Bartell a physical presence at cornerback


Bartell a physical presence at cornerback

NAPA -- Ron Bartell arrived at the same time as the ball, popping Darrius Heyward-Bey in the back at the precise time of arrival. The ball popped out. Incompletion.Bartell could have shown up with far worse intentions in Monday's practice but he was in helmet and shorts while everyone else was in full pads and yet, it was exactly the type of work the Raiders' highly-touted cornerback needed. A tweaked hamstring had kept him out of training camp practices.REWIND: Broken neck a distant memory for Ron Bartell
"Yeah, I havent went against anyone since June and these guys have been out there a week," Bartell said. "So I've got to get the timing back, but I thought I moved around pretty well. I was in tune to what we had going on defensively so it was just a matter of getting my technique back and get my feet back underneath me and Im good to go from there."Mind you, Bartell was not able to participate in full team drills -- that comes Wednesday -- but he is still listed at the team's No. 1 cornerback on the left side. Expectations are high for the big -- he's listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds but appears more imposing -- offseason acquisition who played the first seven seasons of his NFL career in St. Louis.RELATED: Ron Bartell stats Splits Game logs
And yet, there are concerns among observers that do not translate to Bartell himself. He is coming off a broken neck, suffered in the Rams' season opener last year."That's behind me," he insisted. "I'm 110 percent and it's not something I even worry about. Like I said before, I think the biggest thing with me when I got injured was that I walked off the field. I never had to go through the scare of paralysis or anything like that. So it felt just like a stinger so I feel fine. No hesitation. I'm actually looking forward to getting pads on so I can get the first hit out of the way and once I do that, I'll be fine."In his career, Bartell has eight interceptions, two sacks and has forced 10 fumbles in 89 games, 65 starts. From 2007 through 2010 he averaged 70 tackles.RELATED: Raiders Camp Battle -- Bartell vs. Chekwa
"If you want to win and be good defensively, the first thing is you've got to stop the run," he said. "Cornerback, we get paid to do more than just cover. I pride myself on being a complete player. I played safety before so I understand all about the running game. Its part of my game that I always want to improve on and part of my game I accept the challenge of."Not a lot of cornerbacks look forward to tackling so I want to separate myself from the rest and just be known as a complete corner. Me coming up tackling and having to fit in the run (defense) is no problem. Ive done (it) my whole career and I understand its a big part of us winning football games."As is getting, and staying, on the field.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.