NFL rumors: AT&T Park could be Raiders' temporary home in 2019 season


NFL rumors: AT&T Park could be Raiders' temporary home in 2019 season

The Raiders vowed not to play in Oakland next season if the city sued them over their impending move to Las Vegas, and now that’s happened. So where will the Silver and Black spend 2019, if not at the Coliseum?

AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, is a possibility, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday, citing sources.

There are some NFL execs who believe the easiest solution, ultimately, would involve the Raiders sharing Levi's Stadium with the 49ers for a season. AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants play, is another potential option, sources said. The NFL is not pleased by any means with the current state of affairs with the Raiders, and will be under pressure to get this sorted out as quickly as possible.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and while it’d be more than odd to see the Raiders play in San Francisco, AT&T has hosted football games in the past.

Cal played its entire 2011 home schedule at AT&T while Memorial Stadium was being renovated, and the ballpark also hosted the XFL’s San Francisco Demons (2001) and UFL’s California Redwoods (2009). The Redbox Bowl, now played in Santa Clara, was held at AT&T from 2002 to 2013 under various names.

La Canfora reported Raiders owner Mark Davis “will face considerable backlash” from the NFL if he hasn’t settled on a stadium by the Super Bowl. Logistics such as scheduling, ticketing and marketing dictate that as a timeline.

So, with La Canfora also reporting the league believes the Raiders staying in the Bay in 2019 makes the most sense, Davis’ choices seem to be Levi’s, AT&T or (gasp!) the Coliseum. The Levi's option might be easiest -- other than just staying at the Coliseum, that is -- and you have to wonder if the Giants really want a team that's ditching the Bay anyway ripping up their field.

Later Sunday, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport also mentioned Cal's Memorial Stadium and San Diego as possible temporary homes.

Regardless where the Raiders land in 2019, it’s on to Vegas in 2020, and then they'll no longer be the Bay's headache.

How Raiders' Darren Waller alters mindset to beat heavy coverage

How Raiders' Darren Waller alters mindset to beat heavy coverage

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jon Gruden got asked about Darren Waller quite often this offseason, but always sandbagged his answers. They started with the Raiders head coach saying he tried to keep Waller a secret, so opponents wouldn’t know how dynamic the tight end was until it was too late.

Gruden did that in jest, knowing full well Waller’s dynamic athleticism already was on tape after a series of 2018 lightning strikes after being signed off Baltimore's practice squad. This season, he has proven a dominant force demanding your respect. He’s a tenacious run blocker. He can play in-line, outside and in the slot. He’s too fast for linebackers and too big for most cornerbacks and safeties.

Waller was virtually impossible to stop early this season, even as a primary target working with a receiving corps in early-season shambles.

Defenses have grown tired of Waller’s dominance, especially after he torched Green Bay for 126 yards and two touchdowns on seven receptions. Now they regularly are throwing additional coverage his way. They are trying to take him out of the equation, to make other Raiders beat them.

Waller’s efficiency dipped considerably after midseason, but it’s on the rise again as Waller has worked hard to counter to defensive adjustments.

“There’s technique involved, but it’s more so a mindset,” Waller said in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “When you are getting extra coverage thrown your way, it’s easy to just say, ‘I’m eliminated. Other guys have to step up.’ If you are playing really well, teams are going to do that. You need to have an attacking mindset and be determined to find or create space to make a play. You can’t settle or take a play off or assume a play’s over for me based upon what they’re doing. I have to believe that I can get open. It’s a mindset.”

Waller used Antonio Brown as an example of how to fight through heavy coverage. Brown is a four-letter word in Raider Nation, but bear with him for a moment. Brown widely is considered a top receiver and is showered with defensive attention, but always finds a way to get open and produce at a high rate.

Waller saw Brown work during the offseason program and took notes. He also sees how elite tight ends Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz are covered but still are able to get going.

“The best players find a way. They get attention every week and still produce,” Waller said. “They still find moments to make an impact. Look at AB over the years. You know they’re looking for him on every play, and he’s still doing what he does. You’re obviously going against the other team, but you’re also going against yourself. There are obstacles coming your way, but if you focus on them, you’re lost. You have to have the confidence to say that they have to beat me, and not ask how I’m going to beat them.”

Waller went over the previous game against the Bengals, where he had five catches for 78 yards on seven targets against varied coverage. There were instances he cited where he beat tough coverage, where he was getting hit at the line of scrimmage then working through intermediate coverage while maintaining proper timing. There were other moments where he properly found a soft spot in zone coverage and sat in it perfectly to make catches. And, on occasion, whether Gruden schemed him into a favorable matchup or if the Bengals defense was in a tough spot, Waller occasionally got matched up one-on-one in man coverage. He smoked a safety for 32 yards. He beat a linebacker, armed with a two-way go, to get the Raiders near the goal line.

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Producing while dealing with all this coverage is a confidence builder.

“It brings out my best,” Waller said. “You have to make sure you’re locked in at all times. There’s more on my plate now, but I like the challenges. The more defenses throwing at me, the more I have to be prepared.”

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner misses practice ahead of Jets game

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner misses practice ahead of Jets game

ALAMEDA --Raiders slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner did some light work in Wednesday's practice, conducted as a walk-through without helmets. 

He didn’t advance to more significant practice activity on Thursday -- he didn't do anything, as a matter of fact -- decreasing odds he’ll be ready to go Sunday against the New York Jets. 

The veteran doesn’t need much time to get ready, but they’ll want his hamstring right before bringing back an integral defensive cog.

Nevin Lawson occupied Joyner’s spot in the slot against the Cincinnati Bengals last time out and fared well, which gives coaches the confidence to let Joyner heal upright.

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Joyner and offensive tackle David Sharpe are the only players in jeopardy of missing this game.

Trent Brown remains limited with a knee injury, though he has played almost every week despite dealing with several ailments throughout the season.

Raiders practice report

Did not practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)
OT David Sharpe (calf)

Limited practice
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
OT Trent Brown (knee)