Raiders vow to finish stronger after latest fourth-quarter collapse

Raiders vow to finish stronger after latest fourth-quarter collapse

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Raiders can’t finish. Plain and simple.

It’s a problem that could well be fixed in time. But right now, it’s costing them victories.

The Silver and Black have been outscored 37-3 in the fourth quarter, leaving no doubt the Raiders struggle mightily down the stretch.

Gruden stood before the media Sunday following a 28-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins and vowed to right those wrongs.

“That’s my responsibility to fix it,” he said.

The Raiders haven’t been able to finish games or drives. They’re leaving far too many points uncollected thanks to issues converting in the red zone. They were 2-for-5 from inside the Dolphins’ 20-yard line, and couldn’t score often enough.

“We could have finished with so many more touchdowns,” Carr said. “We were moving the ball again ... [It’s the] third week where we’re moving the ball. We had a good plan, and we had some good routes and good things going on and good runs and all of that kind of stuff, but when we got down to the red zone, I think that will be a point of emphasis for us just to finish those drives.”

Scoring late must be a point of emphasis after the Raiders blew three halftime leads in three games this season.

The Raiders used to perform well in the clutch. They were comeback kids in 2016, compiling a 12-4 record thanks in large part to late-game heroics. These guys, as individuals, know how to win. They just haven’t put it together here in 2018.

“It’s a mentality more than anything,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “I think we do have that mentality. When we’re in the huddle and you look everybody in the eyes, they want it. It’s not a matter of will. It’s just not coming together. We have to watch film, work out problems and keep grinding.

"There’s no quit in this group. The desire is there. The mentality is there. It will fall our way. We’re just a couple plays away from making it happen.”

It needs to happen fast. The Raiders are 0-3, and they must quickly rebound to avoid sending the season into the tank. The Silver and Black weren’t expected to be great, but their level of talent belies their winless record.

They’ve fallen far below expectations to this point, despite starting fast, compiling yards and making tough stops. Early in games, anyway.

The fourth quarter has been a different story -- one that has tragic ends.

“It's not what I expected at all,” Carr said. “I feel terrible but not down. Trust me, I know how to deal with adversity, and you don't do it by going in the dumps and stop working hard and give up. That's what I think soft people do, and that's not what this team is. And that's not the way I was raised.

“When things get hard, when life gets hard, you put your head down and you grind, and you make sure whatever you can do, you do better. And that's all. That's it.

"Like I said, I think we can finish better, obviously. But whatever we can do, you’ve got to stay up. You don't feel good because, again, we don't work this hard to lose games. But you keep your head up, and you keep going.”


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Key dates for Raiders' intriguing preseason, including 'Hard Knocks' episode


Key dates for Raiders' intriguing preseason, including 'Hard Knocks' episode

The Raiders have an interesting preseason ahead. They have three exhibition games on the road, including one in Canada. They’re headed to Napa for camp, which is possibly, though ultimately uncertain, the last time they train in Wine Country with the Las Vegas relocation scheduled for next year.

They have personalities to spare on this unit, which must bond to improve on last year’s 4-12 disappointment. They’ll do so under NFL Films’ watchful eye, with cameras everywhere filming this season’s HBO documentary series “Hard Knocks.”

[RELATED: Raiders mailbag: Defense still clearly behind offense]

Their training camp schedule hasn’t been made official, but Monday’s announcement of report dates gives the preseason some shape.

Here are key dates for the Raiders summer plans:

As a note, Raiders training camp practices are only open to season-ticket holders and guests by invite only.

Tuesday, July 23: Rookies, first-year players, recently rehabilitating veterans and quarterbacks report for training camp in Napa.
Friday, July 26: Veterans report for training camp in Napa
Saturday, July 27: First full-squad training camp practice.
Monday, July 29: First padded practice in training camp
Tuesday, Aug. 6: “Hard Knocks” with the Raiders premieres at 10 p.m. on HBO
Wednesday, Aug. 7-8: Raiders host joint training camp practices with Los Angeles Rams in Napa
Saturday, Aug. 10: Exhibition opener vs. LA Rams at Oakland Coliseum
Tuesday, Aug. 13: Second episode of “Hard Knocks” airs at 10 p.m. on HBO
Thursday, Aug. 15: Exhibition No. 2 at Arizona Cardinals, 5 p.m. (ESPN)
Tuesday, Aug. 20: Third episode of “Hard Knocks” airs at 10 p.m. on HBO
Thursday, Aug. 22: Exhibition No. 3 vs. Green Bay Packers at IG Field in Winnipeg, 5 p.m. (Bay: KTVU; Vegas KVVU)
Thursday, Aug. 27: Fourth episode of “Hard Knocks” airs at 10 p.m. on HBO
Thursday, Aug. 29: Exhibition No. 4: Aug. 29: Exhibition No. 4 at Seattle Seahawks, 7 p.m. (Bay: KTVU; Vegas KVVU)
Saturday, Aug. 31: Rosters must be decreased from 90 players to the 53-man limit by 1 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 1: Claiming period ends for waived roster cuts at 9 a.m.
Sunday, Sept. 1: Teams may formally sign a 10-man practice squad
Tuesday Sept. 3: Final episode of “Hard Knocks” airs at 10 p.m. on HBO

Raiders will conduct joint training camp practices with Rams in Napa


Raiders will conduct joint training camp practices with Rams in Napa

The Raiders and L.A. Rams have agreed to conduct joint training camp practices on Aug. 7-8 in Napa, the Silver and Black announced on Monday.

Adding to the storylines the “Hard Knocks” producers have to follow, now the Raiders and juggernaut Rams will square off for two days of physical work prior to the Aug. 10 preseason opener for both teams at Oakland Coliseum. 

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and Rams counterpart Sean McVay are old family friends -- McVay also once worked on Gruden’s staff in Tampa Bay -- so the dynamic between the two quote machines should provide TV gold. As if there wasn’t enough to be mined from Antonio Brown, Vontaze Burfict, Richie Incognito and Derek Carr and a team moving to Las Vegas next year already.

These Raiders-Rams practices have been in the works for some time, and will mark the second straight year the Raiders are hosting these workouts in Napa. They practiced against the Lions last year, which proved incredibly productive.

[RELATED: Raiders Mailbag: Defense clearly still well behind offense]

The NFL also announced training camp report dates on Monday. Raiders rookies report to camp on July 23, with veterans due in Napa by July 26. The first full-squad practice is the 27th, with padded sessions a few days after that.