Gallery wins Raiders' Ed Block Courage Award

Gallery wins Raiders' Ed Block Courage Award


ALAMEDA -- Oakland Raiders guard Robert Gallery is this years Ed Block Courage Award winner. Gallery suffered multiple injuries in 2009, including recovering from an appendectomy in training camp. Gallery then came back from a broken leg to start six games in 2009 before a back injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

He has rebounded in 2010 to lead an offensive line that helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher and assist in posting more than 400 total offense yards in five games, more than 500 in three contests.

He was in the starting lineup for all 16 games in 2008 and was part of a unit that helped the Raiders rank 10th in the NFL in rushing. In 2007, Gallery started at left guard and was part of an offensive line that ranked sixth in the NFL in total rushing yards and helped pave the way for a 1,000-yard rusher.

Gallery played left tackle in 2006 after beginning his career at right tackle and started 10 games while battling injuries. In 2005, Gallery was part of an offensive line that helped produce a 3,500-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher.

Gallery broke into the starting lineup as a rookie in 2004 and was part of an offensive line that protected Raider quarterbacks who threw for more than 4,000 yards. That year, he was member of a unit that surrendered the fifth fewest sacks in NFL.

Gallery was the Oakland Raiders first round selectionand the second pick overall in the 2004 NFL Draft out of the University of Iowa, where he was the Outland Trophy winner in 2003 as the nations best collegiate interior lineman.

The Ed Block Courage Award annually honors one player from each NFL team who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The award has become one of the most esteemed honors bestowed upon a player in the NFL, primarily because his selection is based upon a vote of his peers. Additionally, the award recognizes a players efforts on and off the field, as well as their ability to overcome great adversity.

The Ed Block Courage Award is named in honor of Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. In 1989, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation formulated the Courage House National Support Network for Kids. The Fred Finch Youth Center is the Raiders Courage House.

Courtesy Oakland Raiders media services.

Donald Penn ends holdout, returns to Raiders practice


Donald Penn ends holdout, returns to Raiders practice

After missing nearly a month while holding out for a restructured contract, Raiders left tackle Donald Penn was back on the field Wednesday. 

Donald Penn practicing with the Raiders for the first time this preseason

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Penn has not missed a game since signing with the Raiders prior to the 2014 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl after a stellar 2016 in which he only allowed one sack.

The 34-year-old is in his final year of a two-year, $11.9 million contract. Penn will receive $5,950,000 in the 2017-18 season. 

More to come...

Bulked up Amari Cooper 'not going to let anybody push him around'


Bulked up Amari Cooper 'not going to let anybody push him around'

ALAMEDA – Amari Cooper enters this season bigger and stronger, yet still just as fast. The Raiders receiver analyzed how opponents covered him, honing on what worked best.

Defenders tried to be physical at the line of scrimmage to disrupt his timing and divert precise routes. They also shaded safeties to his side, doubling coverage downfield to make Derek Carr throw another direction.

The Raiders quarterback didn’t do that Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. Cooper ran a go route, with a linebacker trailing, a corner on the outside and a safety crashing from the interior. In that moment, Carr let Cooper go make a play.

It was an excellent catch where Cooper high-pointed the ball and brought it down in heavy traffic. That wasn’t the type of play he was known for in previous seasons. He’s excellent at making explosive plays after the catch.

Cooper didn’t have room to move after hauling in the first-quarter volley. He crashed to the ground, but held on for a 31-yard gain, proving he can produce in different ways.

“He’s becoming that guy that we can throw it up to,” Carr said. “We all know (Michael Crabtree) can do that. In ‘Coop’s’ rookie year, he’d come down with a few of them, but it’s consistent now that he wants to be a guy that has every aspect of the receiver game. He put it on display on the one that I threw up to him. I tell the receivers before every game, ‘If it’s you one-on-one on a go and that’s the play call, I’m always going to give you a chance. I don’t care what it looks like. You go make the play or nobody does.’ I guess ‘Coop’ really took that to heart, because he wants the ball to keep coming to him.”

Cooper has said before gaining 1,000 receiving yards isn’t that hard, and he hasn’t been satisfied with two straight Pro Bowl seasons. That’s why Cooper came into training camp bigger, stronger and ready to push back.

“I think that that’s the (new) aspect this year. He’s just playing so physical,” Carr said. “He’s not going to let anybody push him around, and that’s his personality since I’ve known him. He doesn’t want anyone to push him around. He doesn’t want to take anything from anybody. I think that each year he has gotten so much better at both of those.”

High-pointing a ball is one thing. Avoiding route disruption is another. He turned to Crabtree for help near the line of scrimmage, and has added dimension to the start of his route.

“I usually use my feet to get separation off the line of scrimmage at the top of my route,” Cooper said. “But, one of the things I’ve learned from him is you can also get the same results using your hands. … The defensive back, he wouldn’t know. Are you going to use your feet? Are you going to use your hands? So it’s a good change up.”

The Raiders have seen an improved Cooper this summer in practice and preseason games, someone who isn’t simply stronger. He’s using his strength well to counter how he’s being defended.

“Much has been made about him being bigger and stronger, and you certainly see that,” offensive coordinator Todd Downing said. “It’s harder for defenders to knock him off his route. He maintains proper route depth more consistently, and his play speed is high for someone who didn’t get a lot of practice (in training camp, due to injury). We were pretty pleased with what we saw (Saturday against L.A.).