What would Curry bring to the Raiders defense?


What would Curry bring to the Raiders defense?

ALAMEDA -- Just because Aaron Curry was activated to the Raiders' 53-man roster on Tuesday does not guarantee the linebacker will be activated to play for the Raiders on Sunday in Baltimore.But it's a safe bet."I anticipate him playing," Raiders coach Dennis Allen said on Wednesday. "I anticipate him filling the role as a linebacker and playing a little bit of linebacker and also playing on special teams. At the end of the day, it had to do with getting another experienced linebacker that can get out there and help us and potentially even spell some guys so everybody doesnt have to play quite so many plays all the time. I think, as good players as you can have, as many experienced players as you can have, the better off youre going to be."REWIND: Raiders activate Aaron Curry off PUP list
Sore knees kept him sidelined through training camp, where he talked to about his undergoing stem-cell treatments using bone marrow from his hips, and he had been on the PUP list since Aug. 31.In his absence, rookie Miles Burris has been starting at weakside linebacker and Curry, the No. 4 overall pick of the 2009 draft by Seattle, has been working at all three linebacker spots since returning to practice three weeks ago.So what does he plan on bringing to a Raiders defense that gave up more than 500 yards of total offense last weekend if he does play Sunday?"I just want to be a bottle of energy and passion," Curry said. "Thats what football is about. Playing defense is about energy, and its about bringing passion to the game, its about bringing passion to the team, its about being able to be relied on, be reliable to your teammates that youll always have something full of energy, whether its words, whether its plays, whether its encouragement. I just want to be a positive person."Ive been studying all positions across the D-line, across the linebackers, knowing the secondary. Ive had nothing else to do but study football, which has been good. Which I think was the purpose of all this, was for me to learn football more in depth, to give myself an advantage, that when its time to go, Ill be a step ahead of everybody."RELATED: Raiders injury report -- Seymour sits out Wednesday practice
The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Curry was acquired in a trade with the Seahawks last October and played in 11 games, nine starts, for the Raiders. He recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown. In his career, he has five and-a-half sacks, four forced fumbles, recovered two fumbles and defensed 12 passes.Curry insisted he never doubted he would play this season, and said he would. Not even with how far behind physically he was with the knees."I was at a point where I couldnt walk up and down stairs," he said. "But now I could drop my hips and hit you as hard as I want to hit you."I always kept the faith because I knew that, based on Romans 8:28, thatsomething good would come out of this storm, out of this circumstance," he said. "I just stood fast, trusted the Lord and just kept pushingif theres a football on the field and somebody needs a breather, Im out there."

Snap count: Raiders' Melifonwu experiment at cornerback backfires


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.”

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

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

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

QB EJ Manuel, OT David Sharpe

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


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.