Four questions facing Raiders: How will Jacoby Ford bounce back?

847207.jpg

Four questions facing Raiders: How will Jacoby Ford bounce back?

Programming note: Chat with Raiders Insider Paul Gutierrez tonight at 6:30 p.m. leading up to tonight's preseason game in Arizona!GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Raiders are still searching for their first points of the new era after being shut out, 3-0, by Dallas on Monday so yeah, you could say there are questions heading into Friday night's second exhibition, against the Arizona Cardinals. Will they be answered in the 7 p.m. game, broadcast live on KTVU Channel 2 and KICU Channel 36?
Possibly, but as the Raiders continue their drive to the season opener, the fun, really, is in process and watching it all unfold. Four questions, then, in the form of downs, facing fans and the Raiders heading into their exhibition game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Each question will be published at staggered times leading up to kickoff...First down
How will Jacoby Ford bounce back?
He's as explosive as he is diminutive and Ford had an exhibition opener to forget on Monday against Dallas. He was absolutely crushed on the opening kickoff, did not fight hard enough on an interception thrown his way, dropped a pair of passes across the middle and muffed a punt. "It's definitely not the way I wanted to come out and put anything on film like that," Ford told reporters this week. "But games like that happen and that's why you've got to have a short-term memory and put it behind you. Good thing is, it's preseason so you kind of just put that behind you now and go into the next game, work on improvements the next time." With Denarius Moore still out with that strained hamstring, Ford figures to start again at a wide receiver position, opposite Darius Heyward-Bey. Much had been made about a better chemistry between Ford and quarterback Carson Palmer, who took full responsibility for the pick, but it was seemingly nowhere to be found in the opener. Might they rekindle it in the Arizona desert?

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.