Donald Penn passes Titans test: 'I was worried going into that game'


Donald Penn passes Titans test: 'I was worried going into that game'

ALAMEDA – Donald Penn carried some anxiety into Sunday’s game at Tennessee. That’s uncharacteristic for someone of his quality and experience level. This wasn’t an ordinary season opener.

A contract holdout abbreviated Penn’s preseason, leaving a handful of practices and 19 snaps of game action to get ready.

Penn returned to the Raiders Aug. 23 in great shape thanks to an intense private workout regimen with personal trainers, former players and a position-specific drills.

There’s a difference between cardiovascular shape and football shape. Penn knows that, planned ahead.

“I’m not going to lie to you. I was worried going into the game,” Penn said. “I played a couple snaps in that Dallas game and I was pushing myself extra hard in practice because I really didn’t know (how I’d react to a full workload). We had a plan just in case I needed a blow. I took an IV before the game, which is something I usually don’t do. I tried to be proactive. Once the game started flowing, I was surprised about how good of shape I was in.”

Penn played all 66 offensive snaps and allowed just one quarterback pressure. He wasn’t perfect – he missed the block on Jurell Casey that set up Marshawn Lynch’s viral truck run – but found a way to get through the game playing well.

“I’m hard on myself. There are a lot of things I have to fix,” Penn said. “There were a few plays I’d like to have back. There were some timing issues, making sure I get my hands in the right place. There are things I need to get after this week. I was happy with how I played against a good front.”

One byproduct of his contract holdout has been avoided. He was able return in time to remain effective at Jump Street. Primary motivation for staying away this summer hasn’t worked out.

Penn still wants a new deal, and preferred to get one done before the regular season started. That didn’t happen, but a source said the sides are talking.

This could be a big week in that process, finding a balance that rewards Penn’s work while maintaining the Raiders long-term budget goals.

Penn gave up his leverage by returning to the team to insure he’d be ready to start the regular season. He didn’t want to let teammates down, giving up some high ground looking for a new deal. Penn holds faith that the Raiders will wiggle some and outline a new deal that works for both sides.

Penn will keep grinding on his game until a pact can be reached.

“There’s a lot we have to fix and I have to fix personally,” Penn said, “but it’s better to do that after a good, strong win that got us some momentum.”

Raiders QB Derek Carr channels inner pop star in mock music video ad


Raiders QB Derek Carr channels inner pop star in mock music video ad

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr is trying to moonlight as a pop star. That’s what a guerilla marketing campaign by a San Joaquin Valley credit union would have you believe.

They released billboards and short video teasers of the Raiders quarterback prepping to shoot a music video this summer, and the full video/commercial spot was released on Monday.

It’s well, something else. Clearly meant to be self deprecating, Carr is pumping up Educational Employees Credit Union and their great rates in the mock music video, where Carr is given a certain boy-band vibe. Take a look: 

Derek’s brother David shows up later in the ad, clearly upset at being outshined by little bro.

It’s the latest in an annual series of ads with the Carr brothers.

“It literally took us a couple of hours. That’s it,” Derek Carr said. "All of the takes were because I kept laughing. I couldn’t even take myself serious because they had the TV prompter so I could see it, and I couldn’t even take myself serious. But it was good. It was fun because every commercial we do with them, all we want to do is, the end goal is we want people to laugh. And if they laugh at me for it, that’s good, that’s what we want. I laughed at myself, so it’s all good with me.”

That begged a hard-hitting, journalist follow-up question. So, Derek, did you keep the jacket?

“I didn’t keep it, no. Gosh, no,” Carr said. "As soon as I walked in and we had our little dressing rooms, me and my brother looked at that jacket and I was like, ‘I really hope that’s not the one.’ And sure enough it was. But that’s alright. We have a good relationship with them and it was a lot of fun.”

Ex-Raider Terrelle Pryor: My dominant season starts this week vs Oakland


Ex-Raider Terrelle Pryor: My dominant season starts this week vs Oakland

In his first full season as a wide receiver last year, Terrelle Pryor caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards for the Browns.

After signing a one-year, $6 million contract with Washington in the offseason, the former Raiders quarterback was expected to put up big numbers with Kirk Cousins throwing him the ball.

But through two games, Pryor has caught just eight passes for 97 yards.

He's not worried though. In fact, he's proclaiming that he will begin his return to form this weekend against his first team.

"I am going to have a dominant season and it starts this week against Oakland," Pryor told The Athletic on Wednesday.

Kickoff between the Raiders and Washington is set for 5:30pm PT Sunday on NBC.