Raiders snap count: Woodson a defensive staple despite injury


Raiders snap count: Woodson a defensive staple despite injury

Programming note: Watch Raiders Press Conference Live today at 3pm on CSN California, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND – Raiders safety Charles Woodson was determined to play Sunday against Baltimore. Suiting up a week after dislocating his right shoulder shows toughness in itself. Playing most every snap is something else altogether.

That’s what Woodson managed to do in a 37-33 victory over the Ravens. Woodson played a deep free safety after playing strong safety with Nate Allen in the lineup. The 38-year old adjusted his tackling methods and missed a few without proper strength in his shoulder, but Woodson fought through and helped a thin group of safeties.

According to the official NFL game book, Woodson played 99 percent of the Raiders’ 82 defensive snaps.

“How about Charles Woodson?” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “How about Charles finding a way to make it out here today. With the shoulder and him being questionable all week and very limited all week. That’s what makes this game so special. It’s a team effort, that’s what it takes, and we had a full team effort today.”

[RELATED: Woodson on playing injured: 'I never plan on missing a down']

The snap count also showed a role shift. Strongside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong struggled as a three-down linebacker last week, but was only involved in the base defense. Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton stayed in during the sub packages.

Edge rusher Aldon Smith’s snap count went up with the extra plays, and he was involved in 49 snaps, and was on the field 60 percent of the time.

It’s clear that Seth Roberts is established as the No. 3 receiver in the slot, though Andre Holmes was productive in 14 snaps. The Raiders also regularly use multiple tight ends, with No. 3 tight end Clive Walford in for 20 snaps.

Let’s take a comprehensive look at Raiders playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

74 – OL Donald Penn, OL J’Marcus Webb, OL Austin Howard, OL Gabe Jackson, OL Rodney Hudson, QB Derek Carr
66 – WR Michael Crabtree
60 – WR Amari Cooper
56 – RB Latavius Murray
49 – WR Seth Roberts
41 – TE Lee Smith
39 – TE Mychal Rivera
20 – TE Clive Walford
14 – Andre Holmes
10 – RB Taiwan Jones, FB Marcel Reece
4 – RB Roy Helu
1 – OL Khalif Barnes

82 – CB TJ Carrie
81 – LB Curtis Lofton, S Charles Woodson
79 – LB Malcolm Smith
72 – CB DJ Hayden
66 – DE Justin Tuck
58 – DE Khalil Mack
55 – DL Denico Autry
52 – CB Neiko Thorpe
49 – S Larry Asante, DL Aldon Smith
33 – S Taylor Mays
28 – DT Dan Williams
27 – LB Ray-Ray Armstrong, DL Mario Edwards
25 – DL C.J. Wilson
18 – DL Stacy McGee
12 – CB Keith McGill
5 -- LB Neiron Ball
1 – S Keenan Lambert, LB Ben Heeney

27 – Keith McGill, Lorenzo Alexander
21 – Keenan Lambert
19 – Taiwan Jones, Neiron Ball, Ben Heeney
18 – Neiko Thorpe
17 –Andre Holmes
15 – Sebastian Janikowski
14 – Lee Smith, Tony Bergstrom
10 – Marcel Reece, Roy Helu, TJ Carrie
9 – Mychal Rivera, Ray-Ray Armstrong, Marquette King, Jon Condo
8 – Curtis Lofton, Justin Tuck, Denico Autry, Dan Williams, C.J. Wilson
7 – Donald Penn, J’Marcus Webb, Austin Howard, Gabe Jackson, Clive Walford, Khalif Barnes, Khalil Mack
6 – Larry Asante
2 – DJ Hayden, Aldon Smith

Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies


Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies

Former Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano died unexpectedly on Sunday morning. He was 56.

The Minnesota Vikings announced his passing, though an exact cause of death is unknown.

He was the Vikings offensive line coach, a position he held since 2016. Sparano had been an NFL coach for nearly two decades, with stints in Oakland and San Francisco. He was also Miami's head coach from 2008-11.

He was hired to run the Raiders offensive line in 2013, and was promoted to interim head coach after Dennis Allen was fired four games into the 2014 campaign.

Sparano showed well in that role, kept the team playing hard during a difficult 3-13 season and nearly had the interim tag removed. He was a finalist for 2015 head coaching job, though Jack Del Rio ultimately got the job.

He left the organization then, and spent the 2015 season as 49ers tight ends coach. He ended up in Minnesota after that.

Sparano helped the Raiders finished 2014 with a three wins over their final six games, which started an upward trend that carried through 2016. He also remained patient with then-rookie starter Derek Carr.

Left tackle Donald Penn joined the Raiders in 2014, and experienced a career renaissance that season under Sparano.

The Silver and Black mourned Sparano's loss.

"The Raiders family was deeply saddened to learn of Tony Sparano's passing this morning," the team said in a statement. "Tony had a deep passion for football and was embraced by the Raider Nation during his time with the Silver and Black. Tony will be sadly missed by the entire NFL community. Our hearts are with (his wife) Jeanette and the Sparano family during this extremely difficult time."

The 49ers also paid respects to the longtime NFL coach.

“The 49ers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Sparano,” the 49ers said in a statement. “We share our heartfelt condolences with the Sparano family and the Minnesota Vikings.”

Sparano is survived by his wife Jeanette, their three children and four grandchildren.

Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party


Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

To celebrate his return to the sideline, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden threw a party for fans on Friday at Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro.  

Raider Nation showed up in droves. 

In all, over 500 fans showed up, according to a Ricky's spokesperson.

"We are honored to be a part of the love story between Jon Gruden and this fan base," the spokesperson said. "It's incredibly special. And the significance of this event, at this time, is not lost on us."

The Raiders, Gruden, and Ricky's all collaborated on the event, which came together because of Gruden's relationship with Ricky's owners, Ricky and Tina Ricardo. Gruden paid for the catering and entertainment himself, according to the spokesperson. 

Plenty of Raiders alumni attended, including Cliff Branch and Lester Hayes, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. Branch even took the mic and made a guarantee. 

Gruden broke in as an NFL head coach with the Raiders in 1998, and coached Oakland for four seasons. It was in Oakland where Gruden was first given the nickname "Chucky," after the murderous puppet in the Child's Play film franchise. Gruden paid tribute to those roots at Ricky's with a... creative autograph signing. 

Raiders training camp begins on July 27. Whether or not the team will be joined by its best defensive player remains to be seen. 

Star defensive end Khalil Mack skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June in pursuit of a new contract. Gruden told fans on Friday that the team will "find a way" to bring Mack back.