Raiders

Chris Warren III working to apply a piece of advice from Marshawn Lynch

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USATSI

Chris Warren III working to apply a piece of advice from Marshawn Lynch

NAPA – Chris Warren III wasn’t in the group of undrafted rookies to sign with the Raiders right after the NFL draft. Those guys get signing bonuses.

The University of Texas running back got a tryout. And zero guarantees beyond that. He performed well in the three-day rookie minicamp, hoping like heck he’d leave with a contract offer over a plane ticket home.

He got one, and has capitalized on the opportunity it presented. He’s firmly in the mix for a roster spot in a competitive position group. Odds are he’ll get one.

Warren has been strong running the football in practice and Friday’s preseason opener, when he averaged 6.6 yards per carry over 13 rushes. He’s getting better as a receiver and pass protector, skills mandatory in Jon Gruden’s offensive scheme.

“I have a well-rounded skill set, but it was developed to where it needed to be,” Warren said. “Iron sharpens iron and I believe I’ve gotten significantly better in my time here.”

Warren has been focused on improving technique and a little piece of advice from Marshawn Lynch.

“He tells me to be violent,” Warren said.

Warren’s a huge dude at 253 pounds, but doesn’t seek to punish opponents. Lynch wants to initiate contact, to beat up and wear defenses down.

“It’s something I’m trying to use more and more every day,” Warren said. “I’m more of a one-cut and go guy. I’m going to work on being a violent runner, because I run too high. I have to lower myself and be aggressive.”

Warren levied some punishment during last week’s joint practices with the Lions here in Napa. Gruden yelled at him for running high, and he stayed low and ran violent on the next rep. He upended Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis, and video of that collision has gone viral.

It made the rounds on social media and has shown up during Raiders film study.

“It has been played…significantly,” Warren said with a smile.

He doesn’t want to dwell on it, however, even if others do.

It could’ve happened the other way, but it didn’t. It went in my favor,” Warren said. “It happened, but that was last week. I can’t stay focused on that. My focus is always forward, trying to improve as an all-around player.”

Warren grew up with a template for success. His father Christ Warren Jr. was a productive running back in his own right, a three-time Pro Bowler who played for three teams over 11 seasons. He doesn’t try to emulate his father, instead working to hone his unique rushing style.

“I like that guy man,” Gruden said. “if you know anything about him his dad was one heck of a player at the Seattle Seahawks, Chris Warren, and he’s a big back. You don’t know it but he’s 253 pounds and can run four-five. He’s a hammer, he can really thump you and he’s got breakaway speed. But he’s improving in the passing game, he’s become more and more of a running back instead of just a runner. He’s becoming a receiver, blitz pickup, all those little details are improving but he’s got a lot of talent.”

How Oakland Coliseum has been 'legendary' even for newest Raiders

How Oakland Coliseum has been 'legendary' even for newest Raiders

ALAMEDA -- You don't have to be Derek Carr, Jon Gruden or a Raiders legend to appreciate what the Coliseum has meant to the franchise. 

It was a state-of-the-art facility and helped legitimize the Raiders when they moved into the building in 1966. It has been the home of a number of memorable Raider moments and has served as a second home for the legion of fans who pack it on fall Sundays to make life hell on the opposition. 

It no longer is state-of-the-art. It has a myriad of issues and the Raiders are waving goodbye after Sunday's game against the Jaguars, as the franchise relocates to Las Vegas in 2020. 

Most of the current Raiders haven't had many moments at all in the Coliseum. Only six current Raiders have been with the franchise for more than three seasons, with Carr and guard Gabe Jackson being the longest-tenured Raiders. Both were drafted in 2014. 

But even those who have only donned the silver and black for a short period of time know how important Sunday's farewell is. 

"It'll be exciting, I'm really looking forward to it," guard Richie Incognito, who only has played four games in the Coliseum, said after the Raiders' Week 14 loss to the Titans. "I got a bunch of family coming in to experience it. We're new to Oakland but the fans are awesome. They were rocking today, they were loud. I think next week will be a special moment for everybody involved." 

Last year was Daryl Worley's first season in Oakland. The Coliseum goodbye that wasn't a season ago didn't really impact him. 

But things have changed after spending another season with the Silver and Black. 

"Hopefully, it's going to be for real this time," Worley said of saying farewell a second time to the Coliseum. "It's definitely going to be emotional. Last year when I was here on a one-year thing, you just don't get the full feel. But coming back Year 2, just seeing what it means to Raider Nation, it's definitely a lot more emotional. 

"You really get to see -- around the town, around the entire Bay Area -- I mean there are two teams out here but it kinda seems that Raider Nation, they always have that fan base that is strong and passionate about everything that's going on with the players. It's going to be tough to leave a place like this even though going on to Vegas, I don't think this fan base will waver at all. 

"It's an amazing place," Worley continued. "For it to be an outdoor stadium, you would think that it's indoors the way that it rocks. Between the Black Hole to the costumes, it's definitely a legendary experience."

[RELATED: Raiders describe what it's like to jump into Black Hole]

The Raiders come in riding a three-game losing streak. While snapping that run of Ls is important, especially if the team has any hope of a miracle playoff push, it means more for the Raiders to give the Nation one more W in the house of loud. 

"It's definitely a big motivation and we feel like we owe it to everyone here," Worley said.

Doug Marrone, Jaguars preparing for Raiders in emotional Oakland finale

Doug Marrone, Jaguars preparing for Raiders in emotional Oakland finale

ALAMEDA -- Sunday won't be an ordinary Week 15 game between two teams that have dropped out of playoff contention. 

The Oakland Coliseum will be rocking, as those who bleed silver and black say their final farewell to the Raiders when they take on the 4-9 Jacksonville Jaguars. Most of the young Jaguars haven't played in the Coliseum, but head coach Doug Marrone is well aware of what his scuffling team will face Sunday afternoon. 

"Absolutely. I think that, we kind of polled today, we don’t have a lot of players that have played at Oakland and we tried to give them a sense of ... and when I say crazy atmosphere, I mean that in a very positive sense," Marrone said on a conference call with Bay Area media Wednesday. "We talked about the locker room and we’ve talked about it. I think it will be an emotional day for a lot of people there and I had a good relationship with Mr. [Al] Davis. When I was the head coach at Syracuse, we’d meet every year and there will be a lot of emotion knowing that finally, I know last year they went through it a little bit, but the finality of it being the last game for sure." 

Marrone was drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders out of Davis' alma mater Syracuse in 1986. He didn't make the 53-man roster and never donned the silver and black inside the Coliseum. Despite never being a Raider, Marrone had a good relationship with late owner Al Davis and came to the Coliseum as an offensive line coach for the New York Jets in the early 2000s. 

Even for Marrone, it will be weird for the Raiders to no longer call the Coliseum home. 

"When I was with the Jets and we would go out there, we’d always warm-up and I had the offensive line with me and I had a bunch of veteran guys who we’d warm up in the one corner of the end zone and for some reason, there was one guy, he was all over me," Marrone said recalling his time as a visitor in the Coliseum. "Like he was killing me, not the players, me. And the players would come up to me and go, ‘Coach, you going to take that (expletive) from that guy? Like, if he did that (expletive) to me, I would go up in the stands. You need to go up in the stands, you need to confront that.’ And I’d be like, ‘Shut the hell up, would you? We’re just going to go ahead and play.’

"But I just remember those times and the playoff game up there when I was in New York and just how crazy it can be and it’s a special place. I remember going up there back in the day and you look over at pregame warmup and Mr. Davis would be down on the sideline. A lot of the old Raiders would be there and so I think for me there will be a point I think, ‘Wow! I can’t believe the Oakland Raiders are moving.’”

[RELATED: Raiders describe what it's like to jump into Black Hole]

After three consecutive losses, the Raiders no longer find themselves in the playoff hunt. There will be no playoff goodbye for the hallowed grounds that hold so many Raider memories. 

Jon Gruden, Derek Carr and these Raiders have but one more chance to give those who love the Raiders so dearly a final memory of a building and franchise that means so much to them. 

That's bad news for Marrone and the Jags.