring a jambalaya pot. I used to smoke meats the night before and all that stuff. I would never have to buy a ticket. If I would cook, my friends would find a way to get me to the game. Some of my best Raiders buddies came through those tailgate events. People would just have a great time and take care of one another.”

Fieri is best known for hosting Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," "Guy's Grocery Games" and many other Food Network Specials. His new show, "Guy's Big Project," airs on Food Network on Sundays at 9 p.m.