Raiders add Jamize Olawale


Raiders add Jamize Olawale

ALAMEDA -- At first glance, the Raiders signing a converted fullback/running back off Dallas' practice squad in Jamize Olawale would not make sense since Oakland already has a standout hybrid in Marcel Reece, Jeremy Stewart has played well and both Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are expected to play Thursday.

But Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has had his eye on Olawale for a while now, and the Raiders' philosophy is more about acquiring the best players available, in their eyes, rather than going for need. And really, with the problems facing Oakland, the Raiders can't address one specific need because they have so many needs.

Introducing Olawale, who was born in San Francisico, went to high school football powerhouses at St. Ignatius, De La Salle and Long Beach Poly and played two years of junior college ball at El Camino in Southern California, the same juco attended by Reece, before transferring to North Texas.

"Yeah, it was lovely to come back," Olawale said. "Lovely.”

The 6-foot-1 Olawale, who will wear No. 49, initially signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after catching eight passes for 88 yards for the Mean Green. He did not have a rushing attempt.

"That’s one thing my agent told me coming out, 'We’re going to market you as a Marcel Reece-type player,'" Olawale said. "I respect him. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He’s a great player from what Ive seen on film."

Said Raiders running back coach Kelly Skipper: "He's definitely got the same body type. But he ran around pretty good today. I've got to get a little bit more feel for him out there, but I was pleased with what I saw today…he did a little bit of everything (in college). He played a little tight end, fullback, tailback. So he's similar (to Reece), as far as a jack of all trades. I like his attitude. He works hard out there."

Olawale, high school teammates in Long Beach with Raiders practice squad receiver Travionte Session, said the Cowboys tried to promote him to their 53-man roster when Oakland showed interest.

"They said today they were going to move me up and today would have been too late, if I’d have waited until today," Olawale said. "My agent said that he didn’t know what they were trying to do. He said that first the Cowboys said that in the next four weeks they were going to bump me up for sure. Then when I told them I’m going to turn that down and come here, they said that they’ll move me up today.

"They were just trying to play games, I felt, so I came out here."

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”