Raiders

Del Rio on possible coaching staff changes: 'We'll see how that goes'

Del Rio on possible coaching staff changes: 'We'll see how that goes'

ALAMEDA – Jack Del Rio built a strong staff after being hired as Raiders head coach, and managed to keep it intact from one season to the next.

That’s no easy task. Coaching staffs shuffle almost every year, but Del Rio believed continuity was important between the 2015 and 2016 seasons.

It remains uncertain if that will happen again. Del Rio dodged a question asking if he anticipates making staff changes this offseason, when at least some turnover could occur.

“Well, we’ll see how it goes, you know?” Del Rio said Sunday in a press conference. “Opportunities come up for guys. We were able to get that done last year and we’ll just see how that breaks for us this year. We’ve got a good group of guys. They work hard, they care. We’ll see where that goes.”

The Raiders defense needs another talent infusion, but that unit underperformed at times when it needed to stand tall. The Raiders had an NFL low 25 sacks, and ranked No. 26 with 375.1 yards per game and 20th with 24.1 points allowed per game.

Might defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. be a fall guy for those shortcomings?

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and his assistants had greater success with the No. 6-ranked offense that improved in most categories over a year ago. That’s especially true in the run game, which blocking and back efficiency increased. The Raiders seem content with coaches on that side of the ball, including Musgrave, line coach Mike Tice and quarterbacks coach Todd Downing.

Some lower-level assistants may be in line for more prestigious jobs, and the Raiders may find someone on the market who might be an upgrade.

The coordinators, however, are always in focus when it comes to making changes, especially among the fans.

“People always want to get into play calling,” Del Rio said. “That’s the first area that everybody that plays Madden thinks they have it figured out, you know? I can’t worry too much about those types of things.”

Lee Smith closer to full health: Raiders blocking tight end Lee Smith said he’ll be running around shortly after the Super Bowl in early February, and expects to be fully healthy for the 2017 offseason program.

Smith has been on injured reserve since Week 4, when he suffered a broken ankle that required surgery.

Smith wishes he could’ve played a bigger role on the team during a season where they needed him.

“Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I feel personally like I could have helped this year beyond that fourth game,” Smith said. “So, it’s hard, man. It’s hard to sit back and watch all of the hard work you put in for months and months and months to not be able to put forth for an entire season.”

Inside linebacker Ben Heeney told the Bay Area News Group that he should be ready to participate in OTAs after having ankle surgery earlier this season.

Raiders snap count: McDonald steps in, plays a ton vs. Broncos

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AP

Raiders snap count: McDonald steps in, plays a ton vs. Broncos

ALAMEDA – Clinton McDonald signed with the Raiders on Wednesday, but didn’t practice until the following afternoon. A few days later, he played 52 snaps. 

Nobody on the defensive line played more, an effort required after the defensive tackle spot endured an injury plague. Justin Ellis is now on IR. P.J. Hall missed Sunday’s 20-19 loss to Denver, and is expected to miss another week at least. 

McDonald graded out well, per Pro Football Focus, and had two tackles and two quarterback pressures against the Broncos. He did get cleared out to open a rushing lane for Phillip Lindsay’s 53-yard scamper.

The Raiders had to work a new player in on the inside, including three players who had been with the team less than two weeks. McDonald, Brian Price and Johnathan Hankins helped Maurice Hurst work on the defensive interior. 

McDonald played a major role, despite precious little prep. 

“We were in a tough spot yesterday, certainly with [Brian] Price playing for the first time," Jon Gruden said. "Hankins and Clinton basically just showing up before the game. He did a heck of a job. He not only played a lot of snaps, he played some good snaps against the run and he gave us a little bit of pass rush in there. That’s been his history. He can play the nose or the three-technique and that’s what he did yesterday.”

This rotation will hold for some time, though Hankins’ workload should increase as time wears on. Hall will be welcomed back with open arms when healthy, especially as an interior pass rusher. 

There’s some shuffling going on at safety, where Erik Harris took some defensive snaps from Marcus Gilchrist and Reggie Nelson. It’s clear 2016 first-round pick Karl Joseph is down on the depth chart at this stage, another blow for recent Raiders draft classes. 

Martavis Bryant was active in his first game back with the Raiders, totaling four catches for 40 yards on 26 snaps. His presence helped the passing game as a whole, with receptions and clearing space for others like Amari Cooper. 

“His presence out there makes a difference,” Gruden said. 

Offense
Total offensive snaps: 65
Quarterback – Derek Carr 65
Running back – Marshawn Lynch 42, Doug Martin 16, Jalen Richard 8, Keith Smith 8
Wide receiver – Jordy Nelson 54, Amari Cooper 54, Martavis Bryant 26, Seth Roberts 22, Brandon LaFell 7
Tight end – Jared Cook 52, Lee Smith 22, Derek Carrier 11
Offensive line – Donald Penn 65, Gabe Jackson 65, Kolton Miller 65, Rodney Hudson 65, Kelechi Osemele 65, Jon Feliciano 3
 
Defense
Total defensive snaps: 65
Defensive line – Clinton McDonald 52, Bruce Irvin 49, Arden Key 42, Maurice Hurst 37, Frostee Rucker 28, Tank Carradine 24, Johnathan Hankins 18, Brian Price 17 
Linebacker – Tahir Whitehead 63, Derrick Johnson 43, Marquel Lee 25, Emmanuel Lamur 14
Defensive back – Rashaan Melvin 64, Gareon Conley 64, Leon Hall 55, Marcus Gilchrist 53, Reggie Nelson 48, Erik Harris 26, Karl Joseph 3
 
Special teams
Total special teams plays: 22
Erik Harris 22, Marquel Lee 22, Kyle Wilber 22, Carrier 22, Nick Morrow 18, K. Smith 18, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 15, L. Smith 10, Richard 10, Gilchrist 9, Mike Nugent 9, Johnny Townsend 8, Trent Sieg 8, Melvin 7, Martin 5, Rucker 5, Brandon Parker 4, Penn 4, Miller 4, Feliciano 4, Whitehead 4, Osemele 4, Nelson 4, McDonald 4, Irvin 4, Nelson 4. Hall 3, Murst 3, Carradine 3, Key 1 

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers up, Raiders down after Week 2

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers up, Raiders down after Week 2

1. Tampa Bay (2-0)
Previous rank: 21
 
“We’ve just got to make sure we stay humble.” -- Ryan Fitzpatrick


2. L.A. Rams (2-0)
Previous rank: 2

L.A. loves a winner. That bandwagon’s gonna fill up pretty fast. 

3. Jacksonville (2-0)
Previous rank: 7
 
Blake Bortles threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns. You might assume that was for the entire 2017 season. Or his career. Nope, just one thrashing of the Patriots. Jags are the new AFC team to beat. 
 
4. Kansas City (2-0)
Previous rank: 5
 
That Mahomes kid has 10 touchdown passes in two weeks. He’s gonna be a superstar. 
 
5. Minnesota (1-0-1)
Previous rank: 3
 
Best part of any Monday press conference? Mike Zimmer, on being asked why he cut his kicker: “Did you see the game?”
 
6. New England (1-1)
Previous rank: 3
 
Patriots counting lucky stars Jacksonville didn’t play like that in last year’s AFC title game. Jaguars had ‘em shook. 
 
7. Green Bay (1-0-1)
Previous rank: 6
 
That Clay Matthews penalty was absurd. Pretty hard to play defense these days. 
 
8. Philadelphia (1-1)
Previous rank: 1
 
Nick Foles wrote a book this offseason. Hope he sold a lot of copies. He’s headed back to the backup spot the second Carson Wentz gets cleared. 
 
9. L.A. Chargers (1-1)
Previous rank: 11
 
Philip Rivers has the offensive flowing like a category 5 rapid. 
 
10. Cincinnati (2-0)
Previous rank: 18
 
Bengals believe they’ll be just fine without Joe Mixon. Say that too many times and you’ll get committed. 
 
11. Denver (2-0)
Previous rank: 17
 
Something lost in the buzz around Marquette King’s ridiculous Jon Gruden troll video: He had to go on Amazon or to a mall and buy a Chucky doll. Probably weeks ago. This troll job was calculated. Pre-meditated. And pretty darn petty.  
 
12. Atlanta (1-1)
Previous rank: 12
 
Falcons still miss Kyle Shanahan. Maybe a little less than normal after Tevin Coleman went off. 
 
13. New Orleans (1-1)
Previous rank: 8
 
Saints nearly marched into a loss. To Cleveland, of all teams. New Orleans is lucky the Browns kicker stinks. Or stunk. Dude got cut. 
 
14. Baltimore (1-1)
Previous rank: 9
 
Ravens lost a tight one to the Bengals. Just a thought: Maybe they should cover A.J. Green. 
 
15. Carolina (1-1)
Previous rank: 12
 
So, let me get this straight. A defender gets ejected for a vicious hit on Cam Newton, then the rough-and-tumble QB goes right back in? Cam lucky to escape with only a shiner. Panthers, too. 
 
16. Pittsburgh (0-1-1)
Previous rank: 13
 
Steelers have so much talent, and so much turmoil brewing just beneath the surface. There’s a powder keg in western PA. A few more disappointing results and it will explode. 
 
17. Miami 
Previous rank: 22
 
Once again, the Dolphins are our lowest rated team without a loss. Somebody tell me how they’re winning games? They can easily snag a third against the Raiders in the Florida heat. . 
 
18. Chicago (1-1)
Previous rank: 19
 
Khalil Mack has played on national television his first two weeks in Chicago. Bet he sold a lot of jerseys as the country begins to realize he’s the best defensive player on Planet Earth. 
 
19. 49ers (1-1)
Previous rank: 20
 
The 49ers won a game that Richard Sherman says felt like a loss. He’s right. The Santa Clarans deserve to be 0-2. Squeaked one out against the Lions, though Jimmy G looks a little less handsome than he did this summer. 
 
20. Tennessee (1-1)
Previous rank: 24
 
The Titans won a game with Blaine Gabbert at the helm. Give Mike Vrabel a medal. 
 
21. Indianapolis (1-1)
Previous rank: 29 
 
Andrew Luck always gives his team a chance. 
 
22. Washington (1-1)
Previous rank: 10
 
The Washington football is schizophrenic. Good one week, unwatchable the next. And yeah, I know I have teams bobbing up and down these power rankings. I’m a mystery that way. 
 
23. N.Y. Jets (1-1)
Previous rank: 16
 
A rookie quarterback played well one week and terrible the next? Get right out of town. Sam Darnold’s gonna have to experience some growing pains. 
 
24. Houston (0-2)
Previous rank: 14
 
Losing to Blaine Gabbert gets you dropped like its hot. Come on, Houston. Be better. 
 
25. Dallas (1-1)
Previous rank: 26
 
Beating the Giants doesn’t make you good. Cowboys have plenty left to prove. 
 
26. Seattle (0-2)
 
Poor Russell Wilson. Seahawks are going to waste some prime years tearing this team down. 
 
27. Raiders (0-2)
Previous rank: 23
 
Derek Carr can’t win games all by himself. It seems like he could use an excellent defensive player creating havoc, a bonafide closer off the edge. Gosh. How could the Raiders find someone like that…
 
28. Detroit (0-2)
Previous rank: 28
 
49ers tried to hand Detroit a win. The Lions slapped it away with a crummy defensive holding call. 
 
29. N.Y. Giants (0-2)
 
Previous rank: 27
 
Big Blue has all these flashy toys, yet can’t give Eli one second to get them the gosh darn ball. Giants can’t protect a statue signal caller. Hard to imagine him staying healthy all year. 
 
30. Cleveland (0-1-1)
 
Previous rank: 31
 
The Browns find new and entertaining ways to choke each week. Here’s to hoping they never get good. Every league needs a punching bag. 
 
31. Cardinals (0-2)
Previous rank: 30
 
So apparently Mike McCoy might lose his job over David Johnson’s usage. Here’s a hint. Snap the ball. Hand it to him. Watch magic happen. 
 
32. Buffalo (0-2)
Previous rank: 32
 
The Bills are so bad Vontae Davis retired at halftime. Couldn’t take it anymore. 
 
Calling my shot right now: Bills will never, ever, get out of the 32nd slot.