Davis still in hearts, minds of Raiders players

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Davis still in hearts, minds of Raiders players

ALAMEDA -- It has been one year to the day that Al Davis passed away and his memory was still in the hearts and minds of several Raiders players on Monday.Even if nearly half of the current Raiders team -- 25 of the players on the 53-man roster were not with the Raiders on Oct. 8, 2011 -- had little to no contact with the face of the franchise.Third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor, Davis' final draft pick, felt an especially strong kinship to the late Raiders owner."I mean, all I can say is I'm going to make him proud as his last pick," Pryor said. "I'm getting better every day. I know he's looking down, scheming over the Raiders because he loved football. All I know is I'm going to make him proud and I'm going to be exactly what he thought I was going to be."Fullback Marcel Reece, a street free agent-turned-Pro Bowl candidate, said there had been a quiet remembrance in the locker room."I can tell you there's guys in here that were close to him, including myself, thatdo kind of take a moment to yourself and just think about it and know you're thankful for him and what he's done and his family and the organization that he built from the ground up," Reece said. "And you're just really appreciative of it."REWIND: Remembering Al DavisDefensive tackle Richard Seymour, acquired in a splashy trade with New England on the eve of the 2009 season opener, remembered his first conversation with Davis."He asked me, 'Where are you right now?' Im like, 'Im in New England.' He said, 'Im in sunny California,'" Seymour recalled."That was the personality of the conversation. I think one thing, since being here, one thing I knew was he loved his players and his players always wanted to win for him, because they knew how much he cared about them. Even as Im here now, I want to get it to where he wants it to be in terms of turning it all around and having him be a part of it."To a man, the players in the Raiders locker rom even the newer ones, realize what Davis meant to the organization and vice versa."For me, personally, when you think about the Raiders, you think about Mr. Davis and what he meant, not only to this franchise, but to the National Football League," Seymour said. "Hes an icon that surpassed, when you talk about leaving a legacy, hell always be remembered whether its the one-year or the 10-year, the century mark, decade mark, youre always going to think about what it meant to put on the silver and black and just that mindset and mentality."

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

PHOENIX -- The Raiders are entering a limbo period, with just a few seasons in Oakland before relocating to Las Vegas. NFL owners formally approved a move on Monday, though the Raiders don’t want to leave the East Bay until a new stadium is ready in 2020.

While there are contingencies to leave the market early based upon how fans react to the Raiders remaining in Oakland after committing to Las Vegas, that isn’t what the Raiders want. After years of stadium uncertainty, they leave the NFL owners meetings with clarity regarding their long-term future.

General manager Reggie McKenzie believes that should help free agents considering silver and black. The uncertainty prompted questions in recent years that McKenzie can answer when recruiting veteran talent now that relocation has been approved.

“By Mark saying that the plan is for us to be in Oakland for two more years (at least), but we will be in Vegas, I think it offers more clarity,” McKenzie said. “It lets the players know. It’s better than two months ago, when everyone had questions. When you were talking to a free agent, they know we want to move but weren’t sure if it was going to pass. They didn’t know. Now they know a decision has been made by the league to let us move.”

That will help McKenzie more in the future than present. Roster turnover is high these days, meaning most currently employed by the Raiders won’t play for the home team in Las Vegas. Only David Amerson, Kelechi Osemele and Marquette King are would be under contract when the team wants to move.

The Raiders are working on extensions for Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack, with others possibly locked up down the line.

In addition to playing with Carr and Mack and for head coach Jack Del Rio, there’s another attraction to signing with the Raiders. There’s no state income tax in Nevada, meaning a contract there is worth more than the same deal in California. The Golden State generally takes 13.3 percent of significant income earned there.

There will be other issues about playing in Las Vegas, where gambling is legal, a drink can be had 24 hours per day and vices abound in a place called Sin City.

The Raiders will construct a support system to keep players focused, and are ready to handle any questions players and their families may have about an upcoming move.

“Now there are questions from the drafted guys about when they become free agents, because they might be in Vegas. That’s going to be different. There are questions that way, but it’s not going to alter the way we go after players. Some of the guys, parents and agents may have questions, but I don’t think it’s anything out of whack.”

 

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.