Raiders

Can Goodson carry load as a backup RB?

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Can Goodson carry load as a backup RB?

NAPA -- Officially, he's listed as the third running back on the Raiders' depth chart.Realistically, Mike Goodson got the lion's share of the carries in Monday's practice, and while he was not run ragged, he was run, well, a lot. Not that he's complaining, mind you.RELATED: Raiders release first training camp depth chart
Because with Darren McFadden's injury history and Taiwan Jones nursing a sore hamstring and sitting out practice Monday, Goodson realizes the spotlight could very well fall on him. Even as a sore hamstring kept him from finishing a practice last week."Yeah, it just kind of got tight on me but ever since we worked it, got in the cold tub, stretched it out, been pretty good," he said recently. "I've just been enjoying it, man, working with the guys. Everybody's working hard, trying to become a great team."The Raiders offense revolves around McFadden and while Jones and Goodson seemingly have similar games, they are diverse enough to present matchup issues."They just bring different things to the table," said fullback Marcel Reece. "Mike is very quick, very elusive. He brings more experience to the table and he's just another hard-nosed guy that we have in our room and I think we're all pretty much made up like that and just grind it out.RELATED: Mike Goodson career stats 2011 game logs News
"We expect anybody that's coming here is going to be fast, going to be quick, going to be a smart guy, going to be able to do pretty much everything. Catch the ball, catch the ball out of the backfield, catch the ball split out wide. He can do anything. We pretty much expected it and he fit right in with the group."Goodson was acquired in a March 30 trade with Carolina for offensive lineman Bruce Campbell.Two years ago, with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart injured, Goodson caught 40 passes for 310 yards and rushed for 452 yards and three TDs on 103 carries. A hamstring injury and illness last season, though, limited him to four games.All of which is why he welcomed the trade to Oakland."I just like the whole thing of just being a Raiderthe mystique of being a Raider," Goodson said. "I like the offense. (Coordinator Greg) Knapp's got us running, man, the one-cut-and-go, man, I love it. As a guy with speed, you can make cuts and just get up the field and run."He's shown flashes in team drills, bursting up the left sideline for a sizable gain with the help of a crushing block from fullback Manase Tonga this past weekend.And the way Goodson sees it, the offense does not change much when he's in the backfield rather than McFadden, or Jones."You just kind of make it work to your skill set," Goodson said."I think we're all kind of unique. I like to catch the ball out of the backfield a lot. I think Darren, man, he's just an athlete. He can catch the ball, he can run between the tackles, he can do it all. I think everybody brings their own unique thing to the game."And Jones, what does he bring?"Lightning speed," Goodson said with a smile. "He is fast. You see him run, it's like, shoo, shoo, shooF-A-S-T."Of course, Goodson has own brand of speed. One he cannot wait to unleash Monday in the Raiders' preseason opener against Dallas."Yeah," he smiled, "get out here in this black and silver and just run."

Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain

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Injury report: CB Sean Smith questionable; Washington TE Reed's status uncertain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Raiders are remarkably healthy heading into Sunday night’s game against the Washington football club.

The entire 53-man roster practiced fully on Friday, before heading to the nation’s capital.

That includes veteran cornerback Sean Smith, who missed the previous game with a neck injury. A shoulder ailment cropped up during the week, which prompted the Raiders to label him questionable heading into Week 3. Smith’s the only Raider on the injury report, and even he’s in decent shape.

“I mean we put it on there because there’s still a little bit of a question,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “You don’t have probable’s anymore. Given the choices, I just left him that way.”

That means the Raiders are going to have some healthy scratches a week after Smith was the only injured player sitting out.

Washington has some impact players on the mend. That included tight end Jordan Reed, who is questionable with a rib/sternum injury. He stands 6-foot-2, 246 pounds and is the type of receiving tight end that gives the Raiders fits. He has 1,638 yards 17 touchdowns the last two seasons, using good hands and a large frame to create mismatches in the secondary.

It’ll be key for the Raiders to defend him well if he’s active, with Nicholas Morrow as a primary coverage option.

“We’re prepared to face him,” Del Rio said. “We think he’s a good player. We’ll approach it that way and adjust if he doesn’t go.”

Washington also lists starting inside linebacker Mason Foster and running back Rob Kelley as questionable.

Raiders Injury Report
Questionable
CB Sean Smith (neck/shoulder)

Washington Injury Report
Questionable

TE Jordan Reed (rib/sternum), LB Mason Foster (shoulder), RB Rob Kelley (rib), S Monate Nicholson (shoulder), CB Josh Norman (shoulder)

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

Karl Joseph living up to first-round billing with early impact for Raiders

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Raiders safety Karl Joseph notched his first career forced fumble in Week 2’s blowout victory over the New York Jets. It came on his first sack, where he bent around a tackle into the pocket and devoured his pray.

Joseph recovered the ball, and the Raiders quickly scored a touchdown. The second-year pro enjoyed that moment, but left the game with regrets.

"I should have definitely had more sacks than I did,” Joseph said. “I feel like I should have had three.”

Joseph had quarterback Josh McCown in the crosshairs three times, and feels like he should’ve finished each one. The game plan provided opportunity. Joseph blitzed six times – fellow safety Reggie Nelson attacked thrice – and pressured the quarterback four times.

It was a relatively new responsibility, considering he blitzed nine times all last year. Joseph will be first to say he was a different player then. He was less explosive, more tentative and a smidge less confident, lingering effects from an ACL tear during his final college season. Joseph was cleared to play as a rookie but wasn’t all the way back, doubly hampered by missing an offseason program where rookies grow quick.

"I wasn’t completely myself,” Joseph said in an exclusive interview with NBC Sports California. “I feel a lot more like myself this year. I obviously feel better physically, and the year of experience in the system has definitely helped. So has adjusting to the NFL life. That’s been an easier transition for me.”

Joseph is playing more like his highlight reel from West Virginia, where he proved a heavy hitter and a solid cover man worthy of last year’s No. 14 overall draft pick. The Jets game isn’t the only evidence of that.

Joseph had an excellent training camp, flashing an aggressive style and solid timing making plays in practice. That translated to the regular-season opener at Tennessee, when he saved a touchdown on consecutive plays. The first came on an open-field tackle. The second was a leaping pass breakup in the end zone, proof positive that Joseph was ready to make a big impact.

"He’s really good close to the line of scrimmage,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. "He’s a really good tackler in the open field. He also plays well on the back end. I think his development is right on time right now.”

The Raiders recognize that, and are using him like a queen on the chessboard. He can move back or forward, as an attacker or the last line of defense. He’s a rover at times, with an ability to create havoc at all levels of the defense.

Joseph is an excellent fit for the defensive scheme, bring a tone-setting physicality to the secondary. He is learning, as part of his development, that the nuclear option isn’t always best. There are times when it is, and Joseph enters those scenarios without fear.

"You can’t play worried about getting hurt. That’s not the way I play,” Joseph said. “It’s about being smart. I had to adjust my game coming into the NFL. Every hit can’t be a big hit. Sometimes you have to be smart and just wrap people up, but you can’t ever play scared.”

He isn’t afraid to take risks or attack when asked, and is already making a major impact on this year’s defense. That isn’t a surprise. It’s expected of first-round picks.

"That’s what he’s supposed to do. He’s supposed to make plays,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s a guy we selected because we thought he’d be a guy that could come in and impact on our defense. In the first two games of this year he’s played well. There are still things, like I tell you all the time, that have cleaning up to do, work to do, things to improve on, but he’s off to a good start and obviously it follows up from a good offseason. Healthy, a lot of good work and confidence that he’s gaining as we go.”