Raiders

Raiders' Jon Gruden wants more production from edge rusher Arden Key

Raiders' Jon Gruden wants more production from edge rusher Arden Key

ALAMEDA – Raiders edge rusher Arden Key had a strong preseason. The second-year pro showed significant improvement in his run defense, with gains in size and strength that aid his pass rush.

Quality summer work hasn’t set him on a hot start. Key has just three quarterback pressures -- one quarterback hit and two hurries -- in his first two games.

He has played a total of 52 snaps, with 40 of those rushing the passer.

They haven’t been terribly productive early in the year. The Raiders were hoping for the opposite, to get quality from Key as a situational pass rusher.

That hasn’t been the case to this point, something head coach Jon Gruden was frank about during his Monday press conference.

“We have got to get more out of Arden. I’ve said that for long enough,” Gruden said. “Arden, if you are listening, we got to get you going. He’s a good player. He’s had a good training camp; he’s healthy.

“We put our defensive line in some tough spots yesterday for a lot of reasons to try and stop their running game, and it did stymie I think some of the guys’ ability to rush the passer, but Arden is going to get home. Arden is going to take off here hopefully soon.”

[RELATED: Raiders' pass-rush rotation ineffective in loss to Chiefs]

Key generally is active in the sub package, working with Maxx Crosby or Benson Mayowa on the edge and Clelin Ferrell and other rotating rushers on the inside.

The Raiders need production from Key to make that package successful, lest last year’s pass-rushing struggles linger on in 2019.

Raiders' Trent Brown accused of domestic violence by woman in lawsuit

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Raiders' Trent Brown accused of domestic violence by woman in lawsuit

Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown has been accused of domestic violence by his son's mother, Diorra Marzette-Sanders, in a lawsuit filed Monday.

Pro Football Talk obtained a copy of the lawsuit, filed in a California civil court, in which Marzette-Sanders accuses Brown of slapping her "across the face, leaving her mouth bloody and her face bruised," and that he has "bruised, bloodied and battered" her multiple times. Marzette-Sanders also accuses Brown of threatening her by saying he'd "shoot yo a-- in the fu--ing head" when she wanted to leave with their son.

The lawsuit further cites three incidents this year as evidence of the abuse. In March, Brown “grabbed her face and covered her mouth while choking her out until she couldn’t breathe,” leaving “a ring of bruises around her neck," according to the suit. One month later, Brown “grabbed the Plaintiff’s arm, took her into a room, locked the door, slapped her across the face and punched her in the ribs” while they were vacationing in Hawaii, Marzette-Sanders alleges.

In June, a police report was filed after Brown allegedly slapped Marzette-Sanders in the face. It isn't known if charges were filed in that incident.

The Raiders signed Brown to a record-setting four-year, $66 million contract this past offseason.

Surging Raiders face tough upcoming tests in Packers, Texans offenses

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Surging Raiders face tough upcoming tests in Packers, Texans offenses

The Raiders haven’t played a true home game in forever. That's true, even though the Silver and Black have two games left in a five-game stretch played away from Oakland that will define this season.

They have started it off well, with two quality wins in three attempts. The team has rallied together during this time, facing in-game adversity and practice-week setbacks head on. This group doesn’t wilt, finding ways to beat Indianapolis and Chicago after what could’ve been a demoralizing loss in Minnesota.

Head coach Jon Gruden deserves credit for guiding the Raiders through with expert game plans. The coaching staff and the locker room’s leadership core have kept the team together during tough times playing difficult opposition.

The path doesn’t get any easier as this road trip winds down. In fact, the competition ratchets up. The Raiders face Green Bay on Sunday and Houston the following week before returning to Oakland for a three-game homestand.

Yeah, that’s Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson in consecutive weeks. Those elite quarterbacks are as tough as they get, with an ability to score at will and perform well in the clutch.

The Raiders have scored 55 points in the last two games with a solid run game and efficient passing, with strong starts in both wins. That will be essential yet again if the Raiders are to continue performing well against a run of legitimate playoff contenders.

This two-game win streak, punctuated by an excellent win over the Bears in London, has brought positive press about the coaching staff and the team's toughness. The next two games could offer a reality check -- or densely pack the bandwagon. 

The Packers and Texans offer stiff competition to a Raiders team right in the thick of the AFC West race. The division is bunched up at the moment, with the Chiefs and Chargers each losing two straight games. The Broncos have won two in a row. The Raiders are in a position to make some noise in the division, especially if they can get at least one win out of the next two games.

The schedule gets a bit easier after these two, with golden opportunities down the stretch. There are weak sisters on the schedule that a quality team should handle and a flood of division games. The Raiders can remain highly competitive if they maintain a strong ground game offensively while shutting down the opponent’s rushing attack.

Early leads allow the Raiders to play their way, with a steady diet of Josh Jacobs working behind an imposing offensive line. The Raiders seem committed to playing solid run defense, but the back end must hold its own against excellent quarterbacks. Doing so puts most every game in play, even those where the Raiders look inferior on paper. 

[RELATED: Why Jackson sees so much potential in this Raiders O-line]

The Raiders have played quality competition tough, and found ways to win three important games through five attempts. They aren’t going to win every game, nor should that be expected from a team managing significant talent losses via injury, suspension or other.

Coming out of this two-game stretch with a win, or even two, would show the NFL these Raiders arrived before many expected, and that they’re a legitimate playoff threat heading into the season’s second half.