Raiders

Smoke from fires causes Raiders to trim practice due to poor air quality

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SCOTT BAIR

Smoke from fires causes Raiders to trim practice due to poor air quality

ALAMEDA -- The air quality in Alameda was poor on Wednesday afternoon, forcing the Raiders to trim their practice session.

Smoke drifted south in the air from wildfires still burning in the North Bay, and dropped ash on the Raiders while they were practicing. The Enviornmental Protection Agency website airnow.gov considered the Alameda air quality “unhealthy,” recommending that healthy adults reduce heavy exertion.

The team eliminated a 15-minute individual period from the practice session. They went straight from stretching to team periods, which are closed to the media.

Head coach Jack Del Rio said Wednesday around noon the Raiders were monitoring the air quality, but believed they could get a practice in later in the afternoon.

“We’re keeping an eye on the levels of smoke around here,” Del Rio said. “We want to make sure we do the right things with our guys.”

Both Del Rio and quarterback Derek Carr expressed sympathy with those affected by the fires raging in Santa Rosa, Napa, Sonoma County and surrounding areas.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with people affected up in the North Bay,” Del Rio said. “It’s a devastating fire, and hopefully we get those flames out and get things settled back down and start rebuilding.”

The Raiders may be impacted by poor air quality, but they understand the severity of what’s going on in other parts of the Bay Area.

“The air, it smells like someone’s barbequing to be honest. That’s what I thought. I didn’t know that it would travel like that,” Carr said. “My heart really goes out to the families though. When something like that happens and then someone tells you what it really is, you just sit there and think you’re fortunate, you’re blessed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families that have lost houses, loved ones. That kind of stuff, that’s real life. That’s hard. Being 2-3 is not hard when we really think about it. Doing that kind of stuff, that’s what’s really hard. Our prayers are with them that they can have peace and encouragement.”

NOTE: The Raiders have joined with six other professional sports teams to offer $450,000 toward fire relief. The teams have also set up a fund for people to donate towards this cause at youcaring.com/firerelief

Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

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USATSI

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. 

Raiders confirm Greg Papa out as team's radio voice after two decades

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AP

Raiders confirm Greg Papa out as team's radio voice after two decades

The Raiders made it official Thursday. Legendary broadcaster Greg Papa, who also serves as an analyst for NBC Sports Bay Area, no longer will be the radio voice of the team.

[RAY RATTO: Raiders' exit feels much more imminent after reported broadcaster swap]

Raiders owner Mark Davis made the following statement Thursday: 

The Raiders organization would like to thank Greg Papa for his two decades of service to the Silver and Black.. He wasn’t just given the job.. He earned it.. With intense preparation Greg was always ready for the call.. Just as my generation remembers Bill King and “Holy Toledo”.. The Raider Nation will remember Greg Papa and “Touchdown Raiders”.. We wish Greg and his family the best in whatever the future brings..
-Mark Davis-

Brent Musburger reportedly will replace Papa in the booth. That hasn't been made official, however.