Brown a Hall of Fame semifinalist again

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Brown a Hall of Fame semifinalist again

Tim Brown, Roger Craig and Ron Wolf were the only ones with ties to the Raiders to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 26-person semifinalist list, which was announced Tuesday afternoon."Thanks for all the love and support!" Brown Tweeted after the announcement. "Hopefully I'll make it this year! If not, still gotta keep moving forward!"Brown played with the Raiders from 1988 through 2003 and was a nine-time Pro Bowler and two-time All Pro. He played one season, 2004, in Tampa Bay and retired with 1,094 receptions (which was third-most in league history when he retired) for 14,934 yards (No. 2 when he retired) and 100 touchdowns (tied for third when he retired).He is a two-time finalist for Hall consideration.

Craig, meanwhile, spent only one season with the Raiders, 1991, when the franchise was in Los Angeles.Wolf, being considered as a contributor to the game, had two stints in the Raiders' front office, 1963-1974 and 1978-1990.The 15 finalists for the 2012 class will be announced in January and the Hall of Fame Class will be announced on Feb. 4 in Indianapolis, the day before Super Bowl XLVI.
The complete list of 26 modern-era semifinalists is as follows:

Steve Atwater, S 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
Jerome Bettis, RB 1993-95 Los AngelesSt. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tim Brown, WRKR 1988-2003 Los AngelesOakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cris Carter, WR 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Don Coryell, Coach 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Roger Craig, RB 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Terrell Davis, RB 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Dermontti Dawson, C 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Edward DeBartolo Jr., Owner 1979-2000 San Francisco 49ers
Chris Doleman, DELB 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Greene, LBDE 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Charles Haley, DELB 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Cortez Kennedy, DT 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Curtis Martin, RB 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
Clay Matthews, LB 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons
Karl Mecklenburg, LB 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
Bill Parcells, Coach 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
Andre Reed, WR 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Willie Roaf, T 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Donnie Shell, S 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
Will Shields, G 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner 1989-2006 National Football League
Steve Tasker, STWR 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Aeneas Williams, CBS 1991-2000 PhoenixArizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
Ron Wolf, Contributor 1963-1974, 1978-1990 OaklandLos Angeles Raiders, 1975-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990 New York Jets, 1991 -2001 Green Bay Packers
George Young, Contributor 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League

McKenzie, Del Rio ‘unified since Day 1,’ ushering Raiders into next phase

McKenzie, Del Rio ‘unified since Day 1,’ ushering Raiders into next phase

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio have done three pre-draft press conferences now. They’ve got the routine down, knowing when to deflect questions, when to put people off the scent and, more importantly, how to seem unpredictable.

They were in lockstep again Friday, less than a week before the 2017 NFL Draft.

During their first, McKenzie offered one criticism of his head coach.

“Can you guys get Jack out of my office?” McKenzie said in 2015, with tongue firmly in cheek.

The rhetorical question was answered with a laugh. McKenzie was acknowledging how much Del Rio and staff wanted to support the scouting process. McKenzie ultimately pulls the trigger on draft day, but Del Rio has a loud voice in the room as he looks for players who fit his locker room and his schemes.

McKenzie has open ears, taking advice from the entire coaching staff while arranging his draft board. This time of year especially, coaches and scouts are working together.

“It’s been unified since Day 1,” Del Rio said. “Reggie and I are very unified and much on the same mission and that is to bring a world championship home to this organization. Everything we’re doing is attacking that, adding these impact players where we can.”

The pair was focused on improving a lackluster roster that featured Derek Carr and Khalil Mack but finished 3-13 the year before. Now their partnership is entering Phase II.

They must decide which players to add, and decide which previously drafted players to keep. There are some obvious extensions in the works, with Carr, Mack and Gabe Jackson. They had to let some homegrown talent go in free agency as they attempt to upgrade depth and build a championship roster that can build on last year’s success.

“There’s a whole different phase that we’re about to go through as an organization as you begin to mature, some of those players have to be re-signed or not. Those are decisions you have to make in all of this. This is year three for us working together and I feel like the relationship with the scouts and the coaches and the sharing of information is excellent. We want to continue to work that way.”

Locals among cornerbacks who can help Raiders early in NFL Draft

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AP

Locals among cornerbacks who can help Raiders early in NFL Draft

The Raiders have an opening in their secondary.

Finding a slot cornerback is a top priority with DJ Hayden now in Detroit. TJ Carrie is an option there, but the Raiders could add a young, versatile talent capable of taking a more prominent role down the line.

That’s true despite the fact Sean Smith signed a free-agent deal through 2019 last year and David Amerson received a contract extension through the 2020 season. Those contracts, however, become pay-as-you-go deals after this season.

The dead money goes away, freeing the Raiders to look for long-term upgrades if they see fit.

Head coach Jack Del Rio loves creating competition and depth, especially at such an important position in today’s NFL. The Raiders like larger, physical cornerbacks with ball skills, and there are plenty in this year’s draft.

Many analysts have the Raiders taking a cornerback at No. 24 overall, and that’s a realistic possibility. They could certainly look to help last year’s No. 24-ranked secondary in the early rounds.

Let’s take a look at some top options available in this week’s draft:

Good fits:There are quite a few quality cornerbacks who could be available at No. 24 overall, even if there’s an early run on the position.

Oakland native and Washington alum Kevin King visited the Raiders during the pre-draft process, and certainly fits what the Raiders like in a cornerback. He’s confident and aggressive, unafraid to use great physical traits to make plays on the ball. He’s tall and long and isn’t afraid to tackle.

USC’s Adoree Jackson has the quality ball skills the Raiders like, and is adept high-pointing the ball. Analysts say he can play several coverage techniques and has the agility to make up for mistakes. He can work in the slot, but at 5-foot-10 isn’t as tall as the Raiders like. They’d have to take him in the first round. He may not last beyond that.

San Jose native and Colorado product Chidobe Awuzie is another interesting local defensive back ready to turn pro. He can play outside or in the slot, and analysts say he has excellent one-on-one coverage skills but needs tackling work. He was a solid slot blitzer at Colorado, and could fill an immediate need crucial against so many three and four receiver sets.

Louisiana State’s Tre’Davious White has experience playing the slot, and could help right away there before transferring outside if asked. He can cover extremely well, though analysts say he isn’t much of a tackler. He might be a tweener as far as the Raiders are concerned, not worthy of the No. 24 pick but long gone before the Raiders pick in the second round.

Central Florida’s Shaquill Griffin visited the Raiders this spring, and rightfully so. A willing run defender with good ball skills and tackling ability who could be available in the third round should intrigue them.