Raiders

Why Lamarcus Joyner was encouraged by Raiders' response to Chiefs loss

Why Lamarcus Joyner was encouraged by Raiders' response to Chiefs loss

The Raiders didn’t spent much time sulking after Sunday’s loss to Kansas City. The secondary in particular was engaged in spirited dialogue following a game decided by big plays, all in a short span.

Veteran slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner spoke to several before leaving the locker room, including Trayvon Mullen, Curtis Riley and Keisean Nixon about where things went awry against the NFL’s scariest offense.

The team captain’s antennae have been up since the loss became official, curious to see how the Raiders would respond to the season’s first on-field setback. He knows you can learn a lot about team character and chemistry after things don’t go right.

Joyner was happy to see the group processing the loss in the locker room, not wallowing in an emotional reaction. That continued as the night wore on.

“The guys that I called up last night were already watching the film,” Joyner said. “Guys are excited. They are encouraged despite the loss that we suffered. I think it shows how good of a team we are to say that we had some success against the best offense in the league and look at it as a positive.

"When you can honestly say that you defeated yourself, that’s always encouraging.”

The Raiders are skewing younger, with impact rookies across the depth chart. The team’s leadership will have to help this group working through disappointments without losing sight of the need to steadily progress.

“They have to assume a huge leadership role right now and I know they will,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “I plan on us having a heck of a week of practice. We have a great challenge, it doesn’t get any easier.”

The Raiders start a prolonged road trip Sunday in Minnesota, a playoff contender in the NFC North. They’ll have to recover quickly to compete with the Vikings, and Joyner has an idea how to do that.

He believes the Raiders functioned well in man coverage, and that his fellow defensive backs are ready for the challenge of covering receivers straight up.

“Me and my guys are running a mile every day after practice, man,” Joyner said. “We are going to get our cardio together and we’re going to go get after people.”

The Raiders are trying to solve problems, attempting to tighten up pass defense as they have in the run game.

“That young defensive line and out linebackers do a good job of getting to the ball,” Joyner said. “That’s good and we as a secondary know that we have to master our technique knowing we can hang our hat on the guys up front stopping the run. Now the games are going to be on us.”

That may be an exaggeration. The Chiefs exposed a few problem spots, even in a game where the Raiders weren't expected to win. They need better from the passing attack and receivers not named Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller. The pass rush has to get better, and the secondary must shore up the back.

The early response to Sunday’s setback has been encouraging in its business-like approach.

[RELATED: Why Raiders should trade for Jalen Ramsey]

“Everyone is positive, and I love it,” Joyner said. “That’s what you need. You have to have a short-term memory, especially as a defensive back. My job is to get right back at it, even after you give up a catch or a big play. The mindset we have in moving forward quickly, learning from our mistakes while preparing for the Minnesota Vikings is a good sign.

"That has been phenomenal.”

Antonio Brown apologizes to Patriots, not Raiders, for bad media, drama

Antonio Brown apologizes to Patriots, not Raiders, for bad media, drama

Hey Antonio Brown ... did you forget someone?

The seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver took to Twitter on Tuesday (again) and apologized to the New England Patriots and team owner Robert Kraft:

It appears he left someone out of the tweet, though. Where's Brown's apology to the Raiders?

The laundry list of items AB brought to the Silver and Black range from a case of extreme frostbitten feet to #HelmetGate to an altercation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.

[RELATED: Brown's agent confident in AB return]

Just to name a few ... 

Brown was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders in March for two 2019 NFL Draft picks, and despite the excitement at the beginning, he never played a game for Oakland after requesting his release and having his wish granted right before the season opener. 

Apparently he only remembers the headaches he caused in New England, not in Oakland.

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Raiders not looking ahead despite monumental Chiefs game on horizon

Raiders not looking ahead despite monumental Chiefs game on horizon

The AFC West showdown of the season is coming up fast.

The Raiders travel to Kansas City for a Dec. 1 battle for pole position in the division race, as important a division game as the Silver and Black have played since 2016.

The NFL recognized that and dropped this game from a cluttered morning window to the late afternoon. The league knows that it should be a featured game.

The longtime rivals could be tied atop the division at kickoff, setting high stakes for that one. The Chiefs will enter that game at 7-4 fresh off a bye following Monday night’s victory over the L.A. Chargers.

The Raiders have to work for that record. A victory Sunday over the host New York Jets is required. The Raiders are road favorites for the first time this season but understand their next contest will be a tough one.

The Raiders can’t and won’t overlook anyone, especially after their previous game, against the winless Bengals, was too close for comfort.

“We are going to fight, scratch to win every single game that we can possibly win,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “I know the Bengals were 0-9 and it’s an easy story to write, but you don’t look ahead in this league. You just don’t do it. There’s a lot of upsets every week.”

Take another look at Gruden’s first sentence. That’s an accurate description of the team’s approach to this season. The battle and fight like crazy, which is why their 6-1 in games decided by one score or less. They also know they don’t have enough talent or clout to win while on cruise control. A maximum effort is required against most everybody. That includes a three-win team with two victories in a row.

“I can't speak for the team, but I know personally, I don't look ahead,” running back Josh Jacobs said. “Even coming into this week, I didn't even know Cincinnati's record. I didn't know any of the stats. I just looked at film and take it day-by-day and opponent-by-opponent."

The Chiefs can look forward to the Raiders during a bye. Andy Reid will certainly be in the lab concocting new and innovative ways to best old friend in Gruden, who could bring the Raiders to Kansas City on a four-game winning streak with control of the AFC West on the line.

A loss in the Meadowlands would ruin that scenario, but it doesn’t take the Raiders out of contention for the division or a wild card spot. The Silver and Black are in the thick of this thing, currently the AFC’s No. 7 seed -- that could change after a Thursday night clash between the Texans and Colts, both 6-4, and a half-game back in the division.

Gruden has done a good job preventing his team from dreaming too far ahead. They were focused on the Bengals and expect to get the best of Sam Darnold and a stout Jets defensive front in Week 12.

[RELATED: Raiders draft class making impact on season]

The Silver and Black have impressed thus far this season despite a tough schedule but know they haven’t earned anything yet.

“It just says that we’re getting better. We’re able to find ways to win,” Gruden said. “There’s an old saying around here, ‘Just win baby.’ We’ve fought our hearts out to put ourselves in a 6-4 position. That doesn’t mean anything. We’ve got a lot of respect for the Jets and a lot of work to do.”