Browns RB Richardson says McClain is overlooked


Browns RB Richardson says McClain is overlooked

ALAMEDA -- Rightly, or wrongly, Rolando McClain has become a target of Raiders fan angst and anger in this, his third season at middle linebacker after being the No. 8 overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft.But McClain has a fan in a former college teammate and upcoming opponent in Cleveland rookie running back Trent Richardson, who played one year with him at Alabama.
"I think a lot of people sleep on Rolando, because I don't think they give him as much media (attention) as Oakland should," Richardson told apparently asleep-at-the-wheel Bay Area reporters on a conference call Wednesday."At Alabama, he got a lot of media and stuff. He has had a good impact. Will it be more? Yes it will be because that's Rolando. I know how Rolando trains and how Rolando prepares for the games. But how I see it, it's not all about Rolando. He has to get a lot more help. He has to get a lot more help from the defensive (standpoint) for him to be a good, successful player, and for the whole team to stand up."So there you go."He was one of my idols I looked up to as a leader on the team," Richardson said of McClain.Then there was Richardson's supposed rift over the summer with Browns legendary running back Jim Brown, who called the rookie "ordinary" after Cleveland used the No. 3 overall pick on him in April."Well, we never was on bad terms," said Richardson, who is averaging 101.8 yards rushing per game. "People took his comment the wrong way. How I took ithe was just telling me, 'Hey, youre a rookie, but from your point and standing youre not a rookie. You got to make a name for yourself. It aint college football no more. What you did and the platform you had back there, thats where you got to leave it at. You got to make a little platform for yourself here, you got to make a name for yourself and you got to win games.'"So, thats basically what he was saying and thats basically what Ive been trying to do the whole time. Ive been trying to prove to him that Im not just an ordinary running back or just a person that is not going to give his all."

Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams


Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams


OAKLAND – The Raiders sat nine offensive starters in last week’s exhibition opener. That front line assembled for the first time in game Saturday against the Rams and quickly found midseason form.

Quarterback Derek Carr was largely on point in a 21-17 victory to Los Angeles at Oakland Coliseum. Amari Cooper showed great hops. Michael Crabtree juked a cornerback out of his shoes and scored a touchdown. Jared Cook proved a difficult cover in the middle of the field. And Marshawn was predictably Marshawn, running like a battering ram on speed skates.

The defense, by contrast, needs some serious work.

Except for Khalil Mack. That’s dude’s all right. He had a sack, three quarterback pressures, four tackles, with two for a loss, in three series.

The rest of his unit was off kilter against L.A. Communication still needs work on the back end. Questions remain at inside linebacker and cornerback.

Coaches have three weeks to iron things out, and get that unit running right. Here are a few takeaways from Saturday’s exhibition.

Marshawn meets hometown crowd: Oakland native Marshawn Lynch played in his hometown for the first time in silver and black. He didn’t play much, removing his pads after just one series.

His cameo was quick and productive, with two carries for 10 yards. His trademark burst and balance was on display, as it was throughout camp. Lynch won’t need much work this preseason, but should get the lion’s share of carries when games count.

He looks as agile as ever, without the rust expected following a year away from football.

Smith suits up:Raiders cornerback Sean Smith played in sub packages with the starting unit, playing outside in the nickel. He had a relatively solid game despite mounting legal issues. He was charged with felony assault and battery on Thursday, when he turned himself in to Pasadena police and was released after posting an $80,000 bond.

Smith had two tackles and a nice pass defensed covering Sammy Watkins on a deep route.

Jenkins enters the fray: The Raiders are still searching for someone to pair with Cory James on the inside. Marquel Lee has worked with the first unit since training camp began in the base defense. He struggled some early, and gave way to veteran Jelani Jenkins in the second series.
That job remains open. Lee is a favorite, though Jenkins will challenge and prospect of signing someone off the street remains.

Backup quarterbacks still battling

EJ Manuel entered Saturday’s game with a clear lead on the backup quarterback position battle. The veteran received most every second-unit rep in camp, started last week’s game at Arizona and was first off the bench on Saturday.

He wasn’t great against the Rams, completing 3-of-9 passes for 16 yards.

That may have cracked the door for second-year pro Connor Cook. The Michigan State alum has struggled some in practice, but showed well working with the third unit on Saturday. He was with 7-of-10 passing for 70 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown strike to Johnny Holton.

Lynch sits, others kneel, raise fist during national anthem


Lynch sits, others kneel, raise fist during national anthem

OAKLAND -- Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat down during the national anthem prior to Saturday's preseason game versus the Los Angeles Rams, as he did the week before at Arizona. 

Lynch hasn't addressed his reason for sitting during the national anthem, an action several others have used to protest racial issues and the mistreatment of minorities in this country. He has sat intermitently during his career, while standing at attention and remaining in the locker room at others. 

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick popularized the movement last year by kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner. Lynch was retired in 2016, but voiced support for Kaepernick in an interview with Conan O'Briend. 

Lynch wasn't the only Raider making a gesture during the anthem. Rookie safety Shalom Luani kneeled during part of the song. Quarterback Derek Carr placed his hand on Khalil Mack's shoulder during the song. Bruce Irvin had his fist in the air. 

Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett has been vocal about his protest while sitting through the anthem twice in as many preseason games.