Raiders

Raiders snap count: Erik Harris maximizes opportunity in Week 4 win

Raiders snap count: Erik Harris maximizes opportunity in Week 4 win

LONDON – Raiders safety Erik Harris didn’t play a single defensive snap in the season opener. Harris was buried on the depth chart, working behind Johnathan Abram and Curtis Riley.

He was thrust into a starting role Sunday in Indianapolis, with Abram on injured reserve and Riley proving to be a liability in the back.

Harris was given the start, and played 76 of 78 Raiders defensive snaps in a 31-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts where he provided the margin for victory.

He intercepted Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett late in the fourth quarter, expertly jumping a route before taking his pick 30 yards for a touchdown.

“The whole thing was pretty surreal,” Harris said. “I read the quarterback’s eyes and made a play on the ball. I got to the end zone and thought, ‘Is this real life?’”

Yep. And it’s the latest in a long line of opportunities the veteran former CFL players has maximized. He provided stability in the back pairing with Karl Joseph, something Riley couldn’t offer in two previous weeks.

Riley did not play a single defensive snap against the Colts.

Harris earned another start next week against Chicago, and must continue solid play to stabilize a position that hasn’t offered much thus far.

“When you get the opportunity, you have to capitalize on it,” Harris said. “You stay humble and believe in the process and your faith. I knew my time would come. It’s a matter of jumping on an opportunity when you get one.”

[RELATED: Raiders prove they can take a punch in big win over Colts]

The Raiders also found ways to keep slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner on the field. He played 97 percent of the defensive snaps after playing just 23 last week. The Raiders spent most of their day in a nickel package, which is clear from increase work for situation pass rushers.

Harris and Joyner were integral to the Raiders victory, as were several others in this all-around team win. Let’s take a look at the Raiders snap count from Sunday’s win.

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 67

Quarterback – Derek Carr 67

Running back – Josh Jacobs 36, Alec Ingold 25, Jalen Richard 19, DeAndre Washington 13

Wide receiver – Tyrell Williams 62, Trevor Davis 37, Hunter Renfrow 28, Keelan Doss 15

Tight end – Darren Waller 61, Foster Moreau 31, Derek Carrier 7

Offensive line – Richie Incognito 67, Kolton Miller 67, Rodney Hudson 67, Trent Brown 55, Jordan Devey 52, David Sharpe 13

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 78

Defensive line – Clelin Ferrell 66, Maxx Crosby 45, Arden Key 42, Johnathan Hankins 40, P.J. Hall 37, Maurice Hurst 37, Josh Mauro 24, Corey Liuget 21

Linebacker – Tahir Whitehead 71, Nicholas Morrow 62, Vontaze Burfict 17, Kyle Wilber 2

Defensive back – Erik Harris 78, Karl Joseph 78, Daryl Worley 78, Gareon Conley 78, Lamarcus Joyner 76, Trayvon Mullen 6

Special teams

Carrier 25, Wilber 23, Keisean Nixon 23, Curtis Riley 20, Harris 19, Moreau 19, Morrow 17, Dallin Leavitt 15, Ingold 15, Crosby 14, Joseph 11, Daniel Carlson 11, Trent Sieg 10, A.J. Cole 10, Justin Phillips 9, Davis 9, Conley 8, Worley 8, Washington 8, Mullen 7, Hurst 5, Hankins 5, Ferrell 5, Whitehead 5, Sharpe 5, Good 5, Incognito 5, Miller 5, Brown 4, Devey 4, Waller 2, Andre James 2, Renfrow 2, Burfict 1, Doss 1, Williams 1

Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

The Raiders were on the verge of the playoffs this past season, but their passing game took yet another step back. Besides the emergence of rookie Trayvon Mullen, the Silver and Black have plenty of question marks at cornerback as they move to Las Vegas. 

There could be help available, though. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that the Detroit Lions have talked to multiple teams regarding a trade for their Pro Bowl cornerback, Darius Slay. 

Between need, their slew of draft picks and available cap space, the Raiders could be a perfect fit for a trade with the Lions. Let's start with how Slay would fit in the defense. 

Mullen is expected to man one side of the defensive backfield at cornerback, while the other side is a bit of a mystery. Daryl Worley is a free agent this offseason, but Nevin Lawson, Nick Nelson, Keisean Nixon and Isaiah Johnson all are options. None are Slay, though. Not even close. 

Slay, 29, made his third straight Pro Bowl this last season. He also was a First Team All-Pro in 2017 when he led the NFL with eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed. Since 2014, Slay has recorded at least two interceptions and 13 passes defensed every season. 

Per advanced analytics site Pro Football Focus, Slay has been the fifth-best cornerback in the game since 2014. 

The Raiders also have the draft picks to get a deal done. They own two first-round picks -- Nos. 12 and 19 -- this April, as well as three in the third round, one in the fourth and one in the seventh. They have plenty of leverage to make a move. 

Las Vegas also lands right in the middle of current available salary-cap space going into next season. According to Spotrac, the Raiders have slightly over $51.5 million in salary-cap space. Slay, who has a $13.4 million cap hit in 2020, wants a new contract as he's set to hit free agency after this upcoming season. 

[RELATED: Ex-Raider Nnamdi Asomugha talks about his life on Broadway]

He likely would cost more than a few extra pennies, but it's clear Slay still can be a solid corner in a division where everyone is chasing QB Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Raiders could target a cornerback early in the draft. That's not out of the question at all. If the Lions are taking calls on Slay like Schefter reported, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock would be wise to listen. 

How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

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USATSI

How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

Nnamdi Asomugha finds himself under a new set of bright lights. The former Raiders star cornerback, who ended his 11-year NFL career with the 49ers, now finds himself on Broadway

"I started the decade at the Pro Bowl, and I ended the decade on Broadway," Asomugha said in a recent interview with CBS' Dana Jacobson, which aired Friday. "I was like, 'This was really surreal.' This is not a dream that I ever had. And now, this is so clearly what I should be doing." 

Asomugha, now 38 years old, first dabbled in the entertainment business while still playing in the NFL. Towards the end of his career, he started working as a part-time NFL analyst when Jacobson worked at ESPN. He also did a commercial for Dick's Sporting Goods in 2009, and the director gave him words of encouragement regarding his acting skills. 

The three-time Pro Bowler said he started thinking about his post-playing career long before he was done playing football. He saw early on just how quickly your career can end. 

"You better start thinking about that long before you finish your career," Asomugha said. "I mean, I started noticing really my first year in the NFL that you can go down with an injury, your career can be over. You can get cut within moments. And then what are you gonna do?" 

The Cal product soon turned his focus to acting and producing. He said he "was a rookie again" and took acting classes.

Asomugha now has a long list of credits when looking at his IMDB page. The former football star was the executive producer for Netflix's "Beasts of No Nation" in 2015, and he starred in Amazon's "Crown Heights" in 2017.

But it was the Broadway stage where Asomugha found his true calling. He felt the same kind of rush he did on the football field when he made his Broadway debut in the award-winning "A Soldier's Play" earlier in February.

"They announce you, everyone's cheering," Asomugha recalled. "I kind of ran on to the stage and began our work. And I remember at that moment just being like, 'This is where I'm supposed to be.' ... That's football, isn't it? It's live. You don't get a second take, you better get it right.

"I developed that muscle so much, I'm at my best when I'm in the fire."

[RELATED: Why Raiders signing Brady could make sense for both sides]

Asomugha finished his football career after playing three games for the 49ers in 2013. He then retired as a Raider in December of that same year. And though he has found his new calling, he admits he misses the game that first brought him so much joy.

"That was a great time," Asomugha said. "Football is definitely my first love. Now finding this world in entertainment through acting and producing -- I didn't think I would love something as much as I did, but I'm so grateful now that I do."