Raiders

Jon Gruden giving Zay Jones offensive crash course during Raiders bye

Jon Gruden giving Zay Jones offensive crash course during Raiders bye

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden wants his players to enjoy their bye. He gave them the full week off right after Sunday’s 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears, releasing those not in need of medical treatment after they came home from London.

Gruden, however, has no grand plans of his own. He’ll forgo a white sand beach or a trip along the coast for the Raiders training complex, where he’ll give new receiver Zay Jones a crash course in his Raiders offense.

“I’m going to teach Zay Jones some plays today,” Gruden said Tuesday. “I’m going to come in tomorrow and teach Zay Jones some more plays.”

Gruden must get his new receiver up to speed quickly. The Raiders traded a 2021 fifth-round pick for the Buffalo receiver on Monday – they also traded for Trevor Davis a few weeks back -- and it’s possible Jones plays a significant role in a Week 7 clash at Green Bay.

That will happen, of course, if Jones can get up to speed and show well in practice. It might be required, considering uncertain availability for Tyrell Williams (foot), J.J. Nelson (lower leg) and Dwayne Harris (ankle). Those guys seemed in line to play Sunday against Chicago, but all of them were deemed unfit. Gruden couldn’t guarantee they’d be ready for the Packers, though it’s possible the week off will do them well.

“Those are three veteran receivers that we had expected to play and are not sure of their status,” Gruden said. “But we got to get ready to play Green Bay and they play a lot of bump and run and man-to-man. We’ll start teaching Zay the plays and all that good stuff here after we’re done with this.”

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock liked Jones coming out of East Carolina. He’s 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, with athleticism required to excel at this level. He hasn’t been efficient or terribly productive despite significant targets, but there’s plenty to like about someone just 24 years old with a rookie contract that goes through 2020.

“He was a very productive guy in college,” Gruden said. “Played in the slot, played split end and flanker. Tough guy, smart. I just think he has a lot of natural skills that are really well worth looking into. With all our injuries, I really credit [General Manager] Mike Mayock and his staff for the two trades that we made. Trevor Davis has really played big dividends for us. We expect more of the same from Zay.”

Raiders coaches play waiting game while NFL peers return to facilities

Raiders coaches play waiting game while NFL peers return to facilities

NFL coaches will be allowed to move back into their team facilities beginning Friday, but just when the Raiders’ staff checks into its Henderson headquarters remains to be seen.

Construction of the 335,000-square-foot facility is still being completed, though team officials hope to move into the building this month. Like coaches around the league, the Raiders’ staff has been working remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Moving trucks arrived on Monday to the Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center, the new headquarters, from the previous facility in Alameda, Calif.

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Why versatile rookie Lynn Bowden could be Raiders’ secret weapon

Why versatile rookie Lynn Bowden could be Raiders’ secret weapon

Word of warning to anyone wondering how the Raiders are preparing to utilize rookie Lynn Bowden this season: Don’t bother asking him. He isn’t at liberty to say.

“I’m really not permitted to speak about that right now,” Bowden said while taking a break from the Raiders virtual OTA’s.

The mum’s the word response wasn’t relayed out of anger or deceit. The outgoing Bowden can’t wait to get on the field in his first NFL season and is beyond excited to help the Raiders anyway he can. He’s open and frank about all that and doesn’t mind expressing it one bit.

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