Four questions facing Raiders: No. 3 -- Playcalling to change?

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Four questions facing Raiders: No. 3 -- Playcalling to change?

Leading up to the Raiders-Lions exhibition game at 4:00 p.m. (which will be broadcast delayed on KICU Channel 36 at 7 p.m. PST), Paul Gutierrez takes a look at four questions, in the form of downs, facing fans and the Raiders...

First Down -- What happened to DeMarcus Van Dyke?

Second Down -- Will Rolando McClain cover Calvin Johnson downfield again?

Third Down -- How different will the offensive playcalling be this time around?
Much different. As offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said this week, the Raiders did not gameplan for Dallas or Arizona. They were simply implementing "training camp" stuff, "not, how do you beat Dallas, how do you beat Arizona, because it's not fair to the young guys."

In fact, Knapp encouraged quarterback Carson Palmer to have more of a gunslinger attitude in those two exhibitions, which may help explain his particularly inexplicable interception in Arizona, when he tried to thread the needle on a medium-deep pass to tight end Richard Gordon, who is not known for his soft hands.

Remember, the Raiders opened with the Cowboys on a Monday then played at the Cardinals four days later, so no, there was not a lot, if any, time to prepare for a specific team.

This time, however, the Raiders will have had eight days. "Im pleased," Knapp said. "It may not show up on the scoreboard right now -- we need to improve our scoring production -- but theres been quite a few changeable parts on offense along with learning a new system and I did see, as I told the offense after the second game, good improvement from game one to game two. Were moving the ball well, we've just got to do a better job of finishing."

Which should mean more touches for multi-talented fullback Marcel Reece.

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

PHOENIX – The Raiders hope to play the next three years in the Bay Area before moving to Las Vegas. They were approved to relocate on Monday at the NFL owners meetings, but can’t leave right away because Las Vegas doesn’t have a suitable temporary NFL venue.

The Raiders have team options on one-year leases to play at Oakland Coliseum during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and are expected to do exactly that. Owner Mark Davis said he’s open to negotiating a lease to play the 2019 season there as well before moving into new Vegas digs in 2020.

The Oakland Coliseum authority may not grant that request.

"I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation and that of my board members, I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season (in Oakland),” director of the Oakland Coliseum joint powers authority Scott McKibben told USA Today.

McKibben said hosting a Raiders game is a financial loss for the JPA.

If the Raiders can’t reach an agreement to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019, they have other options in the Bay Area, though none is ideal. They could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as a last resort in the Bay Area, sources told CSN California reporter Scott Bair.

They could renovate UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium – locker room and security upgrades are mandatory – though the Raiders would prefer to avoid that route.

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.

He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.

Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.

He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.

“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.

“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”

The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.

“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”