Gutierrez: Raiders' Kelly Thinking Pacquiao-Ward


Gutierrez: Raiders' Kelly Thinking Pacquiao-Ward

Nov. 18, 2010

ALAMEDA Tommy Kelly is the biggest fan of the sweet science in the Raiders locker room. So while the defensive tackle was just making jokes -- we think -- his turn as a fantasy boxing matchmaker had us scratching our heads while thinking, hmmmmmmm.

Kelly thought, if Floyd Mayweather doesnt fight Manny Pacquiao, maybe Pacquiao could turn his attention to the East Bay and face Oaklands Andre Ward.

Hmmmmmmm, indeed.

Pacquiao, the current pound-for-pound champ who has won world titles in eight weight classes, is coming off last weekend's demolition of Antonio Margarito that resulted in Margarito needing surgery on a broken orbital bone.

Ward, a gold medalist for the U.S. in the 2004 Olympics, defends his WBA Super World super middleweight title against Sakio Bika Nov. 27 at Oracle Arena.

Heres the thing, though: while the 5-feet-6 Pacquiao (52-3-2, 38 knockouts) has had no issue going up in weight, he is considerably smaller than the 6-1 Ward (22-0, 13 KOs).

Pacquiao, with a 67-inch reach, began his career in 1995, when he fought at 107 pounds. He was at a career-high 150 pounds for Margarito. Ward, meanwhile, has a 73-inch reach and walks into the ring on fight night well over 170 pounds.

Too much of a difference? Probably. But if nothing else, Kelly made the fight fan in us all think about something else for a minute besides the first-place Raiders upcoming trip to Pittsburgh.

Lynch 'soaking up the system', easing into Raiders OTA practices


Lynch 'soaking up the system', easing into Raiders OTA practices

ALAMEDA – Marshawn Lynch didn’t bring his helmet to Tuesday’s OTA practice. Didn’t need it then, or on Monday.

Not for a cameo appearance during individual drills. The veteran running back wasn’t available during team sessions, and spent most of the two-hour practice working in the team’s performance center.

Lynch skipping full-speed work isn’t cause for alarm. First of all, it’s May. Second, Lynch is in great shape but still ramping back up after a season away from NFL football. It would make sense to ease him back in during the spring.

Head coach Jack Del Rio didn’t say when Lynch’s activity would increase, but wasn’t concerned one bit about Lynch’s limited OTA participation – he routinely skipped them while playing in Seattle -- and praised the Oakland native’s level of involvement in the Raiders offseason program since a new contract was worked out and his rights were acquired from Seattle on April 26.

“He’s coming along. He’s doing great. There are no issues there,” Del Rio said. “He has been here like he said he would. He has really been committed. He said, ‘Coach, this is home for me. It’s not like I’m going home and I won’t be here. He is committed to being here and is excited to be a Raider. We’re excited to have him.”

Lynch was on the practice field for some team periods analyzing plays with offensive teammates, and was working out with them after the session. Del Rio didn’t delve into when Lynch’s on-field activity would increase, but there’s no reason to rush a veteran player who ultimately must be ready come September.

“He’s doing great,” Del Rio said. “He’ll continue to do the things we’re asking him to do. He is really soaking up the system, and has done a great job fitting in.”

That’s clear. He gets on well with left tackle Donald Penn and kicker Sebastian Janikowski, and gravitates toward fellow former Seahawks like edge rusher Bruce Irvin and defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. General manager Reggie McKenzie said last week Lynch was already entrenched in the Raiders locker-room culture, which was evident in how teammates talked about him.

“Getting Marshawn has been great,” Penn said. “He brings a lot of energy here and a lot of momentum. It feels good having him here. We joke around a lot, having fun. You all probably don’t know Marshawn, but he’s a pretty funny guy. He’s really cool, and it’s good having him around here.”

A's lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

A's lineup: Alonso returns for opener against Marlins

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Marlins-A's coverage begins at 6pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

After missing four games, Yonder Alonso is back in the lineup as the A's begin a series against the Marlins Tuesday night.

Miami Marlins:
1. Dee Gordon (L) 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
3. Christian Yelich (L) CF
4. Marcell Ozuna (R) DH
5. Justin Bour (L) 1B
6. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
7. Derek Dietrich (L) 3B
8. J.T. Riddle (L) SS
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) LF
Jose Urena -- RHP

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) RF
2. Mark Canha (R) CF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) DH
7. Stephen Vogt (L) C
8. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
9. Adam Rosales (R) SS
Jesse Hahn -- RHP