Raiders

Penn still haunted by only sack allowed in 2016; 'That play sticks with me'

Penn still haunted by only sack allowed in 2016; 'That play sticks with me'

Editor's Note: The above video is from Dec. 24, 2016.

Donald Penn was nothing short of awesome last season. The veteran Raiders left tackle proved impenetrable, allowing just one sack and 27 quarterback pressures in 676 pass-blocking snaps.

He ranked high among the NFL’s best left tackles at 33, engulfed a career renaissance that began after joining the Raiders three years ago. Penn made the Pro Bowl. He was a vital piece of a 12-4 team that helped the Raiders reach the playoffs.

He hasn’t reveled much in that. Penn’s driven by opportunities missed, and one mishap that haunts him still.

Penn locked horns with Indianapolis linebacker Trent Cole off the left edge during a Week 16 contest against the Colts, and slipped as he was tracking his man away from the pocket. Penn’s feet got tangled and the big man fell. Cole remained upright, darted in and sacked quarterback Derek Carr.

It was Penn’s only sack allowed all season. And Carr got hurt. He suffered a broken fibula that ended his season and realistic hopes of a Raiders playoff run.

Nearly five months have passed since that fluke play. Carr is healthy and a full participant in the Raiders offseason program. The Raiders offensive line might be better after allowing a league-low 18 sacks last season.

There’s plenty to be excited about as the Raiders enter OTAs and a mandatory minicamp. Penn can’t help but lament that isolated incident when Carr went down.

“You have to be an athlete. You try not to think about it too much,” Penn said Tuesday. “You wish you could go back and get it back. I’ve taken that same set I don’t know how many times, on the same field and never just slipped out of nowhere. I’m not going to put it on myself. I should have been able to do something better. You know me, I’m never going to blame the slip for happening. I should have blocked him and held on to him and taken him down with me. That play sticks with me.”

That isn’t all bad. It fuels Penn to continue growing as a player, even at 34 coming off an excellent Pro Bowl season.

“I’m going to try to do what I can do better and make sure it never happens again,” Penn said. “I’ve never gotten a quarterback hurt in my life since I’ve been playing. That was a first. That’s something I take pride in. I’m going to try my hardest to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Penn wants a different ending to this season. Last year the Raiders lost the AFC West crown and a shot to win the team’s first playoff game. Penn suffered a knee injury the following week that kept him from playing in the postseason.

The goal is to realize vast potential now that the Raiders offense is back healthy again.

“I’m all about karma and stuff like that,” Penn said. “Maybe (God is) trying to tell us that this is our year. We have to put in the work to get it. I know D.C. is happy, I’m dang sure happy to get him back. We’re growing and masterminding this offense trying to make it as explosive as possible.”

 

Raiders-Bengals injury report: New guys preparing for big roles on O-line

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Raiders-Bengals injury report: New guys preparing for big roles on O-line

ALAMEDA – The Raiders offensive line remains in big trouble.

Starting guards Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele remained out with injury, lessening their chances of playing Sunday’s game in Cincinnati.

Jackson has a new elbow injury and a lingering ankle problem. Osemele is dealing with a toe issue.

Jon Feliciano has filled in well for Osemele four times already this season. The fourth-year veteran is considered worthy of an NFL starting job, but even he’s unavailable after landing on injured reserve with a calf problem.

That should leave Denzelle Good and Chaz Green are getting work in practice, trying to prepare for important roles on game day.

Both guys were signed as emergency options, but it’s nearly time to pull the alarm.

“We like Chaz Green,” offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “I know the scouting department, they liked him when he came out of college. We like him as a guard and some other teams played him as a tackle. We think he looks comfortable at the guard and think that’s his natural position. With Good, certainly we had some coaches that had come from Indianapolis and had some insight on him as a player and we like what we saw. Certainly, since he has been here, we’ve been equally as impressed with them as we were with seeing them on tape.”

Raiders practice report

WEDNESDAY
Did not practice
G Gabe Jackson (elbow/ankle)
LG Kelechi Osemele (toe)
LB Kyle Wilber (hamstring)

Limited practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle, knee)
DL Maurice Hurst (ankle)
WR Dwayne Harris (foot)
CB Daryl Worley (shoulder)
TE Lee Smith (back)

Full practice
CB Gareon Conley (groin)
FB Keith Smith (calf)

Bengals practice report

WEDNESDAY
Did not practice
LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion)
DE Michael Johnson (concussion)
CB KeiVarae Russell (finger)

Limited practice
OT Cordy Glenn (back)
CB Tony McRae (concussion)
CB KeiVarae (finger)
CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle)

Full practice
QB Jeff Driskel (right shoulder)
WR Alex Erickson (shoulder)
OT Clint Boling (knee)
OT Bobby Hart (knee)

Amari Cooper says Mark Davis, not Jon Gruden, wanted to trade him

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Amari Cooper says Mark Davis, not Jon Gruden, wanted to trade him

The day in October that Amari Cooper was traded by the Raiders to the Cowboys, we were led to believe that the decision was made by then-GM Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jon Gruden.

But now, it appears that owner Mark Davis was the driving force behind the Cooper trade.

According to The Athletic's Calvin Watkins, Cooper said on Thursday that Davis, not Gruden, wanted to trade him.

Cooper also revealed to Watkins that the Raiders kept rejecting offers of a 2020 first-round pick. The team was only interested in a 2019 first-round pick.

McKenzie said on Oct. 23 that Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones called and offered a 2019 first-round pick. That's when McKenzie walked out to the practice field, relayed the offer on the table to Gruden and the head coach approved the deal with a thumbs up.

Cooper's assertion that Davis pulled the strings on his trade falls in line with Gruden comments on Monday following the firing of McKenzie. Gruden revealed that Davis met with McKenzie after the Raiders' win over the Steelers to deliver the news of his fate.

When reporters asked if the decision to fire McKenzie was strictly made by Davis, Gruden said this: “We all work for the same man."