Why Charles Woodson believes Antonio Brown's absence hinders Raiders

Why Charles Woodson believes Antonio Brown's absence hinders Raiders

NAPA – Antonio Brown has missed 10 of 11 Raiders training camp practices now, with no formal timetable to return.

His absence likely won’t be a huge deal once his foot issues heal and he starts producing in the regular season, but frustration levels are rising slightly after he wasn’t around for this week’s joint practices against the L.A. Rams.

He has been away from the team seeing specialists recently, therefore missing meetings in addition to practices.

Brown’s an incredibly hard worker, a detail-oriented route runner and someone who has already built chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr, which should ease his transition back to full activity. Raiders legend Charles Woodson understood those points, but also explained how Brown missing all these sessions can hinder offensive progress.

“When he is slotted to do all these different things for you and he’s not here to learn the offense,” Woodson said Thursday. “You have to learn the offense and the verbiage, and when to convert a route into something else and different looks you’re going to get and timing with Derek.

“That’s important, because he’s going to be a huge part of this offense. Right now, you have to plug people into the position he’s going to be in, so it doesn’t quite look the way it will when he’s out there. At some point, it would be great to have him out here and help this team get to the next level.”

Woodson watched practice in person Thursday, and came away with positive impressions.

“I see a lot more team speed, especially on the offensive side of the ball and in the receiver corps,” Woodson said. “It’d be great to have No. 84 out here, so he can bring that element to the game. You see some guys who love the game and want to come out here and give everything they’ve got. That’s what it’s all about.”

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Woodson also believes Carr’s in for a big season, and explains why: “I don’t think there’s any question, man. He has had a year under his belt with Gruden. He knows how Gruden is, what Gruden expects and how hard Gruden coaches. He has taken all the criticism. He has gotten a lot of that over the years and he has had injuries. He’s a weathered guy already in his career. That either makes you better, or you get worse. You can’t stay the same. What I think he has gone through will help him get better."

“And he has weapons around him. That [stuff] doesn’t hurt. I think he’s going to be fine.”

Trevor Davis trade brings Raiders speed in return game, on offense


Trevor Davis trade brings Raiders speed in return game, on offense

Dwayne Harris hurt his ankle in punt coverage Sunday against Kansas City, and seemed to be in significant pain while lying on the Oakland Coliseum turf. He eventually got back to the Raiders' sideline, tested his ailing joint and convinced trainers to let him get back in the action.

That return didn’t go well. Harris limped off the field again later in the game and did not return. He didn’t participate in Wednesday’s practice, and it’s possible Harris will miss an extended stretch.

It seems likely after the Raiders acquired Trevor Davis from Green Bay on Wednesday afternoon, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area. The Athletic was first to report the news.

Davis has sprinter’s speed and is a receiver by trade, but he’ll be able to step in and help right away returning kicks and punts.

The Cal alum is a dynamic return man, occupying a position the Raiders value on their 53-man roster. Davis could step in right away there, while learning the Raiders receiver positions.

The Silver and Black also need help there, with little passing-game production outside Tyrell Williams and tight end Darren Waller. Ryan Grant hasn’t produced in a starting role, Keelan Doss remains a work in progress and J.J. Nelson has dealt with a nagging ankle sprain.

Receiver speed also is an issue with Nelson out and Antonio Brown now a New England Patriot, so getting a young player who can return right away and help offensively down the road is a win.

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The Raiders need someone to stretch the field and be a dynamic playmaker, and saw firsthand that Davis can be one.

He had five catches for 78 yards and a touchdown and an 18-yard run against the Raiders in a preseason contest played on an 80-yard field in Winnipeg.

The Raiders offense is complex, and takes time for receivers to learn, but that process could be accelerated if he focused on just one position or the gadget plays often run for Harris.

NFL rumors: Raiders trade for speedy Packers receiver Trevor Davis


NFL rumors: Raiders trade for speedy Packers receiver Trevor Davis

The Raiders added some needed depth to their wide-receiver room Wednesday. 

Oakland acquired Trevor Davis in a trade with the Green Bay Packers on Wednesday, a source confirmed to NBC Sports California's Scott Bair. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport and The Athletic's Matt Schneidman first reported the news. 

Davis, 26, has played in 31 games over the last four seasons. He has just nine receptions for 122 yards in his NFL career, but has been a fairly prolific returner. He has averaged 22.6 yards per kick return, and Davis ranks 27th out of 48 players who have returned at least 20 kicks over the last four seasons. 

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That average ranks below Raiders return man Dwyane Harris (24.05 yads per return), but Harris injured his ankle in Oakland's Week 2 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The Raiders also lack viable options behind No. 1 receiver Tyrell Williams in the aftermath of Antonio Brown's requested release, and Davis figures to get a longer look in Oakland's passing game than Green Bay's. 

The trade is a homecoming for Davis, who was born in San Francisco. Davis played two seasons at nearby Cal (2014 through 2015) after transferring from the University of Hawaii, and he attended high school in Martinez at Alhambra.