San Antonio Spurs

Keelan Doss returns to Raiders after Antonio Brown leaves for Patriots

Keelan Doss returns to Raiders after Antonio Brown leaves for Patriots

The Alameda kid is coming back home.

Wide receiver Keelan Doss is returning to the Raiders after a week away on the Jacksonville Jaguars' practice squad, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday, to take the roster spot vacated by Antonio Brown’s release. The Raiders confirmed the transaction Monday.

NFL Network's Mike Garafolo was first to report the news, and Doss later confirmed it on Twitter on Sunday night.

The Raiders reached out to Jacksonville about Doss on Saturday, but the Jaguars guaranteed a league minimum salary for him to remain on their practice squad. The Raiders upped their offer with a $300,000 signing bonus and a fully guaranteed $495,000 base salary. Add that to the $22,500 signing bonus earned as an undrafted free agent, and Doss has made a handsome sum this summer.

It’s uncertain, though it seems highly unlikely, that Doss will be able to play Monday night against the Denver Broncos.

Doss spent the offseason program and preseason with the Raiders, productive periods that ultimately didn’t land him a roster spot. He was part of the Raiders' final cuts, much to the chagrin of a fan base that grew attached to him this summer.

Doss was heavily featured on this season of “Hard Knocks” as a local kid and UC Davis native, and backed that angle with a string of strong preseason performances.

While Nick Foles being hurt in Sunday's season opener didn’t help Jacksonville’s outlook, Doss coming back to Oakland puts a lot more money in his pocket and gives him an opportunity to make an instant impact this season.

The Raiders need a 'Z' receiver with Brown now a New England Patriot. Ryan Grant and J.J. Nelson – who is questionable for Monday's game with an ankle injury -- should fill that role against the Broncos. Nelson was solid there before being hurt.

Doss is a versatile player who can play every receiver position, and he gives the Raiders a sixth receiver on the roster. He needs to develop in several areas, but he's a solid talent with room to grow.

[RELATED: Raiders to face Chiefs without injured Hill in Week 2]

The Raiders were disappointed they couldn't land Doss on their practice squad after final cuts, although coach Jon Gruden said the receiver didn’t make as positive an impression as it appeared on “Hard Knocks.”

“That was your storyline,” Gruden said on Sept. 2. “That wasn’t my storyline, just so we’re on the same page. He did a heck of a job. We tried to keep him on practice squad. He felt like he had a better opportunity to make the team in Jacksonville. You hate to see him go, but we’re happy for his future. ...

"[Doss was] in a tough spot. He’s a big story on the TV show, but that’s not the reality that we saw on tape.”

Warriors vs. the West: How Dubs match up against Spurs in 2019-20

Warriors vs. the West: How Dubs match up against Spurs in 2019-20

For the first time in five seasons, the Warriors find themselves in new territory entering the 2019-20 season. With Kevin Durant gone to the Brooklyn Nets, Klay Thompson rehabbing his surgically repaired left ACL and eight new players on the roster, the Warriors are not the preseason NBA title favorites. 

As the Warriors reconcile a new reality, the rest of the Western Conference has retooled with superstar talent. Over the next seven days, NBC Sports Bay Area will examine teams that are expected to challenge Golden State's Western Conference throne.

First up: The San Antonio Spurs. 

Offseason transactions

In an offseason dominated by superstar player movement, the Spurs biggest summer splash was the re-signing of forward Rudy Gay, who agreed to a two-year, $32 million contract. Gay averaged 13.7 points in one of the most efficient series of his career. 

Joining Gay in San Antonio was DeMarre Carroll, who was acquired in a sign-and-trade with Brooklyn and agreeed to a three-year, $20.65 million contract. 

Spurs rounded out the roster signing big man Trey Lyles and drafting Luka Šamanić, Keldon Johnson, Quinndary Weatherspoon. But perhaps the biggest addition will be the return of point guard DeJounte Murray, who missed last season with a torn ACL. 

Strengths

The biggest strength the Spurs have maintained since Tim Duncan's retirement is coach Gregg Popovich. Despite the departure of Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio won 48 games behind the core of DeMar DeRozen and LaMarcus Aldridge. While DeRozen shot a career-high 48 percent from the field, Aldridge had one of most efficient seasons of his career, averaging 21 points and nine rebounds on 51.9 percent.

With the duo's effectiveness, the Spurs were among the best shooting teams in the league last season, making 47 percent of their shots, second only to the Warriors. 

Under Popovich's leadership, the Spurs have made the playoffs the last 22 seasons, a streak that should continue with the current roster.

Weaknesses

The Spurs were one of the worst defensive teams in the league, posting a 110.5 defensive rating -- 11th worst in the league. 

Part of the slump could be attributed to the absence of Murray, the team's best perimeter defender, and Leonard's departure to Toronto. However, with the additions of Carroll and Murray, the unit should improve.  

How the Warriors match up

With eight new players on the roster, the Warriors have very little idea of how cohesive the team will be by their first matchup against the Spurs on Nov. 1 in San Francisco. Worse - with Andre Iguodala traded to Memphis and Thompson out - the Warriors will be without two of last year's top perimeter defenders.

[RELATED: What Steph thinks of Chase Center]

Compounding their wing defensive woes, Willie Cauley Stein is the only true center on on the Warriors roster, meaning Golden State could struggle against Aldridge in the frontcourt.

Until the Warriors find a defensive identity, the Spurs could be a problem this season.

Raiders' 'Hard Knocks' premiere: Three breakout stars from Episode 1

Raiders' 'Hard Knocks' premiere: Three breakout stars from Episode 1

“Hard Knocks” tends to spend significant time with star players in early episodes of the long-running HBO documentary series and, as you’d expect, Antonio Brown, Derek Carr and Jon Gruden were feature players in Tuesday night’s season premiere.

But the show creates a buzz around some lesser-known members of the team as well, and the Raiders had some breakout stars in episode No. 1.

There were three in this one, including a rookie fans must already love:

Johnathan Abram

The first-round draft pick was a main character in the first episode and should be a staple throughout the series. The Mississippi State alum was equal parts hilarious and passionate about the game, starring in most of the show’s best segments.

He started off by dinging Carr’s car after showing up to training camp with $500 in Target snacks.

That’s a rookie’s job and while Abram did it, he disliked the term.

“I hate being called ‘rook,’” Abram said. “That’s one of my biggest pet peeves so far.”

His horseback riding session with fellow first-round draft pick Clelin Ferrell stole the show – somebody get these guys a web series! -- with a great rapport between the two young defensive players.

Abram plays aggressively at all times and talks a fair amount of trash, as we learned, and had to dial it back upon Jon Gruden’s instruction.

Abram wasn’t done, even after three solid segments.

An excellent one came when Carr took the rookies out for dinner. Abram’s response to Carr’s event was simple, yet hilarious: “I didn’t eat today on purpose, so I can order everything on the menu.”

Maybe not the salmon. He didn’t know how to pronounce the popular fish, “I’m from the country. We ain’t going to say ‘sa-mmon’. How to do say it? ‘Sall-mon?’” He also jokingly questioned how Carr will get his kids to work after signing a $125 million contract.

Brentson Buckner

Raiders defensive line coach Brentson Buckner has always been a character and an excellent quote, even during his playing days as a standout defensive tackle. He was engaging and funny in the premiere.

His best line came with an explanation after a young lineman made a mistake and Buckner pulled him on the next practice play.

“We’ll bring you out, cuss you out and then put you back in,” Buckner said.

He also tried to help Ronald Ollie before he got cut last week, but was upset with the "Last Chance U" star after he didn’t go to a morning treatment session.

“In camp, you eat, treat, sleep and meat,” Buckner said. “You can’t miss.”

[RELATED: Gruden wants Raiders to emulate Warriors' championship heart]

The seven-man sled

According to the show, the Raiders are one of the few teams that still use a seven-man sled. The old-school equipment requires precision and technique and can be difficult to operate without those things.

NFL Films reached back into their archives, and let former Raiders coach John Madden explain it.

“It would get rid of all hangovers,” Madden said in footage from 2000. “…Everyone has to hit the sled at the same time or it doesn’t work.”