Antonio Brown's absence was noticeable at Raiders-Rams joint practice

Antonio Brown's absence was noticeable at Raiders-Rams joint practice

NAPA -- After spending the last 10 days going against their own defense, the Raiders' offense got a different look Wednesday during their first joint practice session with the Los Angeles Rams. 

Much has been made of the Raiders' retooled offense, as quarterback Derek Carr now has more weapons at his disposal than ever before.

Carr and the Raiders' offense had a few moments Wednesday against Wade Phillips' defense, but the absence of Antonio Brown had an obvious impact on the offense. 

Brown has missed all but part of one practice as he works through a mysterious foot ailment. WIth No. 84 nowhere in sight Wednesday and tight end Darren Waller also out, the Rams' defense was able to focus their attention on Tyrell Williams, forcing Carr into a number of dump-offs and quick throws to J.J. Nelson and the running backs. 

The absence of Brown wasn't only a bummer for the Silver and Black, though. Rams head coach Sean McVay wished the dynamic receiver was out there to test his corners. 

"Of course," McVay said when asked if he wished Brown was out there. "He's a great player. Anytime you get the chance to against a great player it can't help but make you better. So hopefully he makes a quick recovery. He's a special player, a guy that I've always loved watching compete from afar. I definitely hope that he's able to heal as quickly as possible. I would have loved to have gotten some work against him. That's a bummer for us all." 

For his part, Carr was pleased with how the offense looked despite the missing pieces. In 11-on-11 drills, Carr went 11-for-19 with a touchdown pass in the red zone to running back Jalen Richard. He also had Williams for a deep touchdown but the receiver dropped a pass that Carr put in his hands. 

While Brown might not be present at practice, the star receiver still is giving his input on the offense. 

"Oh yeah, he's great about communicating," Carr said about Brown's involvement in camp. "Again, it's tough when he's not out there. It's tough for me not having that read or him in that matchup or whatever. But at the end of the day, I can play that in my mind and I know we had enough reps in the offseason to where I know "Oh yeah, he'll win.' Or, 'he's won on that every time.' Or I know where that ball is going in that coverage and things like that."

[RELATED: Carr finds hardened exterior as new season begins]

The Rams and Raiders will practice again Thursday before squaring off in their first preseason game Saturday at the Coliseum. Brown won't be making his Raiders debut against Aqib Talib and the Rams' secondary, but Carr and the Raiders still seem confident the offense will click when he arrives. 

"He's somebody, he changes the way defenses play," Carr said. "He changes obviously what coach calls for him. You definitely wish he was out there, but we've had a lot of time on task, so it's not like what's the unknown? We know what it is and we know that when he's healthy and wh he's back, we'll be rolling."

Raiders sign cornerback Nevin Lawson to one-year contract extension


Raiders sign cornerback Nevin Lawson to one-year contract extension

The Raiders officially became property of Las Vegas on Wednesday, and the Silver and Black made their first official move as Sin City residents Thursday. 

The team announced they signed cornerback Nevin Lawson to a one-year contract extension. After joining the Raiders last offseason, Lawson made five starts and played in 11 games for the Raiders, seeing a bulk of his time in the latter stages of the season when Daryl Worley and Lamarcus Joyner were banged up. 

Lawson will enter next season serving a one-game suspension. The Utah State product was ejected late in the Raiders' Week 17 loss to the Denver Broncos and was given a punishment for using his helmet as a weapon.

[RELATED: Raiders can fill many holes with Senior Bowl prospects]

After opening the season 6-4, the Raiders, overcome by injuries and lack of talent, limped to a 1-5 finish to end the season at 7-9.

With the litany of issues the Silver and Black faced in 2019, 7-9 should be viewed as a good record for a team that relied on a dynamic rookie class.

There are a lot of reasons for the Raiders to believe the future is bright, and they hope Lawson is a part of it.

Las Vegas Raiders formally announce name change, dropping Oakland


Las Vegas Raiders formally announce name change, dropping Oakland

The Raiders started scrubbing Oakland from their name a few weeks back. Taking the city’s name off social media accounts was the most public step. Then, the team removed the word from the top of their Alameda training facility, where the organization will conduct business into July.

There were some legal maneuverings already in the works, and all that was a prelude to Wednesday's announcement.

The Silver and Black’s affiliation has formally changed: They are now the Las Vegas Raiders.

We all knew that was going to happen. The team applied for relocation to Las Vegas and the league approved it with a 31-1 vote back in March 2017. The Raiders remained in Oakland, with that name attached, for three seasons while their state-of-the-art stadium was being built just off the Las Vegas Strip.

On Wednesday afternoon, in front of the in-construction Allegiant Stadium, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak formally announced their new name. The announcement was made with owner Mark Davis, team president Marc Badain and several players in attendance, including quarterback Derek Carr, right tackle Trent Brown and tight end Darren Waller.

"The Raiders were born in Oakland and played 13 seasons in LA," Davis said. "Both cities will always be part of our DNA. But today, we begin a new chapter in our storied history. On Jan. 22, 2020, we are now the Las Vegas Raiders. And today, Las Vegas becomes our nation's capital."

[RELATED: Mayock confident Raiders' Vegas move will help in free agency]

The Raiders formally will move to Las Vegas after training camp in Napa, when their new training facility in nearby Henderson, Nev. will be complete.

The Silver and Black will execute free-agent signings, run the NFL draft and conduct their offseason program in Alameda. The team is scheduled to play in Las Vegas starting in the preseason.