Raiders

An update on Michael Vick's status for Week 1

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An update on Michael Vick's status for Week 1

From Comcast SportsNetPHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Michael Vick will take his next snap in the season opener for the Philadelphia Eagles. Who replaces him if he gets hurt again remains a question.Vick is back at practice after leaving last Monday's game with injured ribs. He didn't play in Friday's game at Cleveland, but returned to the field Sunday night for Philadelphia's annual practice party at Lincoln Financial Field."I think he's real close to 100 percent," offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Monday. "I thought he threw the ball last night just beautifully; threw it strong and aggressively. So, I think he's ready to rock and roll. That's my point on that. I think he's ready to go."Vick has taken just 12 snaps in two preseason games and isn't expected to play against the New York Jets in the preseason finale Thursday. The Eagles visit Cleveland in Week 1 on Sept. 9."I think in that ballgame that he got hurt, I think he would have played in the game if it was a regular season game," Mornhinweg said. "I don't know that for sure, but that was just my thought at the time."The more important thought in the coordinator's mind right now revolves around the backup quarterbacks. Philadelphia has Mike Kafka, Trent Edwards and Nick Foles in the fold right now.Foles, a rookie third-round pick from Arizona, has been impressive in the first three games. He threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter and led the Eagles to a 27-10 victory over the Browns last Friday. Foles finished the victory 12 of 19 for 146 yards with one interception. He's 36 of 57 passes for 507 yards, with six TDs and two interceptions so far.Kafka, the incumbent backup, hasn't played the last two games because of a hand injury. It would seem that Foles has moved up the depth chart, but Mornhinweg wasn't ready to say it."That choice has not been made," Mornhinweg said. "We've got several different things to evaluate there. I certainly have great confidence in all of our quarterbacks to do all of the jobs that we would ask them to do: backup and the number three. (Quarterbacks coach) Doug Pederson has done just an outstanding job with all four of the quarterbacks."Kafka, a third-year pro, might even be in danger of losing his roster spot. Edwards has also been outstanding in the preseason. The 28-year-old veteran is 32 of 48 for 292 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. Edwards was 14-18 as a starter for Buffalo between 2007-10. He was released by Oakland last year and sat out the season."Well, we haven't come to that decision. We've got some days of practice and the last preseason game to evaluate that and discuss it," Mornhinweg said. "We've got four quarterbacks here (who) really can play at a high level. Those are good things. Those are good things that you have to come to a decision on at some point here and it's coming up pretty quick."The Eagles (No. 8 in the AP Pro32), who closed the regular season on a four-game winning streak last year, are 3-0 this preseason and have scored 78 points along the way.

Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

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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 open to the press, headed into the main building and did not return.

There was no 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 guys were given a day off, one scheduled earlier in the day. 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.

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

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

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.”

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

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USATSI

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.”