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Raiders fall to Seattle, finish preseason winless

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Raiders fall to Seattle, finish preseason winless

Sep. 2, 2011
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SEATTLE (AP) Terrelle Pryor's night consisted of holding a clipboard, with an earpiece hooked to his left ear and a football tucked under his left arm.So much for Pryor getting any playing time before his five-game suspension kicks in.See ya in October, Terrelle.Thomas Clayton and Vai Taua had short touchdowns runs, Jeff Reed kicked two field goals, and the Seattle Seahawks closed out the preseason with an uninspiring 20-3 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Friday night.
RELATED: Raiders vs. Seahawks In-game notes
While Seattle's offense showed some bright spots that should make fans a little less apprehensive heading into the regular season opener on Sept. 11 in San Francisco, most of the focus was on the Raiders' sideline and if Pryor would get into the game.Raiders coach Hue Jackson hadn't committed to anything related to Pryor and as the final minutes of the fourth quarter ticked away, it was Kyle Boller continuing to take snaps and Pryor serving as a spectator.Jackson said he was briefly tempted to give Pryor a few snaps, but ultimately decided he didn't want to put Pryor in a situation where he might not yet be familiar with what the Raiders were trying to do."I had thought about it, but again there was so much pressure and having to call plays I know he hadn't had a chance to practice," Jackson said. "I didn't want to put him in an uncomfortable situation. I don't think that's fair to the kid."While Pryor was the focal point for Oakland, the Seahawks were bitten by the fear every coach faces going into the final preseason game. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said that guard Robert Gallery and defensive lineman Jimmy Wilkerson both sustained knee sprains that are "significant enough we have to be concerned about next week."Gallery was one of Seattle's marquee free-agent signings, coming over from Oakland to provide a veteran presence on Seattle's young offensive line."Those are two significant shots we've got to take a look at and see where Robert will be and where Jimmy will be for the next week," Carroll said.Friday was the final chance for Oakland to see Pryor on the field before he serves his five-game suspension handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell as part of his entry into the NFL supplemental draft.It's been less than two weeks since Oakland selected the controversial former Ohio State star in the third round of the supplemental draft. He signed a four-year contract with the Raiders a few days later. Pryor gave up his final season with the Buckeyes after an investigation into the team's memorabilia-for-cash scandal that cost coach Jim Tressel his job."I think the young man can play quarterback," Jackson said. "Right now it's not really about him, it's about the team, but this young man, he can throw it, he works at it and it's important to him."Reed kicked field goals of 25 and 36 yards, and Sebastian Janikowski made a 34-yarder for the Raiders.While the majority of the starters for both teams were on the bench resting well before halftime, there were some notable exceptions. Seattle rookie right tackle James Carpenter, who struggled badly last week in Denver, played nearly the entire game, only taking a second quarter break when Breno Giacomini got reps with the Seahawks No. 1 offensive line.Fellow Seattle rookie lineman John Moffitt played three full quarters before giving way in the fourth.With Carpenter and Moffitt playing better, Seattle starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was finally given time to throw.Jackson played less than one entire quarter. He was 5 of 7 for 88 yards, but forced one throw toward Golden Tate in the end zone and was intercepted by Oakland safety Tyvon Branch. Even though Jackson was back on the sideline before the end of the first, his two drives nearly created two scores and rolled up 100 yards of offense.Tate's status on the Seahawks' final roster was put to rest with an impressive showing.Tate had five catches for 79 yards, including a 43-yard reception from Jackson where he beat safety Michael Huff off the line of scrimmage. Later in the first half, Tate returned a kickoff 34 yards and at the end of the half had a 43-yard punt return that set up a field-goal attempt at the end of the half."It took a little pressure off of me," Tate said. "I definitely saw the blogs saying I could be cut, released, traded or whatever so hopefully I showed the coaches that I can play this game and they'll keep me around a little longer."Oakland went with its starting offense for much of the first half with Jason Campbell not checking out until the final few minutes of the second quarter. Campbell went 8 for 11 for 76 yards in his final action before the Raiders' opener Sept. 12 at Denver."I felt good. I thought the offensive line did a great job protecting us. Once again I don't think I got touched," Campbell said. "I was able to make rhythm passes and get the ball out quickly. We just got to learn to finish drives."

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

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USATSI

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires

The Raiders are razor thin at cornerback, without many bodies or talent they can trust. They were down to three healthy career cornerbacks heading into Sunday’s game against New England, with TJ Carrie, Sean Smith and Dexter McDonald available.

Head coach Jack Del Rio added a new name to the mix. He started second-round safety Obi Melifonwu at cornerback against the high-flying Patriots, an experiment that didn’t work out well.

Melifonwu played 26 snaps at cornerback, where he had been working some in practice since becoming eligible to return off injured reserve. He spent the early season on IR after having arthroscopic knee surgery.

Melifonwu was put in a tough spot, and struggled as a result. He allowed two receptions for 69 yards on four targets, including a 64-yard touchdown to Brandin Cooks where he had his eyes in the backfield when the Patriots speedster blew right by.

This position switch came in Melifonwu’s second NFL game, with just seven defensive snaps under his belt. 

Head coach Jack Del Rio admitted it was a move made out of desperation.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Del Rio said after Sunday’s 33-8 loss to New England at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. “We need more production (at cornerback). We're willing to try just about anything and we talked about being lean there and needing more production from that spot.

“(Melifonwu’s) a talented kid and it was probably asking a little too much, but we are going to roll those guys, we rolled our guys in the secondary tonight, and we're going to do that. We have got to do that until somebody starts playing well enough to stay in there full-time.”

The Raiders are in a bind at cornerback with Gareon Conley on injured reserve and David Amerson out three straight games with a foot injury. Demetrius McCray and Antonio Hamilton are also on season-ending injured reserve.

Carrie was a mainstay on Sunday, playing all 60 defensive snaps. Smith took over early, when the Melifonwu experiment wasn’t working out. He played 43 snaps, allowing three catches for 34 yards on five targets. McDonald played just eight snaps.

The Raiders are hoping someone can improve and settle into a full-time spot. The secondary has been thin for some time, but the personnel department has declined to sign anyone new off the street for depth.

That means Del Rio’s staff is still searching for answers at that position from a small pool.

“We're not playing really well on the back end and we have to find a way,” Del Rio said. “And we're going to make it competitive and let guys challenge for it and challenge for time and the guys that play the best are going to play the most.”

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Derek Carr 74
Running back – DeAndre Washington 24, Marshawn Lynch 21, Jamize Olawale 14, Jalen Richard 11,
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 67, Seth Roberts 59, Michael Crabtree 58, Cordarelle Patterson 25, Johnny Holton 13
Tight end – Jared Cook 54, Clive Walford 14, Lee Smith 10
Offensive line – Kelechi Osemele 74, Rodney Hudson 74, Donald Penn 74, Gabe Jackson 74, Vadal Alexander 74

DEFENSE
Defensive line –
Khalil Mack 53, Mario Edwards 44, Justin Ellis 38, Eddie Vanderdoes 34, Denico Autry 31, Treyvon Hester 24, James Cowser 14
Linebacker – NaVorro Bowman 51, Bruce Irvin 46, Cory James 44, Nicholas Morrow 15, Marquel Lee 9
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 60, Sean Smith 43, Obi Melifonwu 26, Dexter McDonald 8
Safety – Reggie Nelson 60, Karl Joseph 51, Shalom Luani 9

SPECIAL TEAMS
Nicholas Morrow 18, James Cowser 18, Marquel Lee 15, Erik Harris 15, Xavier Woodson-Luster 15, Keith McGill 15, Jamize Olawale 15, Cordarrelle Patterson 13, Dexter McDonald 12, DeAndre Washington 11, Jalen Richard 9, Shalom Luani 9, Lee Smith 7, Khalil Mack 7, Mario Edwards 7, Eddie Vanderdoes 7, Denico Autry 7, Treyvon Hester 7, Jon Feliciano 7, Johnny Holton 6, TJ Carrie 6, Jon Condo 4, Marquette King 4, Karl Joseph 2, Cory James 2, Obi Melifonwu 2, Giorgio Tavecchio 2

DID NOT PLAY
QB EJ Manuel, OT David Sharpe

INACTIVE
QB Connor Cook, OT Jylan Ware, DL Jihad Ward, CB David Amerson, LB Shilique Calhoun, RT Marshall Newhouse, DT Darius Latham

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery

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USATSI

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley having surgery

Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley will have surgery to repair his injured shin on Monday, a week after he was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

This year’s No. 24 overall pick announced that news in an Instagram post, accompanied by a picture of his young son.

Surgery was always a likely outcome after heading to IR, though the team never formally stated that would occur.

The Raiders believe Conley will return completely healthy for the 2018 campaign, and have high hopes for him as a lock down cover man.

They could certainly use him this season. He was expected to contribute heavily as a rookie, but a shin injury suffered in a June minicamp prevented that from happening. He missed training camp and the entire preseason slate, but eventually made his NFL debut in Week 2. He suffered a setback in a Week 3 game at Washington, and was shut down indefinitely on Oct. 6.

Conley was re-evaluated early last week, and the Raiders didn’t see enough progress to keep him on the 2017 roster.

The Raiders are lacking at cornerback with Conley down and David Amerson dealing with a foot injury.

Head coach Jack Del Rio will speak to the media Monday afternoon, and provide an update on Conley’s procedure.