Raiders

Marshawn Lynch scores first Raiders touchdown in Jon Gruden's return

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AP

Marshawn Lynch scores first Raiders touchdown in Jon Gruden's return

Seventy-five yards. Seven plays. Four minutes and 37 seconds.

That's how long it took for the Oakland Raiders to score their first touchdown of the Second Jon Gruden Era.

Marshawn Lynch capped the first drive of Gruden's homecoming Monday night at the Coliseum with a textbook Beast Mode run against the Los Angeles Rams -- and six points. 

It was Oakland's first touchdown with Gruden in charge since Jan. 19, 2002, when James Jett scored the first six points of the infamous "Tuck Rule" game. The Raiders didn't face third down at any point during the first drive, either. 

Oakland's defense followed that by forcing the Rams to go three and out. That certainly will help make Khalil Mack seem like a distant memory to Raider Nation.

Raiders undrafted WR drawing rave reviews from Jon Gruden, Derek Carr

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USATSI

Raiders undrafted WR drawing rave reviews from Jon Gruden, Derek Carr

The Raiders revamped their wide receiving corps this offseason, bringing in Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson, Ryan Grant and fifth-round draft pick Hunter Renfrow to help quarterback Derek Carr. 

Brown, Williams and Renfrow will get a lot of attention during organized team activities and minicamp, but there's another receiver who has impressed both head coach Jon Gruden and Carr early on in his NFL career.

Keelan Doss signed with the Raiders after going undrafted out of the University of California-Davis and has the size, ball skills and awareness to make it as a receiver in the NFL.

Gruden likes what he has seen from Doss so far.

"Yeah, we coached Doss in the Senior Bowl and really liked him," Gruden said Tuesday after the first day of OTAs. "I think he's smart. He's athletic and he's got size and I think he's going to be able to compete on special teams, as well. Plus he's from Alameda, so we had to get Doss."

It's a long road for an undrafted rookie to make it to the NFL and stick in the league, but Carr believes Doss is different than a lot of the undrafted rookies he's seen come through Oakland.

"Yeah, I think Keelan is going to be a good player," Carr said. "Obviously, he's a rookie, right? He's got a long way to go. But just watching him you can tell -- he works his tail off and it means something to him. We've had other guys come in here, I've seen undrafted free agents come in here and they are just like, 'Man, I'm in the NFL.' And they are posting pictures of them jogging in a jersey, but they don't really like football. You know? They don't really care. They are just trying to, I guess, show that they have a little influence, that they are a professional football player, when really they haven't made the team yet, so their not, you know? He is not that at all. He is someone, man he doesn't want this to just be a one-time stop. He wants to make a career out of this. And hopefully man, he works his tail off and he does make a career out of it. 

"But that's just the initial reaction I've gotten from him is that it means something to him. And you can win with that."

Doss had a productive career at UC-Davis, finishing his collegiate run with 321 catches for 4,069 yards and 28 touchdowns.

The 6-foot-2, 211-pound receiver knows how to get open, can win in the red zone and is a polished route-runner.

[RELATED: New Raiders receiver Williams 'a technician' downfield]

While Doss has a long road ahead of him to make the 53-man roster, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him make the team over some of the other receivers the club brought in this offseason and possibly contribute in 2019.

Raiders impressed with receiver Tyrell Williams' speed, route-running

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USATSI

Raiders impressed with receiver Tyrell Williams' speed, route-running

The Raiders won’t play another color for months. The Los Angeles Rams are up first on the preseason slate, but that game isn’t coming until Aug. 10.

It’s all silver on black until then.

Raiders secondary coach Jim O’Neil is prepping his position groups to play well together in this scheme, with progress reports coming against a dynamic receiver corps featuring Antonio Brown.

Slowing the four-time All-Pro is a badge of honor, by far the toughest assignment in the pattern.

Gold stars should also go to those who stop Tyrell Williams, though few are being given out early in the Raiders offseason program. Williams was known commodity after quality time with the L.A. Chargers. He’s a big body at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds adept plucking receptions from the sky, but there are other facets of his game Raiders defensive backs are learning about the hard way during OTAs.

That was clear in a conversation between O’Neil and Williams, recorded by the team website and released on social media.

“All the DBs went, ‘Man. No. 16 can run,’” said O’Neil, who was mic’d up during Thursday’s OTA session. “I said, ‘yeah. You’d better get your hands on him.’”

“Yeah,” Williams said. “Everybody thinks I can’t run.”

Folks must have forgotten he ran a 4.42 40-yard dash during the 2015 pre-draft process, or that his downfield prowess comes from size over speed.

Early routes had dispelled that notion. Williams and Carr have already flashed a deep connection due to speed-created separation and some solid route running.

“That was a good route you ran the other day on my guy,” O’Neil told Williams. “You sold the ‘jet,’ he took his yes off you and he started hauling a— across field.”

That exact play’s tough to place, considering how little of the offseason program is open to the press. Media saw Williams torch coverage deep on Tuesday, and make some smart catches underneath as Williams continues to prove a trustworthy target working with more than just size and speed.

“It’s kind of nice having something like that, but he can run these routes and set people up,” Carr said. “He’s a technician also. He’s just not a big, raw body.”

Carr and Williams have developed an early rapport from private throwing sessions with Antonio Brown and officially-sanctioned offseason program work. They’re taking another step during OTAs, where they can finally work against coverage.

Williams knows that trust comes from repetition, something he’s trying to build with touch catches against teammates when nobody’s watching.

“It’s just catching everything and if it’s a 50-50 ball make sure that if you don’t catch it, that nobody catches it and it’s not an interception, and he can trust that throws into a tight coverage either you catch it or nobody catches it,” Williams said. “I feel like I’m a bigger guy and have a lot of room I can separate for and be able to catch a lot of those balls that may not be perfect, so I think that’s a big thing from me.”

[RELATED: Carr building chemistry with new receivers]

Williams knows he will be a secondary concern with Brown running routes, and that’s something he hopes to take advantage of with the traits many realize and others often overlooked to have a big season. He has exceeded 1,000 yards once, in 2016 when the Chargers had a rash of receiver injuries. Working opposite Brown could make him a feature target with winnable matchups that could lead to another big year working in a system that can play to his strengths.

“It’s vertical,” Williams said. “We like to go down the field and I feel like that’s one of my strong points, taking it and stretching the field. I think that will be big for me being able to get a lot of [focus] go to ‘AB,’ so I feel like I’ll get a lot of one-on-one coverage down the field. It’ll be big for me.”