Raiders

Mike Mayock explains how Raiders have dealt with Antonio Brown drama

Mike Mayock explains how Raiders have dealt with Antonio Brown drama

Editor's note: Watch the full, exclusive interview with general manager Mike Mayock on "Raiders Central," which debuts Thursday night on NBC Sports Bay Area and re-airs throughout the weekend. 

ALAMEDA – Superstar receiver Antonio Brown dominated headlines during this Raiders preseason while dealing with frostbitten feet and issues with his helmet.

General manager Mike Mayock was heavily involved with all that, staying informed on Brown’s recovery while he rehabbed away from training camp, all the while trying to get him in a certified helmet permitted by the NFL and NFLPA.

That wasn’t an easy task. Brown was adamant about wearing the outdated and disallowed Schutt AiR Advantage, and filed two grievances attempting to do so this season.

The Raiders supported that effort whenever possible, but Brown missing the final training camp practice over this helmet thing crossed a line.

Mayock issued a direct, sternly worded statement demanding to know if Brown was “all-in or all-out.”

Brown returned to the fold the following day, and he has been engaged in the Raiders preparation for the 2019 regular season. Mayock is happy Brown finally is wearing a certified helmet – he worked an endorsement deal out of the affair – and practicing full time, but wasn’t so sure his ultimatum brought Brown back.

“I think that AB’s going to do, kind of, what AB wants to do, so I’m sure my words had very little to do with anything,” Mayock said on this week's episode of the Raiders Talk podcast, in an interview recorded before Mayock's Wednesday dustup with Brown. “We were at a point right there, where there was a lot of outside drama. I made one simple statement to say this is where we are as an organization, and we move on from here.”

Almost. The Raiders fined Brown roughly $53,000 for missing the aforementioned training camp practice and an Aug. 22 walk-through before a preseason game versus Green Bay in Winnipeg, a private matter than went public Wednesday when Brown posted his fine notification letter on his Instagram stories feed.

The letter wasn’t a threat. They plan to fine Brown for missing work, and said in that letter they’ll do so again if he has other unexcused absences.

[RELATED: AB's insane catch reminder why Raiders put up with drama]

Mayock has set a hard line for Brown, and he has at times played the bad cop dealing with the receiver’s off-field drama, while head coach Jon Gruden has been outwardly supportive of the mercurial wideout. Both guys have great regard for a player vital to the team’s success this season. Mayock and Gruden had eyes wide open when they acquired Brown, knowing that he comes with some baggage.

“There’s no doubt what his talent level is,” Mayock said. “We traded a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick for him, and we knew that he had some off-the-field stuff with Pittsburgh. But, at the end of the day, what’s most important is the way he is on the field. I’m not just talking about games. I’m talking about practice. I have never, ever seen a player commit to practice, to becoming better more than him.

"Because of that, he has my respect and coach Gruden’s respect. He is going to help us be a better football team because of his work ethic and his talent. The rest of it, we deal with what we deal with. The bottom line is that we’re committed to what he loves to do, which is playing football. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Wednesday [practice] or a Sunday [game], he’s unbelievable.”

Raiders injury report: Josh Jacobs, Trent Brown miss practice

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Raiders injury report: Josh Jacobs, Trent Brown miss practice

ALAMEDA – The Raiders desperately need running back Josh Jacobs and right tackle Trent Brown available for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.

Both guys have spent the significant time playing through pain, and that could well happen again this week.

Jacobs has been dealing with a fractured shoulder since Week 7. Brown has missed one game but has played through ankle and knee injuries thus far this season. Now he has a pectoral ailment keeping him out of practice.

Brown is, however, has played through a ton and could well do so again.

“He’s had a number of different injuries throughout this season,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “Nagging injuries more than anything else as you’ve seen. He’s missed practice but he has been ready to go on Sunday.”

Jacobs volunteered on social media that his shoulder is fractured, and him missing practice over limitations is a slight difference from previous weeks.

The Raiders try to manage his workload during the week to get him as ready as possible for game day.

“We would never put a player in harm, but we’ve managed him and he’s been honest with us in terms of the injury,” Olson said. “Our training staff has done a great job really throughout the week making sure he’s ready to go on Sundays.”

Right guard Gabe Jackson did not participate in Thursday’s sessions after being considered limited for a Wednesday walk-through conducted indoors. His participation level on Friday will give further indication of his readiness for Sunday.

Raiders practice report

THURSDAY
Did not practice
WR Hunter Renfrow (rib)
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
OT Trent Brown (pectoral)
LB Kyle Wilber (ankle)
RG Gabe Jackson (knee)

Limited practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

Derek Carr details what must get fixed to reignite Raiders offense

ALAMEDA – The Raiders stink. They’re a terrible team after blowout losses against the Jets and Chiefs despite being truly amazing just over a fortnight’s past, when they were coming off a three-game winning streak that made them NFL darlings and a resurgent playoff contender.

That’s the same team we’re talking about, One coming off dramatically different results that have a once confident fan base pulling its hair out heading into Sunday’s vital matchup against the Tennessee Titans.

A win against them at Oakland Coliseum and all is right in the world (again). Lose and it’s apocalypse now.

“I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “That’s the beautiful thing about this game. You rewind two weeks ago, we were the greatest story in the NFL and two weeks later we suck again, so I think we’ll be alright. (laughter) We are just going to keep grinding. We’re going to stick to what we do.”

Carr admits they’ll have to do better, especially on offense. The passing game is stuck in neutral, revving its engine without moving an inch.

That’s large part receiver issues – Jon Gruden says he’s shaking up that position group this week – and some lackluster quarterback play with two pick-sixes in the last two games. Can’t have that, plain and simple. The Raiders can’t afford the penalty issues plaguing them recently. They can’t afford the nine-quarter touchdown drought that stretched from the Bengals game through the Jets contest and deep into the Chiefs embarrassment. The Raiders beat the Bengals but have been outscored 74-21 in two losses since.

“We’ve had a rough two weeks,” Carr said. “I’ve had a rough two weeks. It’s time to get back on track, it’s time to get back in our stadium, it’s time to be efficient on offense, it’s time to win. I’m excited we get a chance to go compete against a really good football team.”

The Raiders' offense must find a groove after hitting a rough patch, but let’s not forget this unit posted 24 or more points for six straight weeks. They can get going again by finding old magic. The key, Carr says, is staying on schedule and staying balanced. They have to start strong – they aren’t built to overcome large deficits – and avoid major mistakes.

[RELATED: Carr can't say enough about rookie Jacobs' toughness]

That’s how the Raiders did it before. That’s how they can do it again.

“Our execution has not been good enough at all,” Carr said. “Like executing the plays to every detail hasn’t been good enough at all. Turning the ball over myself. I don’t do that. I don’t want to do that. Never been something I’ve wanted to do or been a part of my game and so it doesn’t matter how it happened or why it happened, it happened, and we have to eliminate the turnovers and that starts with me.”