Raiders snap count: Beast Mode proves to be a feature back


Raiders snap count: Beast Mode proves to be a feature back

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Raiders fans and fantasy football owners alike were dying to know how many touches Marshawn Lynch would get.

“Maybe about 18,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He had a good performance.”

Lynch turned 18 carries into 76 yards, with a catch for 16 more. He was, in essence, signature Beast Mode.

He was tough and physical. He was aggressive near the line. He brought new life to the Raiders running game in 32 offensive snaps. He was a blocker three times and in the pattern 10 more.

He helped close a 26-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

“We’re 1-0 in that effort,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He certainly helped us close today. That’s the idea, to be able to close these things out with long drives. He was impactful there.”

Fifth-round rookie Marquel Lee started at middle linebacker and fared well in 21 snaps. He proved a sure tackler and a solid run defender. Tyrell Adams spelled Lee in sub packages and played 41 snaps but was a liability in coverage. According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, he allowed eight receptions for 110 yards on nine targets.

Cornerback TJ Carrie started Sunday’s game, but may have lost that job to Sean Smith. Smith held it last year and lost it in training camp, but Carrie gave it back. He was picked on early, until the Raiders made an adjustment. Smith and cornerback David Amerson were quality on the outside, staving criticism the Raiders secondary rightfully earned this summer.

Quarterback – Derek Carr 66
Running back – Marshawn Lynch 32, DeAndre Washington 16, Jalen Richard 14
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 61, Seth Roberts 55, Michael Crabtree 48, Cordarelle Patterson 22, Johnny Holton 1
Tight end – Jared Cook 47, Lee Smith 29, Clive Walford 5
Offensive line – Gabe Jackson 66, Kelechi Osemele 66, Rodney Hudson 66, Donald Penn 66, Marshall Newhouse 57, Vadal Alexander 9

Defensive line – Khalil Mack 64, Eddie Vanderdoes 37, Mario Edwards 32, Treyvon Hester, Denico Autry 28, Justin Ellie 21, James Cowser 1
Linebacker – Bruce Irvin 63, Cory James 60, Tyrell Adams 41, Marquel Lee 21, Nicholas Morrow 4
Cornerback –David Amerson 64, TJ Carrie 59, Sean Smith 48, Dexter McDonald 2
Safety – Karl Jospeh 64, Reggie Nelson 64

Shalom Luani 24, Eli Harris 24, Nicholas Morrow 19, James Cowser 19, Johnny Holton 14, Xavier Woodson-Luster 15, Antonio Hamilton 15, Giorgio Tavecchio 12, Tyrell Adams 10, Clive Walford 11, Lee Smith 11, Jon Feliciano 11, Marquette King 10, Jon Condo 10, DeAndre Washington 10, Dexter McDonald 10, Jalen Richard 9, Mario Edwards 9, Denico Autry 9, Marquel Lee 9, Cordarrelle Patterson 9, Gabe Jackson 6, Justin Ellis 6, Kelechi Osemele 6, Marshall Newhouse 6, Vadal Alexander 6, Karl Joseph 6, Justin Ellis 6, Khalil Mack 5, Bruce Irvin 5, TJ Carrie 5, Treyvon Hester 5, Eddie Vanderdoes 4,


QB EJ Manuel

Connor Cook, Gareon Conley, Keith McGill, Jamize Olawale, Jylan Ware, David Sharpe, Darius Latham

Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice


Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin were out at Raiders practice Wednesday for the stretching period. Both edge rushers left one-at-a-time during the individual period, which was open to the press, headed into the main building and did not return.

There was no perceived reaction, certainly no surprise, from the coaching staff or players on the field. Irvin and new defensive coordinator John Pagano were seen joking around on the field before practice began in earnest. 

Both Irvin and Mack were given a practice off. A Raiders official called it a day off/rest-type day that was not injury related. The Silver and Black typically practice in pads or shells on Wednesday, but were in jerseys and sweats in the interest of recovery.

This day off's timing did raise an eyebrow.

Wednesday marked the first practice Irvin has missed since training camp. Mack hasn’t missed one in months.

Mack and Irvin’s downtime also came a day after beloved defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s firing.

Several defensive players were upset about Norton's firing, but Mack and Irvin especially were among those loyal to Norton. Mack and Norton developed a bond after the coach was named defensive coordinator in 2015. Norton and Irvin go way back to their days together in Seattle. Irvin credits Norton for helping him get on the right path and stay there.

Neither player was happy Norton got the axe. Irvin made his displeasure clear, tweeting “BULLS***” shortly after news of Norton’s demise broke. Mack told ESPN “I like to keep my thoughts private.” Defensive stars declined comment Wednesday or didn't appear in the locker room when the media was present. 

It isn’t immediately clear if the non-injury related day off was related to Norton’s dismissal. Head coach Jack Del Rio won’t speak to the media again until Friday. New defensive coordinator John Pagano is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon.

Del Rio addressed the media before Wednesday’s practice, and was asked how he’ll handle players unhappy with the in-season shake-up.

“I don’t try and 'handle' them,” Del Rio said. “I think the biggest thing is to understand the relationship, respect that, give him a little space and then at the end of the day, we’re going to get on with our work. But, I’m human. It wasn’t easy for me either.”

Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing


Del Rio: 'Nobody should feel comfortable,' following Norton firing

ALAMEDA – Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio put out a statement Tuesday explaining why he fired defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

He went into greater detail Wednesday afternoon, his first time facing the media since a change was made

Specifics will be discussed further down this story. We don’t, however, want to bury the lede.

Del Rio’s main message wasn’t about Norton. It applied to all in Silver and Black. This season has not met lofty expectations. That is unacceptable.

“I know one thing,” Del Rio said. “Nobody should feel comfortable, because what I’ve been watching is not good enough.”

Del Rio didn’t absolve himself from blame. Norton got fired, but everyone has played a part in this disappointing 4-6 record.

“It’s always shared,” Del Rio said. “A change was made, obviously. We all share in it, all of us, starting with me. It’s coaches and players. It’s a team game, and we’re all in it together. And nobody is coming to help us.”

The Raiders must look inward to start a prolonged winning streak they’ve shown little evidence they can create.

The seat will be warm under players and coaches alike, even if only one change was made. Expect further shakeup on the coaching staff after the season, if vast improvements don’t come down the stretch, possibly with several position coaches being shown the door. More than a few higher profile players could be cut or allowed to leave, especially on defense.

While Del Rio has taken more heat the past month than at any other time in his Raiders tenure, expect him to be around a longer term. He was given a contract extension in February, and has significant capitol built after changing the culture in Oakland and re-teaching this team how to win. One bad year, even if this season continues heading downhill, shouldn’t erase that.

Del Rio was looking to shake things up, and Norton was the obvious move. Experienced play caller John Pagano was on staff – he was Chargers defensive coordinator from 2012-2016 – and firing the popular Pagano’s style could create some new waves and looks that any offensive Norton would make an impact in the locker room and prove this story’s opening quote, that no one should feel comfortable.

Del Rio hopes firing Norton will be a shock to the defense’s system.

“I really felt like I needed to shake things up,” Del Rio said. “We couldn’t continue doing what we’ve been doing to this point. So I made the call. The whole idea is to change what we’re doing and make sure…what I’m looking for at the end of the day is for us to play fast on defense. We weren’t playing fast enough. We weren’t playing confident enough.”