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.

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”