ALAMEDA -- The Oakland Raiders organization was deeply saddened Friday night to learn of the tragic passing of Tyson Williams, son of defensive line coach Terrell Williams.
Tyson, who just days ago had celebrated his fourth birthday, acquired a sudden and unexpected illness earlier this month and passed away Friday at Oakland Childrens Hospital after battling more than a week for his precious life.
We were all shocked by the news we received when we arrived in Baltimore last night, said Head Coach Dennis Allen. Terrell and Tifini have been dealing with unimaginable tragedy this week, and our hearts go out to them. Were all deeply saddened by the passing of Tyson, and our deepest sympathies go out to Terrell and his entire family.
Born in West Lafayette, Ind., on the day his dads Purdue team beat Michigan in Ann Arbor, Nov. 1, 2008, Tyson in four short years had made countless friends in Indiana, Texas and California. He loved cartoons, and his family especially was proud of how caring he was to his eight-month-old brother, Tahj. In fact, before Tyson passed away, he taught his brother to clap.
The Williams family appreciates its privacy during this extremely difficult time. The family will hold a private memorial service this week.
Allen said the defensive coaching staff will share the workload in Williams absence, and Williams will have as much time as he needs to mourn with his family before returning to the team.
Those that wish to send condolences should mail them to Williams at team headquarters, 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway; Alameda, CA 94502.
Courtesy Oakland Raiders media services
The Raiders had an NFL-best seven players on the initial Pro Bowl roster. The number planning to play in the league’s all-star game continues to dwindle.
That total's down to three after left tackle Donald Penn and receiver Amari Cooper bowed out. Penn won’t be ready after suffering a knee injury in the regular-season finale, an ailment that kept him out of a playoff loss at Houston. Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth will take Penn’s place.
Cooper battled a shoulder injury late last season, though it's uncertain exactly what is keeping him from the game.
In addition to Penn and Cooper, Quarterback Derek Carr obviously can't play while recovering from surgery to repair a broken fibula. Edge rusher Khalil Mack also bowed out recently with what is believed to be a minor back injury.
There’s a possibility a fifth Raider will also excuse himself. Center Rodney Hudson suffered an ankle injury in the playoffs. It remains uncertain whether he’ll play in the Pro Bowl.
Safety Reggie Nelson and left guard Kelechi Osemele remain firmly in the fray at this stage.
Mike Tice’s contract expired shortly after this season’s end, but there was strong belief he would retain his post with a new deal.
A league source confirmed Wednesday that a new deal was in place for Tice to remain with the Raiders. The exact length of the contract was not disclosed. Assistant coach contracts are typically set for two years, though they can be three in some cases.
Tice was the first assistant Jack Del Rio hired after being named Raiders head coach. The two are long-time friends, dating back to days playing for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990s.
Tice was Del Rio’s assistant head coach for three seasons in Jacksonville, which made him a natural fit for a new project in Oakland. It was a smart hire. Tice has been excellent as Raiders offensive line coach, managing and scheming for one of the NFL’s best position groups.
ESPN first reported the Tice agreement.
While offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract and is now Denver quarterbacks coach, the rest of the Raiders offensive staff remains intact.
Quarterbacks coach Todd Downing was promoted to offensive coordinator and his assistant Jake Peetz assumes his old post.
The Raiders still have a vacancy on the defensive side, with Marcus Robertson out and on to the Broncos staff.