Star receiver upset with lack of targets

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Star receiver upset with lack of targets

From Comcast SportsNet

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -- Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Lloyd isn't catching any deep passes in John Fox's conservative, run-oriented offense, and he's letting his quarterback and his coaches know just how he feels about it. Kyle Orton and Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy said Lloyd has asked to be more involved in the offense even as opponents roll a safety over the top to bracket him in double-coverage. A year after leading the league with 1,448 yards receiving, Lloyd said he thinks he's being underused by the Broncos. He had 17 catches of 25 or more yards last year and none of his 10 catches so far this season have gone for more than 20 yards. "It's not like we're not trying to get him the ball," McCoy said. Fox pointed to a strained groin as one reason for the dearth of downfield chances for Lloyd. Orton noted that Lloyd's getting a lot of attention from defensive coordinators and the flow of the games has dictated a different approach. Lloyd said Denver's offensive doctrine is the primary culprit. "I think it's just us, the coaching staff, staying true to the philosophy of running the ball," Lloyd said Thursday. "I think we've kind of gotten in game management mode, as opposed to an aggressive, take-control mode. I think that's what has limited us." So far, the Broncos have called plays that have led to long, time-consuming drives that rely on a heavy diet of runs and underneath passes and not the quick-strike deep ball that was featured so often in 2010. Orton said Lloyd is commanding so much attention after his breakout season but the Broncos will certainly capitalize on his speed and athleticism at some point. "He'll have to stay patient," Orton said. And healthy, Fox suggested. "He was hobbled in the fourth quarter of the opener, missed the whole second game. It's hard to be any kind of a threat when you don't have a uniform," Fox said. "I don't think he was 100 percent" last week, when he caught four passes for 38 yards at Tennessee. "I'd say that was a little bit of a reason." "I'm healthy," Lloyd countered. "I mean, I'm not frustrated, but I want to go down the field more," he added. "I think that just helps us. I feel like we play better when we have a lead. I think that explosive pass plays hurt a defense more, when you can get big chunks passing the ball and running the ball." Lloyd said if McCoy wants to get him the ball, he would design the plays to beat the double coverages. "I think there's still a niche that I have and a talent, a skill-set, that should be used," Lloyd said. And he's let his quarterback know it, too. "Oh, yeah. I've been with Brandon a long time now and he always wants the ball," Orton said. "And you always want your receivers to want the football. So, I just keep telling him to run his routes hard and we'll hit them when they're open." Despite his unhappiness, there's no simmering controversy at Broncos headquarters. Fox said he doesn't mind players letting him know they're displeased with their production. "I think most competitors do (speak up). They all want to win," Fox said. McCoy said he, too, welcomes Lloyd's input. "Yeah, that's the way we want it to be. We have an open door policy here and he's a very talented player," McCoy said. "Of course you want to get him the ball more. Have we played a certain style of offense the first three weeks of the season? Yes, but we'll find ways to get him the ball." Wide receivers protesting their light workload is nothing new in the NFL. "They're all selfish. I mean, there's only one football," McCoy said. "The quarterback's the only one who's going to touch it every play. We have some very talented skilled players and you'd love to get them all the ball 10, 15 times a game, which you can't." The Broncos might target Lloyd more at Green Bay on Sunday. For one thing, the Packers have allowed a ton of yards through the air and not so many on the ground. For another, Denver must try to neutralize star cornerback Charles Woodson, who can wreak havoc when he's in a zone patrolling the short and intermediate passing lanes. "The tough thing with him is you never know where he's going to line up," Orton said. "It might be corner, at nickel or at safety. He's all over the field. He's good wherever he's at. He's a playmaker and a ball hawk, so wherever he is you've got to be careful and make sure your guy's open and Charles can't make the play." The Broncos could stick with their time-consuming approach to keep Green Bay's explosive offense on the sideline, but Orton noted that maintaining those sustained drives is difficult. "We have to find a way (at some point) to steal a touchdown on a two- or three-play drive on a big play." Packers coach Mike McCarthy worked with Lloyd during their time together with the San Francisco 49ers and he said he knows him too well to think he won't use his speed and athleticism to get behind the defense Sunday, even if he hasn't done it so far. "I know Brandon Lloyd can go deep and catch the football," McCarthy said. "We're well aware of that and he's still a threat to do that this week."

Report: Aldon Smith setting up meeting with NFL to discuss reinstatement

Report: Aldon Smith setting up meeting with NFL to discuss reinstatement

Aldon Smith is still waiting to be reinstated to the NFL.

The Raiders outside linebacker is setting up a meeting with Roger Goodell or another high-ranking official to make his case for reinstatement, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

On Nov. 15, 2015, Smith was suspended for a whole calendar year.

Last week, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie did not have an update on Aldon's status.

“I was hoping I could give you guys something. But (the NFL) will let us know in due time. I’m sure they’re in communication with each other on that, but they don’t fill us in on anything with that process.”

The 10-2 Raiders will face the 9-3 Chiefs on Thursday night in Kansas City.
 

Raiders snap count: Carrie, Allen help ailing secondary perform well

Raiders snap count: Carrie, Allen help ailing secondary perform well

OAKLAND – The Raiders weren't at full strength heading into Sunday’s home game against Buffalo, and lost a key member during that contest.

Backups filled in well for missing pieces, and were key in the Raiders’ 38-24 victory at Oakland Coliseum.

TJ Carrie took over as slot corner after DJ Hayden was placed on injured reserve last week, and was a steady presence on the interior in 40 defensive snaps. He allowed just two receptions for 28 yards on seven targets, with just six total yards coming after the catch. The Raiders needed sure tackling in that spot and got it from Carrie, who hasn’t played much this year despite significant experience in the slot.

The Raiders also got a key sack from James Cowser, playing defense only with Shilique Calhoun out with a knee injury.

Nate Allen had to step in for strong safety Karl Joseph 20 snaps into Sunday’s game, when the first-round rookie was lost with a foot/toe injury. The veteran Allen played 40 snaps, and finishing with three tackles, a pass defensed and an interception made easy on a ball tipped skyward by Khalil Mack. Allen’s veteran presence allow the Raiders to keep charging and flashed the depth required to survive injuries to key starters.

Dan Williams, Denico Autry played significant snaps at defensive tackle, a position group weakened by ankle injuries to Darius Latham and Stacy McGee.

Let’s take a look at the entire Raiders snap count:

OFFENSE
71 – OL Donald Penn, OL Austin Howard, OL Donald Penn, OL Gabe Jackson, QB Derek Carr, OL Rodney Hudson
63 – WR Amari Cooper
57 – WR Michael Crabtree
55 – WR Seth Roberts
50 – RB Latavius Murray
45 – TE Clive Walford
21 – OL Vadal Alexander
20 – TE Mychal Rivera
17 – RB Jalen Richard
12 – WR Andre Holmes
10 – FB Jamize Olawale
2 – RB Taiwan Jones, OL Menelik Watson
1 – WR Johnny Holton

DEFENSE
72 – LB Malcolm Smith, S Reggie Nelson
70 – CB Sean Smith, CB David Amerson
69 – LB Perry Riley
68 – LB Bruce Irvin, DE Khalil Mack
63 – DT Denico Autry
62 – DE Jihad Ward
41 – CB TJ Carrie
40 – S Nate Allen
33 – DT Dan Williams
20 – S Karl Joseph, NT Justin Ellis
11 – DE Brenden Jackson
8 – DE James Cowser
5 – LB Cory James

SPECIAL TEAMS
27 – Daren Bates
25 – TJ Carrie, Nate Allen
23 – Taiwan Jones, Andre Holmes, Brynden Trawick
22 – Keith McGill
21 – Jamize Olawale
19 – James Cowser
17 -- Tyrell Adams
13 – Sebatisan Janikowski
12 – Jon Condo, Marquette King
11 – Cory James, Jon Feliciano
10 – Jalen Richard, Branden Jackson
9 – Johnny Holton , Dexter McDonald
6 – Kelechi Osemele, Austin Howard, Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson, Clive Walford, Menelik Watson
4 – Bruce Irvin, Khalil Mack, Denico Autry, TJ Carrie, Dan Williams, Justin Ellis
 

NOTE: Snap counts taken from official NFL game book