Raiders

Patterson excited to help Raiders in multiple ways with his speed

Patterson excited to help Raiders in multiple ways with his speed

The Raiders haven’t returned a kickoff for a touchdown in quite some time. Jacoby Ford did it in 2011, starting a drought the Raiders hope to end soon.

They took a big step toward that end by signing receiver and returner extraordinaire Cordarrelle Patterson on a two-year contract.

The former Minnesota Viking has only been in the league four seasons, and already has five return touchdowns. The Raiders know that all too well. Patterson burned them in 2015, returning a kickoff 93 yards to the end zone.

“I remember it like it was yesterday,” Patterson said Tuesday in a conference call.

The two-time All-Pro was greeted with jeers from the Black Hole, a fan base he’s proud to represent well.

“I’ve heard stay away from the fans over there, so you know, I’m blessed to be a part of them now,” Patterson said. “You know, when I scored that touchdown, they were giving me a lot of crap, all that stuff, but I’m a happy person. I like to have fun and enjoy myself and you can never let anybody get you down in life.”

Raider Nation will be happy to lift him up if he produces on special teams and find ways to contribute as a wide receiver. He hasn’t been targeted much, though he had a career-high 52 catches for 453 yards and two touchdowns.

Patterson said the Raiders want to use him more on offense, an attraction for someone who wants to be known as more than a return specialist.

“That was one of the deciding factors,” Patterson said. “We sat down and talked. They were just saying how they can work on getting me a better receiver. Things I’m good at, they’re going to keep continuing to do that. Those things I need to work on, they’re going to help me improve on that.”

The Raiders were certainly try to capitalize on his breakneck speed and get him the ball is space. He’ll be a fourth receiver to start, though he’ll certainly compete for playing time. He’ll definitely be the top kickoff returner, which is an area the Raiders looked to upgrade this offseason.

“I love special teams, especially on kickoff returns,” Patterson said. “It’s just a feeling you wouldn’t understand until you’re back there when you get that ball in your hands. You’re nine yards deep in the end zone and you have those 10 guys in front of you who are going to block and give you their all for you. I’m willing to bring it out anytime I can. If the coach gives me the OK, I want to bring it out.

"I want to go somewhere and know that I can help on special teams. I feel like that’s my best in the game right there, so I want to go and help on special teams as much as I can and get this receiver stuff down pat.”

Marshawn Lynch's mom definitely wants Khalil Mack back on Raiders

Marshawn Lynch's mom definitely wants Khalil Mack back on Raiders

While Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is a man of few words, his mom, Delisa, never has been known to bite her Twitter fingers.

One day after Marshawn spoke to the media about what's wrong with the Raiders, his mom did the same thing -- except her response was more succinct.

Without edge rusher Khalil Mack, who was traded to the Chicago Bears before the season opener, the Raiders have struggled to rush opposing quarterbacks. On the flip side, Mack has been in a pain in the rear end for the offensive lines of the Packers, Seahawks and Cardinals, with 13 total tackles, four sacks, three forced fumbles and a pick-six in three games.

The Raiders as a team, over the first three games, have five sacks and zero forced fumbles.

We'll guess that just about every Raiders player privately agrees with Mama Lynch. We know every Raiders fan definitely agrees with her.

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Raiders snap count: Bruce Irvin's opportunities decrease in heavy rotation

Raiders snap count: Bruce Irvin's opportunities decrease in heavy rotation

MIAMI -- The Raiders need more from Bruce Irvin.

Coach Jon Gruden made that clear last week. The effort is there, Gruden said, but the production isn’t at a level required to generate pressure on the quarterback.

He was right. Irvin had two pressures through two games, a strip sack in the opener and a quarterback hit in Week 2.

In Week 3, he didn’t have a ton of opportunities on a hot, humid day where the Raiders played just 44 defensive snaps. He played 26 downs in Sunday’s 28-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins, just 59 percent of the overall total.

A heavy rotation continued up front, but those spelling Irvin didn’t offer much. Shilique Calhoun wasn’t in the right spot while subbing for Irvin in the third quarter, and Jakeem Grant blew right by him for an 18-yard touchdown.

Irvin played a lot more for the previous Raiders coaching staff, who used him and edge rusher Khalil Mack on virtually every down.

Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther prefers keeping guys fresh, but Irvin and Frostee Rucker are the Raiders' best edge run defenders. Irvin definitely is their best edge pass rusher, and Raiders need him to find his way back to the quarterback.

The coaching staff seems committed to starting captain Reggie Nelson and playing him regularly, though it will be interesting to see if Erik Harris can chip away at Nelson’s snaps as the season progresses.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie rotated in on defense as he did in Week 1, taking series from Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin. Raiders cornerbacks have been the steadiest part of an ailing defense that can’t hold strong for four quarters.

The receiver corps also got shaken up some in Miami. Seth Roberts played significant snaps in the first two games, but he was a healthy scratch Sunday. Martavis Bryant pushed Roberts down on the priority list, and now it seems veteran Brandon LaFell has caught up quick enough to start earning more playing time.

The total number of snaps also is of note. The Raiders dominated time of possession, holding the ball more than 17 minutes longer than the opposition, and totaled just 20 points. The Dolphins, by contrast, used some trickery to create big plays and efficient scores in just 44 plays.

The Raiders allowed five plays of 20-plus yards, including three touchdowns from at least 34 yards out. That will get you beat. So will struggles in the red zone, where the Raiders were 2-for-5 with an interception and a turnover on downs.

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 76
Quarterback -- Derek Carr 76
Running back -- Marshawn Lynch 42, Jalen Richard 20, Keith Smith 19, Doug Martin 13
Wide receiver -- Amari Cooper 60, Jordy Nelson 55, Maratvis Bryant 35, Brandon LaFell 33, Dwayne Harris 2
Tight end -- Jared Cook 62, Lee Smith 19, TE Derek Carrie 18
Offensive line -- Gabe Jackson 76, Kolton Miller 76, Rodney Hudson 76, Kelechi Osemele 76, T.J. Clemmings 58, Donald Penn 18, Jon Feliciano 2

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 44
Defensive line -- Clinton McDonald 34, Maurice Hurst 28, Bruce Irvin 26, Johnathan Hankins 23, Frostee Rucker 22, Arden Key 19, Fadol Brown 14, Shilique Calhoun 9
Linebacker -- Tahir Whitehead 44, Marquel Lee 28, Derrick Johnson14, Emmanuel Lamur 11, Nicholas Morrow 2
Defensive back -- Reggie Nelson 39, Rashaan Melvin 33, Leon Hall 33, Marcus Gilchrist 33, Gareon Conley 31, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 24, Erik Harris 17, Karl Joseph 1

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 23
Lee 23, Rodgers-Cromartie 22, Harris 22, Kyle Wilber 22, Carrier 19, K. Smith 18, Morrow 18, Harris 16, Calhoun 14, Mike Nugent 9, Melvin 9, L. Smith 9, Gilchrist 8, Richard 8, Johnny Townsend 7, Trent Sieg 7, Lamur 6, Whitehead 5, Nelson 5, McDonald 5, Irvin 4, Rucker 4, Key 4, Miller 4, Feliciano 4, Jackson 4, Osemele 4, Clemmings 4, Joseph 3, Conley 2, Brown 1, Nelson 1, LaFell 1, Penn 1

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