Raiders young WRs to work with Palmer over bye week


Raiders young WRs to work with Palmer over bye week

ALAMEDA -- NFL players generally circle the bye week as an opportunity to shut it down for a week. A chance to head home and re-charge the batteries for the coming grind.The Raiders, after being embarrassed 28-0 by the bottom-feeding Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday? Their young and impressionable receiving corps is sticking around Silver and Blackdom to better acclimate themselves with new starting quarterback Carson Palmer."Yeah, I think that's more important than going home," said second-year receiver and kick returner Jacoby Ford. "Everybody wants to go home, but you definitely want to get this thing right with Carson."
It was obvious in the course of Palmer's Oakland debut at the sold-out Coliseum that he had only three practices with his new wideouts. He barely knows their names, let alone their pass-catching tendencies.Which is why, following one-hour practices in shorts on Tuesday and Wednesday, the wideouts are hanging "on the West Side," as Ford put it, rather than catching flights to relative Parts Unknown.It's about developing a familiarity and a certain chemistry."That's what football is, you know, on offense, building a relationship with your quarterback," said Louis Murphy. "That's what training camp's for. That's what off-season workouts are for, to run routes with your quarterback, so in the game they can work out."We just have to go to work, man. We've got to put in the time with him. We've got to, you know, make it work. Put our heads down and just go to work."Derek Hagan agreed."We know we need to be here, and we're going to be here," he said."It's the timing. That's the main thing. We got to get back on the same page. Obviously, Carson wasn't here for training camp. He wasn't here the first six weeks. We're so used to Kyle (Boller) and so used to Jason (Campbell), it's just a different cadence. It's just one of those things where we just got to get back. We know we can get there. We just got to get the confidence in Carson to know that we're going to be in a certain place at the right time for him to get the ball to us. As long as we're doing that, we should be just fine.""We know after (Sunday's) game, K.C. really put it on us. It's obviously one of those games where we just got to learn from those mistakes that we made and, hopefully, not make those same mistakes moving forward. We know we got a big game coming up in two weeks against Denver."Palmer's passer rating of 17.3 against the Chiefs was a career-low for a game in which he attempted at least 20 passes. He completed eight of 21 attempts for 116 yards but was intercepted three times, including a 58-yard return for a touchdown by Brandon Flowers.It was obvious Palmer had little rapport with his receivers. When will he?"There's some real good talented playmakers as you guys have seen," Palmer said following Sunday's game. "There's a handful of guys you can just get the ball into the hands, and it doesn't need to be an 80-yard bomb every time. They can make big things happen; they can make people miss. So two weeks is enough time to be where I need to be, and I'm going to get everything I can out of these guys."Said coach Hue Jackson: "We've got to speed the process up as fast as we can. I think that's pretty obvious, what needs to happen. How comfortable is he going to be? I can't tell you he's going to know them stone-cold by the time we play Denver (after the bye), but he'll have a better grasp of what this guy can do and what that guy can do based on situations because he's going to have more practice time with those young men."The new Collective Bargaining Agreement ensures the players having four consecutive days off during their team's respective bye. So the receivers remaining in the East Bay is totally on them.And according to Jackson, coaches can have no contact with the players in those four days, though they could conceivably work out at the team's facility. Having two practices this week should give Palmer and the receivers a crib sheet on what to work on over the bye."So whatever those things are it would just be a running deal from there," Jackson said. "So he'll take what we do over the next two daysand continue to work through them with the players."Ford, Murphy and Darrius Heyward-Bey all spent time during the lockout with Jason Campbell at his Virginia home, building up that all-important rapport while Ford and Murphy crashed at Campbell's house.Surely, Palmer taking over must feel like a new beginning after all that trust-building, right?"No, it doesn't feel like starting over," Heyward-Bey said. "I mean, it's football. Ever since you're little, you go out and play backyard football. So whoever's back there, you're just going to have to get some type of chemistry going and then you play football."And the chemistry with Palmer now?"It's building," Heyward-Bey said. "That's my answer."And Jackson likes that his malleable pass catchers are solidifying and taking a stand. As he should."This team was very disappointed about the way they performed (Sunday)," Jackson said. "Especially offensively. I think those guys are wanting to get this thing right, and again, that's the leadership of the team, that's the leadership of Carson talking to these players, and Kyle. And I think the receivers and runners and all the skill guys, I think they want to get this right."And again, when you have that kind of influence as a player, the peers are pushing each other, 'C'mon, guys, let's go, we got a job to do.' I think that's what you look for."

Notes: In-game adjustments help Raiders slow Bills run game late

Notes: In-game adjustments help Raiders slow Bills run game late

OAKLAND – It’s impossible to say the Raiders stopped LeSean McCoy. The Buffalo Bills running back had 130 yards on just 17 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per rush.

He was shifty as advertised, hard to bring down especially in open space. He killed the Raiders early on, suffocating them with a steady dose of his rushing style.

They couldn’t stop him at all. Until they made some changes that put more bodies around the ball, dared the Bills to throw deep and came at McCoy in waves.

“We saw how they were trying to attack us,” linebacker Malcolm Smith said. “We found a way to protect ourselves and be in better position to make plays.”

It took some time to figure out, but McCoy started slowing down late in the third quarter. He had 14 carries for 127 yards until he cramped up later in the third quarter, and didn’t do much on the ground after that.

“He’s one of the best in the business,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He made life difficult for us, but we settled in and got the stops we needed to get a nice victory.”

Stopping the run was key to it. Stopping, of course, remains a relative term. Buffalo ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns and, at times didn’t need to pass to move downfield and score.

The Bills offense got bottled up in the third quarter, with three straight three-and-outs that put Buffalo into passing situations where they struggle and the Raiders pass rush can make a profound effect.

“They showed what type of team they are,” McCoy said. “They got stops when they needed stops and scored when they needed to. …I just felt like this is a game we had in our hands that we let slip away.

Carr’s pinky is fine, thank you: Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was taken off the injury report after this practice week. He wasn’t questionable or doubtful after dislocating his pinky in two spots last week versus Carolina. He was going to play.

He didn’t wear a glove on his ailing digit, though he sported a splint of some sort during the game. He had his throwing hand’s pinky and ring fingers taped together in a postgame press conference – it’s that way much of the time – but insisted it caused zero issues during Sunday’s game. The Raiders played all but one snap from the shotgun and pistol, but Carr bristled at questions whether his finger limited the offense in any way.

Proof is in a 97.3 passer rating, 260 yards passing, two touchdown and no picks. He was rarely inaccurate, and played well throughout the game.

Carr had his left hand examined after a planned run, but never missed a snap and came out of the game just fine.

“It really didn’t (impact me),” Carr said. “If I missed a throw it was just because of me to be honest. They took me off the injury report for a reason. It was not affecting me at all. Just leaving it taped for precautionary, just to be safe.”

Marquette gets flagged: Raiders punt Marquette King feels so good after a punt goes well that he just has to dance. That’s why he busted out the Pee Wee Herman “Tequila” dance after pinning Buffalo at their 4-yard line.

A rusher hit him in the leg and was called for roughing the kicker, and King went a smidge too far. He picked up the flag – you can’t do that – did a jig as he waved it in the air, and then spiked it to the ground.

It was entertaining, sure. But it also drew another flag for unsportsmanlike conduct.

“It’s definitely a teachable moment,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s not mean spirit in what he’s doing. He’s having fun. He enjoys himself. He had the Pee Wee Herman out there today. I saw that. I got a giggle.

“He’s enjoying himself. Now, right there, he just didn’t realize you can’t do that. He was like, ‘Really? I couldn’t do that? Oh man. I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Mr. Ref.’ It really was innocent and obviously, we’ll make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned when it comes to teaching to make sure we understand what we need to do there. That should never happen again.”

Cowser’s first sack: Undrafted free agent James Cowser is popular among his teammates. The edge rusher was well liked during his time in the preseason, and was welcomed back when signed to the practice squad near midseason.

He was added to the active roster last week, made his professional debut on special teams against Carolina and made a big impact on defense Sunday afternoon.

He sacked Tyrod Taylor for a 10-yard loss in the second quarter to help force the Bills’ first punt. It was his first as a pro, though the action is old hat for the all-time FCS leader in sacks.

It was a big moment for Cowser and those around him.

“Cowser stepped up and got a big sack at an important time,” fellow edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “We knew he could step in and play well and do some things. It’s key for us that the young guys step up.”

This ‘n that: RB Latavius Murray scored his 10th and 11th rushing touchdowns of the season on Sunday night, the largest total since Marcus Allen had 12 in 1990. That’s the fifth-highest total in franchise history. … S Karl Joseph suffered a foot/toe injury and did not return. … The Raiders have won six straight games, and haven't allowed a 100 passer rating in that stretch. …Khalil Mack has had a sack in seven straight games. Bruce Irvin has had a sack in three straight.

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

Raiders 'continue to fight,' score 29 unanswered points in latest comeback

ALAMEDA – The Buffalo Bills were in firm control of the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. That was the case well into the third quarter.

Then this game turned upside down.

The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points in just over 15 minutes. They erased a two-score Buffalo lead in the second half by doing everything they couldn’t do at the start.

The 34-28 victory was the Raiders’ sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season, but this one was special. They went from 0 to 60 in a snap.

The Raiders were down 24-9 before that big surge, but the mood was hardly somber.

“We don’t dwell too much on the score,” receiver Michael Crabtree said. “We don’t say, ‘We’re down 15 and we need this.’ We don’t panic. We don’t sweat. We just go out and play ball.”

The Raiders played some of their best ball this season during that stretch.

They consistently halted drives on defense, including three straight three-and-outs to start the surge. They created turnovers in key moments. Special teams tightened up. And, of course, the offense got rolling after playing with pace.

“It felt like everything was smooth and working out,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “The confidence keeps building on this team.”

During that blitzkrieg, the Raiders out-gained Buffalo 212-8. It was all out dominance, the Raiders have been looking to play for four full quarters. That’s been largely elusive, but they’ve learned to clamp down and execute when it matters most.

Several Raiders were asked what was more impressive: The 29, or the 0.

Picking wasn’t a common response. Most focused on why this team is able to rally, and why they did so against Buffalo.

“We just continue to fight, continue to believe,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “29 unanswered is hard to do in this league. Buffalo has an explosive offense. Hats off to us and to Derek Carr for continuing to believe in us, continuing to battle and put points on the board.”