No pads or hitting, but McFadden impresses in first practice


No pads or hitting, but McFadden impresses in first practice

NAPA -- No, there were no pads and thus, no live hitting on the first day of training camp practice.So Darren McFadden making it through unscathed was not reason for joy, rather, the speed and power and cutting ability he displayed were enough to make rookie Raiders coach Dennis Allen smile."Fast," Allen said when asked how his starting running back looked to him. Then Allen paused to let it sink in."He looked good. I think we all understand that he's an explosive playmaker for us and we need him to be healthy for the entire season."GUTIERREZ: Raiders camp summary (730) -- McFadden shines
Anyone who's observed McFadden's career knows how injuries have derailed him from seeming stardom and how a Lis Franc injury to his right foot last season cost him the last nine-plus games of the season.And when you factor in his missing at least three games in each of his first four years due to injury, durability becomes the topic du jour.Monday, though, he looked fantasticin shorts and helmet. So is there any way to prevent injuries in a physical game like that brought forth by the NFL?"If somebody's got an answer for it," McFadden said, "I would love for them to tell me because I need that."To his credit, McFadden is not running away from his need to stay healthy. But he is not going to change his running style."I help this team go a lot but I'm not the only player out there," he said. "You know, we have a lot of players out there that make plays. I have a big role in the offense but we have a lot of guys that are going to step up and make plays also."You know, it does feel good out there being back out there on the field, being out there with the guys running around. (I) feel like we did a lot of good things out there today. Some things we still got to improve on. It's like, coming out there on the first day, it's nothing you can do to prepare for it all summer. You get out there the first day, you get a little winded. Guys are going to come along it's time to go."And with that, McFadden was gone.

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

PHOENIX – The Raiders hope to play the next three years in the Bay Area before moving to Las Vegas. They were approved to relocate on Monday at the NFL owners meetings, but can’t leave right away because Las Vegas doesn’t have a suitable temporary NFL venue.

The Raiders have team options on one-year leases to play at Oakland Coliseum during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and are expected to do exactly that. Owner Mark Davis said he’s open to negotiating a lease to play the 2019 season there as well before moving into new Vegas digs in 2020.

The Oakland Coliseum authority may not grant that request.

"I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation and that of my board members, I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season (in Oakland),” director of the Oakland Coliseum joint powers authority Scott McKibben told USA Today.

McKibben said hosting a Raiders game is a financial loss for the JPA.

If the Raiders can’t reach an agreement to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019, they have other options in the Bay Area, though none is ideal. They could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as a last resort in the Bay Area, sources told CSN California reporter Scott Bair.

They could renovate UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium – locker room and security upgrades are mandatory – though the Raiders would prefer to avoid that route.

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.

He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.

Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.

He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.

“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.

“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”

The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.

“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”