Raiders LB Riley makes impact just days after signing: 'He's got fire'

Raiders LB Riley makes impact just days after signing: 'He's got fire'

OAKLAND – Perry Riley signed with the Raiders on Tuesday. He started at weakside linebacker just days later.

That isn’t much time to learn and play in a new defensive scheme, with new terminology and extensive responsibilities for its interior linebackers.

The veteran didn’t miss a beat. He led the Raiders with eight tackles and had a forced fumble in a 34-31 victory over the San Diego Chargers at Oakland Coliseum.

“The terminology was the biggest thing to getting the playbook down,” Riley said. “At the end of the day, it’s 11-on-11, you can only run a certain amount of coverages, they’re all pretty much the same everywhere, it’s just the terminology is different. Once I got that down, the rest came naturally.”

Malcolm Smith’s health forced Riley into action. The incumbent starter wasn’t ready to start after suffering a quadriceps injury a week earlier at Baltimore. He would’ve been available in a pinch, but Riley didn’t need relief. He fit right in.

Creating the game’s first turnover was a nice start. He allowed a reception to tight end Antonio Gates, but closed quickly and punched the ball free. Reggie Nelson recovered the first of four Raiders takeaways.

Riley got through a difficult week by staying in his playbook and relying on experience. Riley played six seasons in Washington, with 63 starts in 79 NFL games. That certainly helped him adjust on the fly and fared well in a tough spot.

His play also alleviated some stress playing without Malcolm Smith in the heart of this defense.

“He’s got fire,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “You can just see the fire in him and his desire to soak up everything he could this week and be prepared to help us today. Malcolm [Smith] was dressed and available in an emergency, but really didn’t want to play him if we didn’t have to. That was the plan coming in. We held up fairly well throughout the day and so Perry stayed in there throughout.”

Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere


Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere

The Raiders missed out on signing Ryan Grant. The former Washington receiver visited the team’s Alameda training complex, but left without a contract and ultimately chose to sign a one-year, $5 million deal with Indianapolis.

They lost that one, but are undeterred in their quest to upgrade the receiver corps.

They already signed Jordy Nelson and let Michael Crabtree walk, hoping for steady production and quality locker room leadership in the exchange.

Cordarrelle Patterson was traded to New England on Sunday, creating a spot in the position group.

The Raiders tried to fill it with Grant. No go, no matter.

They hosted veteran Eric Decker on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. They also declared interest in Allen Hurns, a player the Jaguars released Tuesday morning.

Hurns listed the Raiders among interested teams – he said there were 10 in total – in an interview with KFNZ radio in Charlotte, N.C.

Hurns has a 1,000-yard season to his credit – his biggest year came with now-Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson as Jacksonville's O.C. -- and two relative down years since. Injuries have also played a part in that.

Decker had a stellar four-year run with Denver and the New York Jets, but was less effective during two seasons in Tennessee. The 31-year old has experience in the slot, and could be a productive No. 3 option in Jon Gruden’s offense.

Gruden doesn't mind working with veteran receivers, something clear from his past and willingness to add Nelson as a major contributor. 

Even if the Raiders don't land a veteran receiver, they could also look for a receiver in the NFL draft.

Amari Cooper will remain the No. 1 option. Seth Roberts has $4.45 million guaranteed in 2018. Johnny Holton, Isaac Whitney and Keon Hatcher are also on the roster.

Report: Ndamukong Suh set to meet with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh set to meet with Raiders

After visiting the Titans, Saints and Rams, free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will make a stop in the East Bay.

Recently released by the Dolphins, Suh will visit with the Raiders on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

The former No. 2 overall pick made it through just three seasons of a six-year, $114 million deal he signed with Miami prior to the 2015 season.

The 31-year-old Portland, Oregon native last made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and was last earned First-Team All Pro honors in 2014.

In 16 games with the Dolphins last season, Suh recorded 4.5 sacks and 48 combined tackles.