Flores, Branch among Hall of Fame nominees


Flores, Branch among Hall of Fame nominees

ALAMEDA -- Ten players, one coach and a player personnel executive with Raiders ties were among the 127 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees today.The nominees more closely associated with the Raiders -- Tom Flores, who not only won two Super Bowls but was also the first minority coach to win a Lombardi Trophy, receiver Tim Brown, offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski and tight end Todd Christensen.Also, running back Roger Craig, defensive backs Eric Allen and Albert Lewis, offensive lineman Jim Lachey, defensive tackles Sam Adams, Ted Washington and Warren Sapp, and personnel evaluator Ron Wolf.A trio of Raiders not among the nominees -- quarterbacks Jim Plunkett, receiver Cliff Branch, punter Ray Guy -- have been retired more than 25 years and are thus considered senior committee candidates.FIRST-YEAR ELIGIBLE NOMINEES
Quarterback Steve McNair
Running Back Priest Holmes
Wide Receiver Keenan McCardell
Offensive Linemen Larry Allen (G), Tom Nalen (C), Jonathan Ogden (T)
Defensive Linemen Sam Adams (DT), Warren Sapp (DT), Michael Strahan (DE), Ted Washington (DTNT), Bryant Young (DE)
Defensive Back John Lynch (S)
Quarterbacks Drew Bledsoe, Randall Cunningham, Ron Jaworski, Neil Lomax, Phil Simms, Danny White (also P)
Running Backs Jamal Anderson, Ottis Anderson, Tiki Barber, Jerome Bettis, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Stephen Davis, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, Brian Mitchell (also PRKR), Gerald Riggs, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters
Wide Receivers Tim Brown (also KR), Cris Carter, Gary Clark, Mark Clayton, Henry Ellard (also PR), Keyshawn Johnson, Stanley Morgan, Andre Reed, Sterling Sharpe, Jimmy Smith, Rod Smith
Tight Ends Todd Christensen, Ben Coates
Offensive Linemen Tony Boselli (T), Lomas Brown (T), Jim Covert (T), Joe Fields (C), Bill Fralic (GT), Jeff Hartings (GC), Jay Hilgenberg (C), Chris Hinton (GT), Kent Hull (C),Joe Jacoby (T), Mike Kenn (T), Jim Lachey (T), Will Shields (G), Erik Williams (T), Steve Wisniewski (G)
Defensive Linemen Carl Hairston (DEDT), Charles Haley (DELB), Ed Too Tall Jones (DE), Joe Klecko (DEDTNT), Dexter Manley (DE), Charles Mann (DE), Fred Smerlas (NT)
Linebackers Cornelius Bennett, Kevin Greene (also DE), Ken Harvey, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Darryl Talley
Defensive Backs Eric Allen (CB), Steve Atwater (S), Joey Browner (S), LeRoy Butler (S), Nolan Cromwell (S), Albert Lewis (CB), Dennis Smith (S), Troy Vincent (CB), Everson Walls (CB), Aeneas Williams (CBS), Darren Woodson (S)
PuntersKickers Gary Anderson (K), Sean Landeta (P), Nick Lowery (K)
Special TeamsPosition Player Steve Tasker (also WR)
Coaches Bill Arnsparger, Doug Blevins, Bud Carson, Don Coryell, Bill Cowher, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Bill Parcells, Buddy Parker, Dan Reeves, Marty Schottenheimer, Clark Shaughnessy, Dick Vermeil
Contributors K. S. (Bud) Adams, Jr., George Anderson, Bobby Beathard, Gil Brandt, C. O. Brocato, Leo Carlin, Jack Kent Cooke, Otho Davis, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ron Gibbs, Ralph Kohl, Eddie Kotal, Robert Kraft, Art McNally, Art Modell, Bill Polian, Art Rooney, Jr., Steve Sabol, Carl Storck, Paul Tagliabue, Burl Toler, Sr., Jim Tunney, Ron Wolf, George Young On 2012 finalists list

Injury report: Murray rebounds well after return to Raiders practice

Injury report: Murray rebounds well after return to Raiders practice

ALAMEDA – Latavius Murray will spend this practice week testing himself to see if he can play after a debilitating bout of turf toe sidelined him the last two games.

He returned to action on a limited basis for Wednesday’s practice, and needed to respond and rebound well to continue his quest back to the playing field.

Early returns have been positive.

"I think he got a handful of plays out there (on Wednesday)," offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said before Thursday’s practice. "I think he’s looking to get better each and every day and hopefully it’s good enough by the time the next game arrives."

Murray practiced a second straight day on Thursday, strengthening his case to play against the Jaguars. That’s extremely likely, barring a setback.

That would certainly strengthen a Raiders running game that has slumped the past few weeks.

“Latavius has his own skill set,” Musgrave said. “Had some explosive runs for us last year. We’ll look forward to getting him back at some point. Hopefully it’s this week.”

Right tackle Menelik Watson practiced for a second straight day and seems in line to re-claim his starting spot against Jacksonville.

Special teams player Brynden Trawick and offensive lineman Vadal Alexander remain out.

It’s possible that Perry Riley will start at middle linebacker over rookie Cory James on Sunday.

Check back for complete participation reports for the Raiders and Jaguars.

Norton: Raiders 'have the right people,' scheme; execution lacking

Norton: Raiders 'have the right people,' scheme; execution lacking

ALAMEDA – Ken Norton Jr.’s defense hasn’t been good all season. It’s only been a hindrance twice in six weeks, allowing the Raiders to brush it under the rug while compiling a 4-2 record.

The Raiders were exposed in Sunday’s 26-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving many to wonder whether this defense has fatal flaws.

The team’s defensive coordinator believes these problems can be fixed without a radical reconstruction.

Norton trusts his scheme. He believes in his personnel. He has faith there are better times ahead.

“It depends on what you believe in,” Norton said before Thursday’s practice. “If you believe in the players, you believe in the coaches and believe in yourself…

“Obviously you’d like the stats to be better. But we are 4-2, in a good place record-wise. The stats need to be better. We need to continue to understand who we are, what we are and get better at what we’re doing.”

“We have the right people. It’s just a matter of getting it done on game day.”

Coaches have cited eye violations (a.k.a misreads) as communication issues reasons why the Raiders give up chunk yards. Their 6.9 yards per play allowed is the league’s worst.

Edge rusher and team captain Khalil Mack said opponents are challenged the Raiders defensive discipline. Misdirection, bootlegs, wacky formations and the like have given the Raiders fits, and will continue to do so until they repair what’s broken.

“It’s all about discipline,” Norton said. “It’s all about angles. It’s all about leverage and tackling and the fundamentals of the game and getting down to the nitty gritty of playing smart and sharp. It’s the ultimate team game. …Everybody’s connected to a successful play. That play has to be successful consistently over a period of 70 plays. Everybody’s watching every single play, so you need consistency and have guys playing together. It will pick up.”

Communication is the latest buzz word attached to defensive miscues. Norton said it’s been corrected, just not consistently enough.

“It’s been fixed, but it will come up some times, at the worst times,” Norton said. “We are continually practicing. There are 16 games, and you need to be obsessed with improvement, and we are. Guys care a lot. They show up early and stay late. The communication, the playmaking, the coaching, all of it will continue to improve.

“Everybody wants to talk about communication but it’s guys consistently playing well over a duration of a game. You have to be sharp.”

The Raiders have used different coverage schemes at times this season and made two lineup changes – it’s also possible Perry Riley starts at middle linebacker this week – to no avail.

“You see things going wrong with missed tackles or balls going over our head, the little things and details need to get taken care of,” Norton said. “There aren’t a lot of differences between us and the good defenses, but they make a lot of plays they’re supposed to make.

“We have the right people. It’s just a matter of getting it done on game day.”