Raiders

Marcus Allen to light Al Davis flame Sunday

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Marcus Allen to light Al Davis flame Sunday

"Marcus Allen, come back home." - Ice Cube, on 'Come and Get It'

ALAMEDA -- The long simmering feud between Marcus Allen and the Raiders, specifically, Al Davis, has come to an end.Allen, at the behest of Mark Davis, will light the team's ceremonial flame in honor of the late Raiders owner before Oakland's game against Pittsburgh on Sunday, CSNBayArea.com has learned.

Allen, the Raiders' top draft pick in 1982 as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner out of USC, was Super Bowl XVIII MVP and the NFL MVP in 1985. But shortly thereafter he was on the receiving end of the elder Davis' cool rage."What do you think about a guy that has attempted to ruin your career?" Allen said in 1992, in an interview aired on Monday Night Football.

"He told me he was going to get me. We've had conversations. I don't know for what reason, but he told me he was going to get me."

Some theories had Davis angry that Allen wanted more carries and more money. Others had Davis jealous that Allen had become a bigger star than him in the team's then-home of Los Angeles. The most scandalous, though, was the one whispered the loudest, and given legs in Murray Olderman's new book, "Just Win, Baby, The Al Davis Story," that Davis disapproved of Allen's relationship with O.J. Simpson and his inner circle.

This much is true, though. Year after year, Davis brought in different running backs -- from Bo Jackson to Greg Bell to Nick Bell to Roger Craig to Eric Dickerson -- and Allen's time on the field grew shorter while his time on the bench grew longer.

After 11 star-crossed years with the Raiders, Allen went to Kansas City and enjoyed a resurgence playing five more seasons for the Chiefs. He won Comeback Player of the Year in 1993 and entered the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Ice Cube, in his 2010 documentary "Straight Outta L.A.," asked Al Davis if Marcus Allen was a true Raider."At one time he was," Davis said. "Yeah, he was.So what happened with Allen, then? "I'm not going to tell you," Davis told Ice Cube. "It's a deeper story than you even dream, that I was well aware of, and I just got a certain approach to life."

The younger Davis would not wade into it now, though. After all, there's a homecoming for which to prepare, even if Allen never played a home game in Oakland.

As legal process unfolds, Raiders CB Sean Smith continues to battle for playing time

As legal process unfolds, Raiders CB Sean Smith continues to battle for playing time

OAKLAND – Raiders cornerback Sean Smith had a rough week. He’s losing grip on a starting spot, but that concern pales in comparison to mounting legal issues that put him in a Los Angeles County jail Thursday morning.

He was formally charged with felony assault and battery for beating his sister’s boyfriend on July 4 in his hometown of Pasadena, surrendered to authorities and was released on an $80,000 bond.

He was back in the East Bay to play Saturday’s exhibition against the Los Angeles Rams, where he was a third cornerback entering in sub packages. Smith had two tackles and a nice pass defensed in the end zone.

Smith’s legal issues shouldn’t stop him from playing and practicing with the team in the near future. He has an arraignment sent for Sept. 29, where will plead not guilty and fight the charges levied against him.

“We’ll let him battle what issues he has legally,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I don’t have much to add to it. You hear the story of him defending his sister, and things occurred that have been taken issue with, so he's having to defend himself right now.”

An NFL spokesman said the league is looking into the matter, but didn’t have further comment at this time. It’s possible the league could place Smith on the commissioner’s exemption list, an option for players charged with violent offenses. He would essentially go on paid leave if that were the case. Smith will make $9.5 million in guaranteed money this season.

Smith will battle TJ Carrie and first-round cornerback Gareon Conley – he remains on the PUP list with a shin injury – for playing time in the Raiders defense. He practiced better last week, but must show consistency to get back in the team’s good graces.

Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams

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USATSI

Instant Analysis: Late TD burns Raiders in preseason loss to Rams

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – The Raiders sat nine offensive starters in last week’s exhibition opener. That front line assembled for the first time in game Saturday against the Rams and quickly found midseason form.

Quarterback Derek Carr was largely on point in a 21-17 victory to Los Angeles at Oakland Coliseum. Amari Cooper showed great hops. Michael Crabtree juked a cornerback out of his shoes and scored a touchdown. Jared Cook proved a difficult cover in the middle of the field. And Marshawn was predictably Marshawn, running like a battering ram on speed skates.

The defense, by contrast, needs some serious work.

Except for Khalil Mack. That’s dude’s all right. He had a sack, three quarterback pressures, four tackles, with two for a loss, in three series.

The rest of his unit was off kilter against L.A. Communication still needs work on the back end. Questions remain at inside linebacker and cornerback.

Coaches have three weeks to iron things out, and get that unit running right. Here are a few takeaways from Saturday’s exhibition.

Marshawn meets hometown crowd: Oakland native Marshawn Lynch played in his hometown for the first time in silver and black. He didn’t play much, removing his pads after just one series.

His cameo was quick and productive, with two carries for 10 yards. His trademark burst and balance was on display, as it was throughout camp. Lynch won’t need much work this preseason, but should get the lion’s share of carries when games count.

He looks as agile as ever, without the rust expected following a year away from football.

Smith suits up:Raiders cornerback Sean Smith played in sub packages with the starting unit, playing outside in the nickel. He had a relatively solid game despite mounting legal issues. He was charged with felony assault and battery on Thursday, when he turned himself in to Pasadena police and was released after posting an $80,000 bond.

Smith had two tackles and a nice pass defensed covering Sammy Watkins on a deep route.

Jenkins enters the fray: The Raiders are still searching for someone to pair with Cory James on the inside. Marquel Lee has worked with the first unit since training camp began in the base defense. He struggled some early, and gave way to veteran Jelani Jenkins in the second series.
That job remains open. Lee is a favorite, though Jenkins will challenge and prospect of signing someone off the street remains.

Backup quarterbacks still battling

EJ Manuel entered Saturday’s game with a clear lead on the backup quarterback position battle. The veteran received most every second-unit rep in camp, started last week’s game at Arizona and was first off the bench on Saturday.

He wasn’t great against the Rams, completing 3-of-9 passes for 16 yards.

That may have cracked the door for second-year pro Connor Cook. The Michigan State alum has struggled some in practice, but showed well working with the third unit on Saturday. He was with 7-of-10 passing for 70 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown strike to Johnny Holton.