By the 2012 seasons end, the Raiders will certainly be inthe frequent flyers club.The Silver and Black will lead the NFL in total milestraveled for the upcoming season, according to calculations by Grantland.com.The Raiders will travel 28,700 miles as the crow flies toget to and from their eight road games. Five trips to the Eastern Time Zonetack on the miles for Oakland, including lengthytrips to Miami, Pittsburghand Carolina.Those long road trips could make for a rough road record forthe Raiders. Even with private jets and five-star hotels, teams that have totravel long distances have fared poorly in recent NFL history. Over the past15 seasons, teams that have flown 2000 or more miles have won just 39.8 percentof their games.That stat should give plenty of fodder for complaints frommembers of the NFC and AFC West divisions who routinely top the league indistance traveled. The 49ers led the NFL with 29,112 round-trip miles traveledlast season, although they mitigated that high number to some extent by stayingin Ohio between playing the Bengals and theEagles rather than fly back to San Francisco just to travel back east a few days later.After taking out those saved miles, the 49ers total traveldistance was second-most to the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco and Seattlehave held the title for the longest distance traveled in seven of the past 10seasons. The Raiders and the Chargers took the other three.Niners and Raiders fans can aim their gripes at the AFCNorth teams, which have regularly received the most-favorable a.k.a. shortesttravel schedules. The Steelers, for example, flew just 5,682 miles round-tripin 2008 and played 15 of their 16 games in the Eastern Time Zone. Nine of the10 shortest travel schedules from the past decade came from the AFC North.If its any consolation to Raiders fans discouraged by theirchallenging travel schedule, the 49ers had to travel to five games in theEastern Time Zone including a playoff game and four more in the CentralTime Zone in 1998. They averaged more than 4,000 miles per road trip. San Francisco stillmanaged to go 12-4 that season before falling in a divisional playoff game.
Colin Becht is an intern with CSNBayArea.com and a senior at Northwestern University
The Raiders had an NFL-best seven players on the initial Pro Bowl roster. The number planning to play in the league’s all-star game continues to dwindle.
That total's down to three after left tackle Donald Penn and receiver Amari Cooper bowed out. Penn won’t be ready after suffering a knee injury in the regular-season finale, an ailment that kept him out of a playoff loss at Houston. Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth will take Penn’s place.
Cooper battled a shoulder injury late last season, though it's uncertain exactly what is keeping him from the game.
In addition to Penn and Cooper, Quarterback Derek Carr obviously can't play while recovering from surgery to repair a broken fibula. Edge rusher Khalil Mack also bowed out recently with what is believed to be a minor back injury.
There’s a possibility a fifth Raider will also excuse himself. Center Rodney Hudson suffered an ankle injury in the playoffs. It remains uncertain whether he’ll play in the Pro Bowl.
Safety Reggie Nelson and left guard Kelechi Osemele remain firmly in the fray at this stage.
Mike Tice’s contract expired shortly after this season’s end, but there was strong belief he would retain his post with a new deal.
A league source confirmed Wednesday that a new deal was in place for Tice to remain with the Raiders. The exact length of the contract was not disclosed. Assistant coach contracts are typically set for two years, though they can be three in some cases.
Tice was the first assistant Jack Del Rio hired after being named Raiders head coach. The two are long-time friends, dating back to days playing for the Minnesota Vikings in the 1990s.
Tice was Del Rio’s assistant head coach for three seasons in Jacksonville, which made him a natural fit for a new project in Oakland. It was a smart hire. Tice has been excellent as Raiders offensive line coach, managing and scheming for one of the NFL’s best position groups.
ESPN first reported the Tice agreement.
While offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave was allowed to leave on an expired contract and is now Denver quarterbacks coach, the rest of the Raiders offensive staff remains intact.
Quarterbacks coach Todd Downing was promoted to offensive coordinator and his assistant Jake Peetz assumes his old post.
The Raiders still have a vacancy on the defensive side, with Marcus Robertson out and on to the Broncos staff.