Moore brings life to Raiders practice


Moore brings life to Raiders practice

ALAMEDA -- There was a slight smile on the face of Carson Palmer following practice on Wednesday. And for good reason.The Raiders quarterback had one of his favorite targets back as rookie playmaking receiver Denarius Moore had returned to practice after being out since Nov. 20 with injuries to his right ankle and foot."It was good, it was good," Palmer said "He didn't get a ton of work, but he looked good, and for a Wednesday it looked good. He's still got a handful of days to get ready and kind of get back in the swing of things. Catching balls and (being) on the field with the defense coming at was good for him."Officially, Moore was listed as "limited" in practice. He was not available for comment.
Still, his merely being on the field lent a certain promise to the day, said coach Hue Jackson."I was glad to see him back out there, but again, I don't want to push him too far, too fast," Jackson said. "But just to have him back out there, catching balls, running around, that was a good start for him."The next step to Moore possibly playing Sunday against Detroit is his recovery on Thursday."Obviously, when you come out and run around at full speed, do those things, I think the next day is what's important, just making sure that you still feel good," Jackson said. "Again, it was great to have him back out there...I think his teammates were glad to see him back out here, gave us a little life."Moore has caught 24 passes for 410 yards with a team-high four touchdown receptions in 10 games.But he has been inactive since getting injured returning a punt at Minnesota. And with Jacoby Ford, Darren McFadden and even Taiwan Jones being out, Palmer has had precious few explosive playmakers with which to work.And Jackson's playcalling has been as limited as the Raiders defense has been porous the past two weeks.Ford and Jones did not practice, but they were on a side field working with a trainer at the start of the day.Moore returning, though, would at least give what has become a predictable offense a spark."Obviously," Jackson acknowledged, "he's one of our better players. I think any time you get one of your playmakers back, it gives you a tremendous boost. Again, this is going to be a football team game. It won't be just one guy. One guy can't change where we need to be. It's got to be our team. Our team on offense, our team on defense, our team on special teams. We've go to do a better job, period."Again, just, it's tough for one man to do it. It's got to be a team effort."

Raiders OC Todd Downing: New weapons will 'make me look good'

Raiders OC Todd Downing: New weapons will 'make me look good'

STANFORD – Todd Downing has long been responsible for intently analyzing college quarterbacks entering the NFL Draft. He certainly did so during two seasons as Raiders quarterbacks coach, adding input to personnel department evaluations on young signal callers.

This offseason, he’s using a wide-angle lens. Downing is the Raiders offensive coordinator now, promoted to the position after Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract.

Coaches enter the draft evaluation process relatively late – they have a season to coach, after all – but Downing prides himself on working hard in evaluating talent. Working with general manager Reggie McKenzie’s staff, coaches feel like their voice is being heard.

That’s important to a coordinator especially, who must make a scheme work with talent around him.

“Reggie and his staff have always done a tremendous job of listening to our vision for the offense or the defense,” Downing said Thursday at Stanford’s pro day. “It’s been a joy to work with those guys over the past three years.

“(Head coach Jack Del Rio) really expects us to be accountable for our position group. Now that I’m the coordinator, there’s more of a broad scope when looking at offensive talent in the draft. When you work that hard (evaluating players), I think the scouts know that your opinion is well grounded, and that validates it a little bit.”

Downing is always on the lookout for weapons, especially while making tweaks to the Raiders offense. The Silver and Black found a few, adding tight end Jared Cook, receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, offensive lineman Marshal Newhouse and quarterback EJ Manuel.

Quarterback Derek Carr helped him get some. The full-time East Bay resident has been active recruiting free agents, trying to improve an already strong Raiders offense.

“You guys know how passionate he is about this game, and about this team and backing up this franchise,” Downing said. “(His involvement in recruiting) didn’t surprise any of us. He’s pretty hands on when it comes to football. He lives in the area, so he hopped in when we needed it and it paid off.”

Cook and Patterson especially could add dimensions to a well-rounded Raiders attack. Cook has made some big plays in the past, and should be a reliable receiving tight end the Raiders have lacked in recent seasons.

“He has a skill set that will be fun to play with (schematically),” Downing said. “We’re excited to see what he can do, and I know Derek is excited to add him. He has a history of making plays in this league, and that’s something we’re excited to have.”

Patterson’s primarily known as a kick returner – he’s a two-time All Pro on special teams – but the Raiders hope he’ll be active on offense.

“With guys like that, you just find a way to get them the rock and let them do the rest of the work,” Downing said. “They make me look good. I can call a simple play and he takes it the distance and it looks like I designed something special.”

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

Week after signing with Vikings, ex-Raiders RB Murray undergoes surgery

A week after signing a deal with the Vikings, former Raiders running back Latavius Murray has undergone ankle surgery.

The Vikings made the announcement Wednesday afternoon.

Minnesota issued the following statement regarding the surgery:

"Vikings RB Latavius Murray had successful ankle surgery today. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bob Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were aware of the required surgery prior to signing Latavius on March 16. Latavius is expected to fully recover and be available for training camp."

Murray's deal with the Vikings is reported worth $15 million over three years, but can reportedly be voied after the first year.

Drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Murray became the Raiders' primary running back midway through the 2015 season. In his three years in Oakland, Murray carried the ball 543 times for 2,278 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2015.