Goethel: 'I wish it never happened'


Goethel: 'I wish it never happened'

OAKLAND -- Travis Goethel's nightmare of a game began when Jon Condo was knocked out of said game Monday night.

REWIND: Raiders' Bartell, Condo knocked out of game vs. Chargers
Goethel is a backup middle linebacker by trade; Condo a two-time Pro Bowl long snapper.So it only made sense that Goethel, who last long-snapped in high school and never on dirt replaced Condo in the Raiders' season opener on national television, right?Well"Trust me," Goethel said, "I wish it never happened."One of Goethel's long snaps to six-time All-Pro punter Shane Lechler bounced to him. Another was blocked, though it was not Goethel's fault, so to speak. And a third rolled to Lechler on the A's infield dirt like a 4-6-3 inning-ender.Actually, game-ender. And, truth be told, Goethel was in a rough spot. Teams, you see, do not carry backup long snappers on their 53-man roster. So rookie coach Dennis Allen essentially asked for volunteers when Condo was lost with what was described as a head injury."He asked if I knew how to long snap," Goethel said of Allen, "and I was the only one at camp that stood out. That's kind of how I got put in there."REWIND: Instant replay -- Chargers 22, Raiders 14
Said Allen: "He's worked on snapping the ball. Actually, he's done a nice job in practice. It's obviously a lot different when you get put in a game-like situation. He was put in a tough situation and it hurt us."The two flubbed snaps cost Lechler eight- and seven-yard losses. The blocked punt was recovered by San Diego deep in Oakland territory. The three plays resulted in nine points for San Diego. The Raiders lost by eight, 22-14. But it would be too simplistic to place the blame on Goethel.Or, as Lechler said in making like Dean Wormer when asked how many long snaps he takes from Goethel in a typical week, "Zero," as in Bluto's grade-point average in Animal House."My hats off to him just for doing it," Lechler said of Goethel. "That (stuff) aint easy. You know, he went out and did his best. Thats all you ask from a guy (who is) put in a situation like that."Two years ago, the satirical Web Site The Onion had prescient fun with Goethel when the Raiders selected him as a sixth-rounder out of Arizona State, saying he was drafted as a "realtor." But, The Onion said, it was "far better than being asked to switch to car dealer, casino greeter or long snapper."After Monday night, perhaps Caesars Palace is hiring? I joke, of course, and Goethel insisted his flubs were not mental.RELATED: Ratto -- Raiders get new coach, same game-day face
"It was just mechanics of snapping," he said. "If you don't snap that often, if you don't snap in a game since high school, it's a little different."Still, he had the backing of Lechler, who gave Goethel a pep talk."I said, 'Man, you got put in a tough situation,'" Lechler recalled. "'You got credit for having (guts) to step up and do it, you know? A lot of people would have walked away from that idea.'"I know he feels terrible. But he shouldnt."

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.