Raiders

After eating her food as kid, Lynch purchasing restaurant from 79-year-old

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USATSI

After eating her food as kid, Lynch purchasing restaurant from 79-year-old

Marshawn Lynch first tasted Cassie Nickelson's food when he was nine years old while she catered out of her Oakland apartment.

"When he was 9-years-old, he came across the street to get a hamburger and French fries. 25-cent French fries and a 75-cent hamburger," Nickelson said to KTVU.

Lynch, 31, is now set to take over Nickelson's popular soul-food restaurant, Scend's Restaurant and Bar, in Emeryville. Nickelson, 79, will be retiring in August. 

"I'm comfortable with him and I like him," Nickelson said.

Lynch will not become the official owner until the liquor license changes hands. Scend's, an acronym for Nickelson's children and grandchildren, is known for its seafood, fried chicken and red beans. 

Irvin becomes Key role model for Raiders rookie, ‘I see a lot of myself in Arden’

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AP

Irvin becomes Key role model for Raiders rookie, ‘I see a lot of myself in Arden’

Arden Key was a first-round talent coming out of LSU. That seemed clear cut. The dynamic edge rusher could flat get after the quarterback, but character concerns were expected to drive him down the NFL Draft board. Key got in some trouble growing up in the Atlanta area and had some issues in college that could scare teams away.

People were saying the same thing about Bruce Irvin in 2012. Ultimately, he didn’t take a tumble. The Seattle Seahawks took a chance with the No. 15 overall pick and kept Irvin from falling.

Key had a different experience, dropping to No. 89 where the Raiders picked him up.

It might’ve been the best thing for him. Key has a meaningful role on the team, and a mentor in waiting. That last part became clear quickly, when Irvin said nice things about him on NFL Network, welcomed him shortly after the draft and passed along his cell phone number during rookie minicamp.

Irvin wasn’t going to let this kid get lost in the NFL experience. The veteran edge rusher wanted to make Key’s road smoother than it was for him, to be a resource and mentor to this young talent.

“I just see a lot of myself in Arden,” Irvin said on The Raiders Insider Podcast. “When he was coming out, he had red flags. People were scared to take a chance on him, but he was a first-round guy. You can’t sit back and tell me that all the edge rushers drafted before him are better. I put Arden up there with the best of them.”

Key also held Irvin in high esteem. They both come from greater Atlanta, growing up in undesirable areas. Irvin was an example of someone who was down for the count but got up and made something great.

“It also helps that we’re from the same area,” Key said in an interview also featured on The Raiders Insider Podcast. “I’ve been hearing stories about him since I was younger. I was already looking up to him way be back then.”

Irvin has become a role model to many these days. He went back to school and got his college degree from West Virginia this summer. He has become active with several East Bay charitable endeavors and has raised money for the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. He was also named the Raiders’ Walter Payton Man of the Year last season.

Irvin considers it his calling to stand as an example that you can reach great heights after dealing with great adversity.

While their experiences are different, Irvin and Key have been through their fair share. Key was suspended in high school and briefly in college, reportedly stepping away from the Tigers program for a rehab stint. Irvin got himself in trouble growing up, and dealt with a four-game suspension his second year in Seattle.

Irvin came out on the other side of rough spells, which is why the rookie’s trying to follow in No. 51’s footsteps.

“He’s been great with on-field stuff, and off-field stuff, too,” Key said. “There’s a lot of stuff that he did that I did when I was younger. If he tells me something, it’s meaningful because he has been where I’ve been, and right now he’s at the place I’m trying to go.”

Irvin wants to help get him there. That will benefit the Raiders, their pass rush and the player himself. Key has drawn rave reviews for his practice prowess – though he hasn’t played a professional game yet – and commitment to his craft.

“I just try to stay on him because we need him. You and I both know we’ve been lacking in the sack totals. Arden and those younger (defensive linemen), we need them. It’s his responsibility to work here on the field, but also to represent himself outside this building as a pro, as a Raider.

“He has a lot of people depending on him, and I tell him that. You can’t be out here partying and acting crazy when you have 60 guys depending on you. We need him. He’s doing a great job, and I have no doubt he’s going to keep his nose clean. He’s going to be a great player in this league.”

Jon Gruden disappointed by Khalil Mack's absence, Raiders not distracted

Jon Gruden disappointed by Khalil Mack's absence, Raiders not distracted

The Raiders spent three calendar weeks training in wine country. Khalil Mack wasn’t there a single second.

The Raiders edge rusher is withholding services waiting for a massive, long-term contract extension. He doesn’t have one. Not yet, anyway.

That’ why he wasn’t in Napa when veterans reported July 26 and wasn’t there Thursday when camp formally closed.

Mack’s hold out has captured nationally on sports talk on several mediums – they just love the drama – but Gruden insists Mack’s absence been a distraction. But…

“It has obviously, for me, been disappointing,” Gruden said Wednesday. “You want to have your best player here. This guy is really a great guy, too. I’m disappointed we don’t have him here.

“We’re going to try to get him here as soon as we can. In the time being, you got to move on. You’ve got to get up and go to work. That’s one thing I’m very proud of what we’ve done here.”

The Raiders hope Mack reports soon, and nothing has changed regarding their desire to sign him to a long-term contract extension they know won’t be cheap. A pact, however, is not close. 

But, no, the Raiders don’t currently have plans to trade Mack.

Mack’s an elite edge rusher, excellent against the run, remains in impeccable and never, ever gets in trouble. He’s the type of player teams want to pay, especially those ready to enter a new market.

The Raiders understand that and want Mack with the team posthaste.

"Mack's the best player coming off the edge in football. That's our opinion,” Gruden said in an interview with SiriusXM NFL radio. "We're determined to find a way to get him in here, get him a contract, and get on with life.

“This is a negotiation. Joel Segal is Khalil’s agent. They’ve got their plan. General manager Reggie McKenzie and the people negotiating on our end have a plan. I’m coaching the team. At this time, he’s not here, and we have to focus on what we can control, and that’s just working.”

Mack is currently under contract, set to make $13,846 million on a fifth-year team option of his rookie contract applicable only to first-round picks.