McCann ready for double-duty against the Bears


McCann ready for double-duty against the Bears

ALAMEDA -- He was signed off his couch last Thursday, then was not only active on Sunday, but took on the kickoff return role when Taiwan Jones strained a hamstring.This week, with Denarius Moore's ailing right foot most likely keeping him out of the game and his punt-return duties?Bryan McCann is ready for double-duty against Chicago on Sunday at the Coliseum."Really, your mindset in the NFL is you've got to be ready to go regardless," McCann said. "So even if you're preparing for a week and everybody's healthy, all it takes is one play and somebody could go down in a game. So my mentality really hasn't changed. I'm preparing the same way that I would if the people who normally play those positions were still healthy."McCann played in nine games with Dallas in 2010 and had an interception return (101 yards) and a punt return (97 yards) for scores in consecutive weeks, against the New York Giants and Detroit, respectively."That was my second and third games I ever played in," McCann said. "It was a pretty nice introduction to the NFL."But he picked up a reputation as a butterfingers, of sorts, for the Cowboys in that he fumbled six times, losing two of them."I wouldn't necessarily say it was an issue," McCann said. "Some of them were kind of -- I mean one of them, I was hit as I was catching one and just different things like that. Butif the numbers show it, the numbers don't lie. It's definitely something if people say it's an issue. I've moved on from it and gotten better from it. Haven't had any fumbles this year."McCann appeared in two games with Dallas this season before he was released on Sept. 20. He then signed with Baltimore before the Ravens waived him on Nov. 5.Then came the call from the Raiders.Three days later against the Vikings, McCann returned two kickoffs for 58 yards, with a long of 36 yards."This team is fascinating to me that way," said Raiders coach Hue Jackson. "We get a guy off the street, bring him in, run him around for a couple days and, 'Get in the game, return the kick.'

"When he was returning a kick I saw the ball being loose, 'Hey, buddy, do me a favor. Make sure you take care of that ball for me.' 'Gotcha, coach.' He was switching the ball in the game, but that's the dialogue we have.

"Who knew last week that this was going to happen, that this young man was going to be in the game returning kicks? I looked back there and seen him, which I knew we were putting him back there, I almost lost my breath for a second because I had never seen him do it out here. So here we go. It's a credit to our coaches, it's a credit to our personnel department, then it's a credit to the player that they get themselves ready because he's carrying the whole organization under his arm and his teammates and everybody. He did a great job. I look forward to him doing a great job this week."

Yes, McCann has the requisite speed to be a Raiders return man. He said he was timed as fast as 4.28 seconds in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day at SMU in 2010. It came in handy against the Vikings.

"It was pretty cool," he said. "I didn't even really expect to play, and then we got in the game and they were just kind of asking, 'We got people going down, have you played this before? Can you step in? Can you do this?'"It's just part of the business. You've got to be ready to go at any moment."Against the Bears, he might not have any choice.

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr isn’t one for extravagance. The low-key Raiders quarterback already has some nice cars, a house and some luxury items to his name, but signing a $125 million contract extension Friday morning won't prompt a spending spree.

Cornerback Sean Smith suggested he get a Bugatti. That’s a $1 million car.

“Yeah,” Carr said with a smirk. “That’s not going to happen.”

That isn’t the 26-year old’s style. Carr had a his own plan after signing on the dotted line.

“I’ve been eating clean,” Carr said. “I’ll probably get Chick-fil-A.”

That makes sense. This is a guy who celebrated his first NFL victory with a trip through a Carl’s Jr. drive-in.

There will be other purchases. His wife Heather will get something nice in the near future. His family, especially Heather and sons Dallas and Deker, will be taken care of for life.

After all that, Carr plans to spread the wealth.

“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”

Carr and former Raiders running back Latavius Murray took a missionary trip to Haiti, an impoverished nation had a profound impact on the star quarterback.

“I’ve been down to Haiti and I’ve seen some of those struggles that they have and the kids there, and my heart just… I cry sometimes thinking about it,” Carr said. “So, just knowing that we can go down there and make a difference and help, those are the kind of things that the money makes me kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Because now we can really do some things to help a lot of people.”

He plans to support those in that area, in addition to global and domestic charities he has been involved with over the years. Don’t expect a press release accompanying every donation. Carr would rather keep those decisions private.

“I’m going to do my best to make sure no one knows what we do with it,” Carr said. “I’ll just say this, I can assure you that it’s going to help a lot of people. I’m not stingy. My business manager will probably be on me saying, ‘Hey man, that’s enough.’ I won’t get into when, how or why. It’s not all about that for me. It’s about making a difference. That’s what’s exciting for me is that we’ll be able to do that.”

Carr didn't want to 'take every single dime,' handcuff Raiders long-term

Carr didn't want to 'take every single dime,' handcuff Raiders long-term

ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr signed a five-year contract extension Friday morning that will pay him $25 million in 2017 and $125 million over the life of the deal.

That’s a lot of scratch. Could’ve been more.

Carr received life-changing money. He didn’t want to handcuff the Raiders front office in the process.

“I just wanted to be a Raider,” Carr said Friday in a press conference. “It’s more than just a team to me. It’s family. The way it went down, it was easy. Both sides wanted it to get done, and it was about family members figuring out to get along. We figured out a way to do it so that we have the opportunity to sign other guys who are important to this organization. That was really important to me, not to just take every single dime that we could”

That list is long but it starts with homegrown talents Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack. Jackson is up next, and could get locked up before the regular season starts. The Raiders have some time on Mack – his contract doesn’t expire until after 2018 – and Amari Cooper should be a keeper on down the road.

“The bottom line is we’re able to continue to move forward with it, keep all the players that we need to keep in the correct timing,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “This affords us to do that. We’re going to start on that ASAP.”

Carr got the deal he wanted. The 26-year old found market value and upped the ante for NFL quarterbacks a smidge while deferring some cash payouts – his big-time bonuses are broken up over two years -- to create windows of financial flexibility to sign other players. Carr’s percentage of the salary cap should decrease over time and won’t become an insurmountable burden to his employers. His deal won’t prevent the Raiders from keeping Jackson, Mack, Amari Cooper in time, or other vital veterans in house.

With Carr locked up, the McKenzie can work deals and the timing of them around his centerpiece.

Carr understands the NFL business and his role in the market, but he wants to maintain a competitive window as best he can and understands other guys will draw huge paychecks in the near future.

He’s scheduled to draw the NFL’s largest sum next season. A record $25 million is headed his way, though that total will decrease a bit in time and will certainly he surpassed by Matthew Stafford and possibly Kirk Cousins in the near future.

“I don’t care if they all do. We got our contract done, that’s all that matters to me,” Carr said. “The other thing that was important to me is that we didn’t worry about what other people were going to do or doing. I just wanted to get mine done and make sure that the team had, again like we talked about, flexibility to make sure my friends stay around.”

Carr was intimately involved in the negotiation process. Both sides said it was easy, wrapped up well before Carr’s training-camp contract deadline. Common ground was found in short shrift once talks warmed up – preliminary talks started months ago -- and a deal was ironed out that produced smiles on both sides once the deal was formally done.

Even after taking a relatively soft-line stance on dollars and the timing of payments – Carr could’ve been difficult all year and eventually forced a franchise tag – he’s still the league’s highest-paid player. His salary will now be compared with his stats. He was a second-round draft steal before. Now he’s a big-money player. In short, expectations will rise.

Carr insists it won’t add pressure to next year’s proceedings.

“You could give me a dollar, you could give me $25 million, it doesn’t matter,” Carr said. “To me, my No. 1 goal is to make sure that I give everything that I have to this organization. There’s no pressure. There’s no we’ll be on the 1-yard line and I won’t give it to Marshawn (Lynch), I’ll throw it. None of that stuff. I don’t care about the stats. That’s not my No. 1 objective. I don’t care if I throw 10 touchdowns next year. If we win every game, that’s all I care about.”