Raiders' Johnathan Abram offers perfect reaction to 'Hard Knocks' debut

Raiders' Johnathan Abram offers perfect reaction to 'Hard Knocks' debut

NAPA -- If you watched the Raiders' "Hard Knocks" debut on Tuesday night, there was no doubt who the breakout star of Episode 1 was. 

Rookie safety Johnathan Abram stole the show from the opening minutes. The Mississippi State product's aggression and desire to hit was on full display, with head coach Jon Gruden asking the rookie to tone it down when going against his own guys.

There also were a few comical moments with Abram. From his horseback ride with fellow rookie Clelin Ferrel to dinging quarterback Derek Carr's car and mispronouncing the word salmon, Abram became the early face of "Hard Knocks." 

Following Wednesday's joint practice session with the Los Angeles Rams, Abram was asked about his "Hard Knocks" debut and whether or not he agreed with the way he was portrayed. 

"I mean ... honestly, I really don't know what to think," Abram said when asked about his feelings on the premiere. "I mean it's just the inside. It shows what we do on a daily basis. That's it.

"I mean, that's just me," Abram said about how he came off in Episode 1. "I'm a kid off the field, you know, man on the field. I like to have fun." 

Of course, Abram was asked if he still thought salmon is pronounced "sal-mon."

"Sal-Mon not salmon," Abram said with a chuckle. "I mean give me a couple words where the L is silent." 

When presented with the word calf, Abram offered his own pronunciation. 

"Like a CAL-F. You don't hear the F? I know a couple. Like could and should and would, the L is silent. But I just think salmon should be SAL-MON instead of salmon. "

What about his horsemanship skills?

"There's a lot of stuff the world don't know," Abram said. 

[RELATED: Carr finds peace with hardened exterior

Abram has drawn rave reviews from his teammates and coaches so far during training camp. But Carr has a thing or two he thinks the rookie needs to work on. 

"I watched it, yeah," Carr said when asked about "Hard Knocks." "Tell John Abram to move his car."

What about the great pronunciation battle of Raiders training camp?

"It's definitely salmon," Carr said laughing. "I don't know what he's talking about. But like I said, that guy never needs to change."

Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner 'questionable at best' vs Bengals


Raiders injury report: Lamarcus Joyner 'questionable at best' vs Bengals

ALAMEDA – The Raiders emerged from their miniature bye week with nearly a full squad. That doesn’t mean they came out of Thursday night’s victory over the L.A. Chargers healthy.

Not by a long shot.

Starting strong safety Karl Joseph was placed on injured reserve on Friday, a brutal loss for an opportunistic unit.

He won’t return again this season. Slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner might at some point, but it isn’t expected right away. The starting slot cornerback and defensive mainstay missed Wednesday’s practice with a hamstring injury that could keep him out a little bit.

It seems highly unlikely he’ll be able to play Sunday against Cincinnati, a point solidified by Raiders head coach Jon Gruden.

He said Joyner is “questionable at best” versus the Bengals, making it highly likely we’ll see Nevin Lawson in the slot with Daryl Worley as a Plan B. That also means we may see more three linebacker sets, considering Joyner would often remain on the field during some running downs where the offensive formation wasn’t particularly heavy.

The rest of the 53-man roster was working. That included defensive end Josh Mauro, who missed Thursday’s game with a groin strain. He was limited alongside four others.

That list includes center Rodney Hudson and right tackle Trent Brown, though both guys should go against the Bengals. Running back Josh Jacobs and reserve offensive tackle David Sharpe were also limited to some degree in a Wednesday workout that is more of a walk-through in the current Raiders practice schedule.

Here’s the full Raiders participation report:

Raiders practice report

Did not practice
CB Lamarcus Joyner (hamstring)

Limited practice
RB Josh Jacobs (shoulder)
OT Trent Brown (knee)
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
DE Josh Mauro (groin)
OT David Sharpe (calf)

Full practice
WR Dwayne Harris (foot)
LB Tahir Whitehead (shoulder)

Raiders give Dion Jordan what could be final shot to realize potential


Raiders give Dion Jordan what could be final shot to realize potential

ALAMEDA -- For Dion Jordan, the past seven years haven't gone as planned. But now a Raiders, Jordan is certain he's where he is supposed to be. 

"It all just fell in place, man," Jordan said Wednesday after practice. "I feel like every day or every hour that I've been here, I'm reminded that I made the right decision. I'm just very thankful that it happened the way it did. There's no stress on me. It's all football."

It hasn't been all football for Jordan thus far in his career. 

Jordan was reinstated by the NFL on Tuesday after serving a 10-game suspension for Adderall. He had a therapeutic exemption to use the drug for his ADHD, but it expired and Jordan took the medication anyway. 

That suspension was just the latest speedbump in what many thought would be a promising career.  

Drafted with the No. 3 overall pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2013, the Oregon product struggled to make an impact during his first two seasons in Miami. Jordan totaled just three sacks and seven quarterback hits in his first 26 games, 

Before the 2014 season, Jordan received a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy. He violated the policy again in September of 2014, receiving an additional two-game ban. A diluted urine sample during the following offseason gave Jordan his third strike for violating the policy and he was suspended for the entire 2015 season. While reinstated before the 2016 season, Jordan did not play a down of football and was cut by the Dolphins in March of 2017 after failing a physical. 

Still loaded with potential, Jordan was signed by the Seahawks and played five games for Seattle in 2017, notching four sacks and 10 tackles. He played 12 more games for the Seahawks in 2018. 

Now, Jordan joins a Raiders team in need of pass rush help after Arden Key went down with a broken foot. He's still just 29 years old. Still filled with the talent that tantalized the Dolphins to trade up with the Raiders to make him the highest Duck drafted since Joey Harrington in 2002. 

Jordan spent his suspension working out in San Francisco. He's in the best shape of his life --- down to eight percent body fat -- and turned down a few offers from other teams to stay by his support system and help a Raiders team that has its eyes on the playoffs

"The same thing I bring everywhere: Just effort," Jordan said about what he brings to the Raiders. "Effort and the will to want to win. I know that's what this organization's all about and I'm just trying to be apart of that." 

Jordan starred as both a tight end and a defensive end at Chandler High School in Arizona and was the No. 10 tight end in the country coming out of high school. After redshirting in 2008, Jordan made the switch permanently from tight end to defensive end in 2010. During his final three seasons at Oregon, Jordan recorded 119 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. 

He had some great moments at Oregon, but never took over games the way top draft picks are expected to. There was some surprise when he shot up draft boards and was taken at No. 3 overall.

The talent was never the issue. But can he put everything together and realize his potential? 

Jon Gruden hopes Jordan, with a support system around him, will become everything so many teams thought he would while he was laying the wood in Eugene. But it's on Jordan, not the Raiders, to make that happen. 

"They extended the offer for me to come here, that was it," Jordan said of what the Raiders must do to help him be what he has the talent to become. "I feel like the environment and the people that [Gruden] set up around this place is proven that I have that opportunity [to reach his potential]. It's all up to me like it is with everything else. It's up to the individual, it's up to me to go out there and work hard at practice, dive into the playbook and to treat people with respect and type of loyalty and love that they deserve."

Jordan joins a young and talented defensive line that is coming into its own after a Thursday night win over the Chargers. Rookies Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby have been tasked with leading the pass-rush unit. Ready to hit the ground running, Jordan feels like this unit suits what he brings to the table.

"A lot of young guys who just know how to go," Jordan said of his new teammates. " I feel like I fit right in with these dudes. That's how I play. I just go."

[RELATED: Seven prospects for Raiders to target with Bears' high pick]

Jordan has his support system, one the Raiders are helping him with. He's ready to help his new team in any way, shape or form. The Silver and Black need another pass rusher. Ferrell, Crosby and Benson Mayowa have a lot on their shoulders, and Jordan, a No. 3 overall pick, has the talent to step in and create havoc in the backfield. 

He's no longer expected to be the defensive cornerstone the Dolphins drafted him to be. He's just here to play a role. 

But he's happy to be given an opportunity to put on a helmet and go to work every day. To dive into the Raiders' playbook, stick his hand in the dirt on Sundays and be apart of a playoff push. 

The expectations that come with being a high draft pick still follow him. Maybe because he puts them on himself. Maybe because the talent and potential still are there.

He's in a good place mentally and physically. He's back playing the game he loves, is ready to seize an opportunity afforded only to those with immense talent and make the most of what might be his final opportunity to become what many believed he would when his name was called in 2013.