Raiders

Snap count: Injuries change cornerback rotation in Raiders' loss to Broncos

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AP

Snap count: Injuries change cornerback rotation in Raiders' loss to Broncos

The Raiders secondary looked a lot different in Sunday’s loss to Denver than it did in Washington.

Injuries forced some changes, and brought Sean Smith back into the fray.

The veteran cornerback played a significant role Sunday a week after playing just three defensive snaps.

Gareon Conley was inactive with a shin injury and David Amerson was concussed in Denver, leaving Smith as the No. 2 cornerback opposite TJ Carrie.

Dexter McDonald entered in sub packages and played 31 snaps.

Both guys fared well in coverage. Smith allowed four catches for 35 yards on five targets. McDonald allowed a one-yard catch on two targets.

Those guys might be called upon again next week. Conley and Amerson are question marks heading to the Baltimore game.

The Raiders running back rotation was tweaked some late in the game. Jamize Olawale played his most extensive offensive role yet, offering pass protection and a receiving outlet to quarterback EJ Manuel. He had a carry and two catches in 17 snaps.

Marshawn Lynch saw more action this week, but the running game never got going. He finished with 12 yards on nine carries, and was frequently hit in the backfield before space was created.

OFFENSE
Quarterback – Derek Carr 34, EJ Manuel 20
Running back – Marshawn Lynch 23, Jamize Olawale 17, DeAndre Washington 6, Jalen Richard 6
Wide receiver – Amari Cooper 53, Seth Roberts 50, Cordarelle Patterson 33, Johnny Holton 12
Tight end – Jared Cook 48, Lee Smith 13, Clive Walford 9
Offensive line – Gabe Jackson 54, Kelechi Osemele 54, Rodney Hudson 54, Donald Penn 54, Marshall Newhouse 54

DEFENSE
Defensive line – Khalil Mack 53, Mario Edwards 44, Eddie Vanderdoes 39, Justin Ellis 28, Treyvon Hester 24, Denico Autry 19, Jihad Ward 11, James Cowser 6
Linebacker – Cory James 64, Bruce Irvin 58, Nicholas Morrow 34, Marquel Lee 28
Cornerback – TJ Carrie 64, Sean Smith 60, Dexter McDonald 31, David Amerson 9
Safety – Karl Jospeh 64, Reggie Nelson 64, Shalom Luani 2, Erik Harris 2

SPECIAL TEAMS
James Cowser 26, Shalom Luani 26, Erik Harris 26, Tyrell Adams 26, Jamize Olawale 19, Antonio Hamilton 15, Johnny Holton 14, Xavier Woodson-Luster 12, Cordarrelle Patterson 11, Jon Condo 9, Jalen Richard 9, Marquette King 9, Lee Smith 8, Jon Feliciano 7, Dexter McDonald DeAndre Washington 7, Khalil Mack 7, Mario Edwards 7, Dexter McDonald 7, TJ Carrie 7, Treyvon Hester 6, Denico Autry 6, Marquel Lee 5, Giorgio Tavecchio 5, Karl Joseph 3, Vadal Alexander 2, Gabe Jackson 2, Marshall Newhouse 2, Kelechi Osemele 2, Clive Walford 2, Justin Ellis 2, Gabe Jackson 2, Marshall Newhouse 2, Kelechi Osemele 2, Clive Walford 2, Vadal Alexander 2

INACTIVE
WR Michael Crabtree, QB Connor Cook, CB Gareon Conley, DB Keith McGill, OT Jylan Ware, OT David Sharpe, DT Darius Latham

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. 

Five new Raiders with something to prove in 2018 season

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USATSI

Five new Raiders with something to prove in 2018 season

The Raiders are taking some time off during the dead period of the NFL offseason. Even early bird Jon Gruden is slapping the snooze button these days, spending some quality time with family before training camp cranks up later this month.

Coaches and players are still finding time for work, sometimes while they’re on vacation. The Raiders want to hit the ground running this preseason, with many motivated to show well in silver and black. That’s especially true for a large class of new Raiders, many of whom hope to silence detractors.

Here are five newcomers with plenty to prove in 2018:

5. CB Rashaan Melvin

Lists like this are normally reserved for guys coming off injuries or down years. Melvin doesn’t fit that mold. The 28-year old had his best year in 2017, often shutting down top receivers as Indy’s top cornerback. He allowed a paltry 60.3 passer rating when targeted, with three picks, 10 passes defensed and just two touchdowns allowed.

Those stats didn’t produce a robust free-agent market. Melvin ended up signing a one-year, $5.5 million deal with Oakland, and is now working to show he’s not a one-year wonder and can stay healthy for 16 games. An ovation-worthy encore would surely earn a long-term, bigger-money deal.

Melvin made his motivation clear on Twitter a few weeks back.

4. WR Jordy Nelson

Nelson had a down year in 2017. It started well, with six touchdowns in the first four games he played. Then all-world Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down, and things hit the skids. He averaged just 9.1 yards per reception, and didn’t score after that early flurry.

That led some to say Nelson lost a step at age 32 he would not recover. The Packers asked him to take a massive pay cut, and ended up releasing him in March. The Raiders swooped in quickly with a two-year deal and plenty of guaranteed money.

Nelson has been praised for his attention to detail and position-group leadership, and will fit into the starting lineup with Amari Cooper and Martavis Bryant. He had four straight 1,000-yard seasons prior to last year. His worth won’t be defined by a monster statistical year. Reliability, leadership and red-zone performance will show if Nelson’s still got it.

3. RB Doug Martin

The veteran rusher has had an uneven career. Excellent production has come in spurts, with dominance in 2012 and 2015. The last 1,400-plus yard season was followed by two seasons of 2.9 yards per carry, which led Tampa Bay to cut his this winter.

He met Gruden for lunch at a Florida golf course, and the exchange convinced Gruden the 29-year old was ready to work and prove he had plenty left in the tank. His work was praised during the offseason program, though practice in pads and preseason play will offer stronger evidence of 2018 effectiveness. Showing well in camp could lead to an increased role behind starter Marshawn Lynch. Gruden likes using multiple backs in his offense, and could make steady contributions in the run game.

2. MLB Derrick Johnson

The longtime Kansas City Chief was let go by the team that drafted him in 2005, but it was not the end of his NFL journey. Some thought he’d call it a career at age 35, especially after suffering an Achilles’ tendon tear in Dec. 2016, but he found a new home in Oakland and a strong bond with Gruden. The Raiders need stability in the middle, and Johnson will provide on-field leadership. There’s no doubt about that.

Johnson must prove capable of being a three-down linebacker effective against the run and pass. Marquel Lee is available should the Raiders require a platoon, but Johnson doesn’t want that. The Raiders need his expertise inside at all times.

1. Head coach Jon Gruden

Gruden isn’t a newcomer, but it’s been nearly two decades since he roamed the silver and black sidelines. He hasn’t coached since 2008, but returned to the Raiders in January after nine years in the broadcast booth.

Gruden has said several times he has something to prove to his critics. That might be a self-motivational tool. There aren’t many in the East Bay, where the fan base as rallied behind him and players have loved the intensity and passion he brings to practice and meetings.

Some assume his old school tendencies and his “bringing it back to 1998” comment this offseason implies he is resistant to change or offensive innovation. That’s not the case, not by a long shot. We’ll see lots modern offense Gruden studied as an ESPN broadcaster and in his downtime at his Tampa offices, with new wrinkles unveiled as game plans dictate.

Gruden has made a solid impression in his return to coaching but, as it always is in his line of work, effectiveness will be determined by wins and losses. He won’t be graded off one-year alone, especially without solid roster depth, but Gruden wants to start fast and re-establish Raiders winning ways.