Curry officially a Raider


Curry officially a Raider

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders' trade for Aaron Curry is complete. The former Seattle linebacker passed his physical Thursday afternoon.
Curry didn't wait to alert the Raider Nation, issuing the following on Twitter."Raider Nation!!!!! STAND UP!!!!! RaiderNation RaiderNation RaiderNation Silver n Black JustWinBaby," is what the No. 4 pick of the 2009 NFL draft tweeted.Also, Raiders legacy linebacker Bruce Davis took to the social network site and announced he was being let go, the week after he blocked a punt in Oakland's emotional victory at Houston, in what appears to be the corresponding roster move.
"Twit fam, I regret to inform you that the Oakland Raiders told me today that they no longer need my services. I still love @RaiderNation," Davis tweeted.The Raiders have reportedly agreed to send a seventh-round pick in the 2012 draft and a conditional pick in 2013 to Seattle for Curry, who re-worked his initial six-year, 60-million contract before this season began. He can now become a free agent at the end of the 2012 season.On Wednesday, the Raiders tried out 10 players -- linebackers Prescott Burgess, Phillip Dillard, Stanford Keglar, Kevin Malast and Gerris Wilkinson; defensive backs Don Carey, Quentin Demps, Darcel McBath and DeAngelo Smith; and guard Chris Harr.The Raiders, obviously, found what they were looking for in Seattle.Raiders linebacker Darryl Blackstock is a close friend of Curry from their days playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Blackstock at Virginia, Curry at Wake Forest, and said Curry should not be labeled a bust."A.C.? That's my dog," Blackstock said."A lot of energy. I remember him as a recruit when I was at UVA, and he just brought a lot of energy. He's a great dude. Awesome, awesome football player. Awesome man. We've upgraded our team by getting him, just for the quality of a person he is."With the Seahawks, Curry struggled mightily against the pass. According to Stats, Inc., Curry has given up eight of eight passes thrown his way this season. In his career, opposing passers have completed 62 of 76 (81.6 percent) for 613 yards and six touchdowns against him.Curry does not have an interception in his career and opponents have a 126.6 passer rating against him.Troubling? If it is, the Raiders aren't letting on."He's athletic, he can run, he tackles, he takes on linemen, he takes on backs," said coach Hue Jackson. "I think he's a really good football player. Obviously I can't speak to what went on up there, but I know what's going to go on here. So I'm excited about getting him, once we can get everything done. It's hard to comment about everything when you know everything's not done, but hopefully things will get squared away here soon and we can move forward."Jackson was asked if Curry, who has primarily been a strong-side linebacker in his career, was varied enough to play multiple positions.You better know he is," Jackson said. "But I don't want to put him in a whole bunch of spots. I want to let him play one thing and let him become great because I think the guy has great talent."In college, Curry was a pass-rusher who caught Raiders speedster Jacoby Ford one time in a game against Clemson."It was me and him, just one on one and I tried to make a move and I spun and he wrapped my legs up," Ford said. "It was a good play. That's what great players do, they make plays and that's exactly what he is."With Seattle, Curry's responsibilities changed. And his production suffered."I've been in his shoes," Blackstock said. "You're this (certain) guy in college, then you have to adjust to a whole lot of different concepts at the pro level and if you don't do it to the quality of their liking, they call you whatever they want. Can the man play football or not?"Blackstock believes he can."Football is being in the right system. You have to adjust to something new and when you've been doing something for so long, it's like asking a receiver to play tight get taken out of your element and the organization feels like your production is low, and they label you as a bust, or whatever they want. It has nothing to do with you as a football player. He's a football player."I watched him on film a couple of times, he was doing great to me, as far as the energy, how he was playing. How his assignments were, I'm not the coach or the one evaluating him."He'll be judged by the Raiders and their fans soon enough.

Donald Penn yet to report as Raiders return home


Donald Penn yet to report as Raiders return home

ALAMEDA – Raiders left tackle Donald Penn missed training camp holding out for a new, more lucrative contract. He missed Tuesday’s practice, the first back at the team’s training facility.

His protest began 26 days ago. The regular season is 19 days away.

Penn has worked out with top trainers and private offensive line coaches while away from the team, but still needs time to get back in the flow.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that Penn is expected back this week. He wasn’t there for the first of three sessions when the Raiders will focus on the third preseason game at Dallas. It’s the last meaningful exhibition, with players down on the depth chart expected to populate the preseason finale versus Seattle.

Penn doesn’t necessarily need to play in a preseason game to prep for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener at Tennessee, but it could help.

Head coach Jack Del Rio wouldn’t address Penn’s status, or whether there’s a deadline for him to report and be ready for the regular season.

The Raiders have managed with Marshall Newhouse on the left and Vadal Alexander on the right. The pair has fared well, though the line will be significantly stronger with Penn back and a Newhouse/Alexander competition on the right.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie made it clear weeks ago that the Raiders wouldn’t talk contract until a player reports. Penn preferred a contract get done before showing up. Weeks were lost to that impasse.

Quarterback Derek Carr hopes it will end soon, and that Penn will come back to the team.

“It would obviously mean a lot, if that’s what he chooses to do,” Carr said. “He’s our teammate. We want all our teammates here. We want to work hard together. We want to be together and joke together. It’s more than just football. We want to be there in his life, with him.

"It would mean a lot. Obviously, I would love it.”

If McGregor beats Mayweather, Raiders may move to Dublin


If McGregor beats Mayweather, Raiders may move to Dublin

So Las Vegas’ army of legal books are in a moderate panic because they are so overexposed with Conor McGregor bets. Apparently, other than the Maloof brothers, they can’t scare up any Mayweather money at all.

Maybe this is the secret reason Mark Davis has declared publicly that the Raiders intend to colonize Los Angeles.

The latest evidence of the books’ distress is this Big Lead headline, which subtly hints, “Vegas Sportsbooks Are Exposed Like Never Before, Will Be Decimated if Conor McGregor Beats Floyd Mayweather.”

Well, if McGregor wins (and you’ll have to tell me about it because I’d rather watch feet sweat in the noonday sun than this), gambling in Vegas apparently will not exist any longer because the sporting apocalypse will finally be upon us. And if there is no gambling in Vegas, there is no Vegas, and all of a sudden the Raiders are moving to a town whose mayor is an iguana and whose chamber of commerce is tumbleweeds.

Hence, Davis’ answer to a question from Los Angeles Daily News writer Vincent Bonsignore about how L.A. has always been a Raiders’ town and that the team will get lots of its fans from the basin – fans who apparently cannot stomach either the Rams or the Chargers.

Ignoring Davis’ folly of answering that question that way at this time, when the NFL itself is wondering if, for its financial purposes, the mayor of L.A. is an iguana and the chamber of commerce is tumbleweeds, this news reminds us that the league has managed in less than two years to ruin the second-largest market in the United States by dithering, by backroom deals, by aversion of money spent by “the wrong kind of people” (see “brown”). That level of chaos is to be appreciated and enjoyed for what it is – nature’s way of telling rich people who’s boss.

Now, if nature doubles down and figures a way to make McGregor win and break Vegas, maybe the entire down isn’t destroyed but instead becomes a colony of Ireland, where the prime minister is not an iguana but a human, and the closest thing to tumbleweeds is a Guinness brewery.

Maybe if that happens, the Raiders end up playing in Dublin instead (a delightful little asterisk since there was a perfectly good Dublin not far from Oakland to begin with) – and they spend their entire time complaining that they have to share Croke Park and that there are too many markings on the field from all those damned hurling matches.

Of course this isn’t likely to happen, and Vegas keeps taking all the McGregor money you can throw at it. But one of these times, and sooner than we think, the apocalypse is not going to take no for an answer, and you will see Mark Davis with a pipe stuck bowl downward in his mouth standing next to a pot of gold.

Which of course will belong to the Bank Of America, because there are some things even the apocalypse can’t beat.