Raiders snap count: Walford building trust, will see more action


Raiders snap count: Walford building trust, will see more action

ALAMEDA – Raiders rookie tight end Clive Walford has been making steady progress behind the scenes. Coaches have lauded his recent practices, as he overcame a long practice drought to due injuries during training camp.

He’s been healthy for some time now, and is starting to make some plays in games. He had a long reception in Week 6 against Denver, and reeled in a 23-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Derek Carr in Sunday’s victory over San Diego.

Walford has been trying to capitalize on the opportunities given, so he can earn the trust of his coaches and quarterback. He has done that, and is starting to get more chances.

He played 28 offensive snaps against the Chargers -- his highest snap percentage of the season -- with a higher play total than third-year pro Mychal Rivera for the first time this season. That shows the Raiders have been willing to put him in position to make plays, and he has showed athleticism and agility as a receiver when given the chance.

[BAIR: Top 5 takeaways from Raiders' Week 7 win over Chargers]

“He’s going to continue to be involved,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “We think Clive’s a good young football player that has a bright future who we want to develop him and grow him and have him be a big part of what we’re doing.”

The Raiders will continue to use Rivera and Walford as receiving options – often at the same time – in a scheme that prizes tight end versatility. Rivera still had 20 snaps, and blocking tight end Lee Smith was involved 34 times on offense.

That is rounding out into a good group, and allows the Raiders to shift formations before the snap and adjust blocking or receiving options.

Linebacker Neiron Ball only played a handful of defensive snaps on Sunday due to a knee injury, which hurt the Raiders’ pass defense a bit. Ray-Ray Armstrong stepped in for Ball over Curtis Lofton, though Ball seems to be a better option as a cover man on passing downs.

Let’s take a look at the Raiders’ snap count, with numbers according to the official game book.

62 – OT Donald Penn, OG J’Marcus Webb, OT Austin Howard, OG Gabe Jackson, QB Derek Carr, C Rodney Hudson
55 – WR Amari Cooper
47 – WR Michael Crabtree
34 – TE Lee Smith
33 -- RB Latavius Murray
32 – WR Seth Roberts
28 – TE Clive Walford
20 – TE Mychal Rivera
15 – RB Taiwan Jones, FB Jamize Olawale
10 – FB Marcel Reece, RB Roy Helu
9 – WR Andre Holmes
2 – OT Khalif Barnes

90 – FS Charles Woodson
88 – CB DJ Hayden, CB David Amerson
85 – LB Malcolm Smith
82 – SS TJ Carrie
78 – OLB Khalil Mack
75 – OLB Aldon SMith
57 – DE Mario Edwards
55 – LB Ray-Ray Armstrong
51 – NT Stacy McGee
41 – NT Dan Williams
40 – CB Neiko Thorpe
33 – DE C.J. Wilson
33 – DE Shelby Harris
24 – FS Larry Asante, DE Benson Mayowa, LB Curtis Lofton
18 – LB Neiron Ball
4 – CB Keith McGill

25 – Lorenzo Alexander
23 – Keith McGill
22 – Ben Heeney
21 – Taiwan Jones
19 – Jamize Olawale
18 – Taylor Mays
15 – Sebastian Janikowski 17 – Andre Holmes, Larry Asante
16 – Ray-Ray Armstrong, Neiko Thorpe
15 –
14 – Mychal Rivera
12 – Lee Smith
11—Jon Condo, Marquette King
10 – Marcel Reece
7 – Donald Penn, J’Marcus Webb, Austin Howard, Gabe Jackson, Khalif Barnes, Malcolm Smith, TJ Carrie, Tony Bergstrom
6 – DJ Hayden
3 – Amari Cooper, Khalil Mack, Aldon Smith, Stacy McGee, Dan Williams, C.J. Wilson, Curtis Lofton
1 – Seth Roberts, Neiron Ball

Source: Antonio Brown attends Raiders team meeting amid helmet drama

Source: Antonio Brown attends Raiders team meeting amid helmet drama

To quote Rockhound in "Armageddon:" "We're staying, we're going, we're staying, we're going. Make up your mind already."

Whether you're talking about trying to get off a planet-killer asteroid heading for Earth or Antonio Brown's Raiders practice attendance, it fits.

The Raiders star receiver missed practice Sunday after receiving bad news on his quest to get his desired helmet certified by the NFL. With Brown absent yet again due to a helmet issue that has become a thorn in the Raiders' side, general manager Mike Mayock delivered an ultimatum to his star via the media, saying Brown needs to either be "all-in or all-out."

Well, it looks like for now, Brown is "all-in."

The Silver and Black had a team meeting Monday as training camp breaks, and Brown was in attendance, a source told NBC Sports California's Scott Bair.

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio was the first to report Brown was with the team, although there was no practice Monday. Practice will resume Tuesday in Alameda before the team takes off for Winnipeg on Wednesday ahead of Thursday night's preseason game against the Packers.

Brown has been mainly MIA during training camp. He took part in a portion of one practice before leaving Napa to get treatment on his frostbitten feet and to try and resolve his helmet drama. The four-time All-Pro selection returned to the team and even went through warm-ups prior to their preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The star pass-catcher particpated in Saturday's walkthrough and appeared ready to hit the practice field at full speed before his helmet was nixed by the league.

[RELATED: If AB's isn't 'all-in,' Raiders have very few options]

A day after Mayock's ultimatum, Brown is back with the team as he continues to look for a solution to his helmet issue. But for how long is anyone's guess.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus offers defense of Antonio Brown's helmet drama

Agent Drew Rosenhaus offers defense of Antonio Brown's helmet drama

Drew Rosenhaus is making the rounds in defense of client and superstar receiver Antonio Brown, who left Raiders training camp over an inability to wear his preferred helmet.

We all know the story by now, that Brown wants to wear a Schutt Air Advantage helmet that failed an independent lab test, and a league source said that no version will pass muster with the NFL and NFLPA regardless of what year it was made.

He left the team and refused to practice Sunday without his preferred helmet, which prompted Raiders GM Mike Mayock to issue his “all-in or all-out” statement.

Brown returned to the team for a meeting Monday. The Raiders don't practice again until Tuesday and the wide receiver's helmet issues still remain. Rosenhaus spoke out in defense of his Brown on Sunday night on a Miami sports show, and again Monday morning on ESPN.

“We’re looking into any and all options right to resolve the helmet issue," Rosenhaus said. "Antonio is very genuine. He wants to be there. He wants to be part of the team. He wants to practice, but he would also like to do it with the helmet he has worn his entire life. He has worn it in peewee football, high school football, in college at Central Michigan, and for his entire nine-year [NFL] career.

“People keep telling me that there are 2,000 players who are wearing approved helmets, but there are very few, if any, who have worn the same helmet their entire career. He’s a wide receiver. He gets hit across the middle. People are trying to take his head off. He’s a big target.

“…This is his life. He is risking everything. He has a family. He has had a concussion before. This helmet has kept him safe. He has had brutal hits. We’re just trying to find a way to work it out. We’ve worked closely with the Raiders and the NFL, and I hope people can appreciate that this is not a simple issue. The helmet is the most important piece of equipment, and he has had the same one for every single snap he has played his football career. This is a major issue for him.”

As for Mayock's public ultimatum, Rosenhaus noted he's been in constant contact with the Raiders as they work to find a way to solve the helmet drama.

“I talked to Mike multiple times [Sunday],” Rosenhaus said. “We are on the same page. We understand the club’s frustration. We understand the club wants Antonio back. We get that. We get all of that. Please understand that he wants to be there. It is difficult for him to practice, take hits, whatever with equipment that he has never used before. That’s why we’re trying to iron this out so it goes smoothly the rest of the season. We’re looking for a permanent solution.”

[RELATED: If AB isn't 'all-in,' Raiders have very few options]

After the Raiders practice Tuesday, they leave Wednesday for a Thursday exhibition against Green Bay in Winnipeg, with practice resuming again Saturday. Brown hasn't practiced with the Raiders since July 30 while rehabbing frostbitten feet and dealing with a helmet issue that has gone on for months.