The Raiders already gave the date of this year's Raider Nation Celebration as Aug. 12, and Wednesday the team announced the time and location -- from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in parking lot "B" on the south side of the Coliseum Complex.Following is the rest of the official release:This family-friendly event is free and open to the general public and takes place one day before the Oakland Raiders kick off the 2012 campaign in the national spotlight, hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night, August 13.The Raiders have hosted variations of this fan rally since 1998 at a number of locations throughout Oakland, including Jack London Square, Frank Ogawa Plaza and the Coliseum.The Raider Nation Celebration will be highlighted by the introduction of first-year coach Dennis Allen and the 2012 Raiders and Raiderettes.The event will also feature an interactive Kids Zone as well as autograph opportunities with Raider Legends and Raiderettes. A number of exclusive opportunities locker room tours for season ticket holders and a food tasting for suite holders will also be part of this years Raider Nation Celebration.Those attending the Raider Nation Celebration will be able to shop at special on site Raider Image, the teams official store, and food and alcohol-free beverage concessions stands will be available to fans.There will also be the opportunity for fans to select tickets for Raider games in what stacks up to be a challenging, exciting 2012 schedule. The Raiders also open the 2012 regular season in prime time, hosting AFC West rival San Diego Chargers on Monday night, September 10, in the second half of the ESPN double-header.
The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.
They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.
Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.
“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”
While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.
The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.
“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.
"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”
Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.
Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.
Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.
“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”
Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.
“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”