Raiders

Raiders begin four-day mini-camp in Georgia

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Raiders begin four-day mini-camp in Georgia

May 24, 2011
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BUFORD, Ga. (AP) Richard Seymour led 33 of his Oakland teammates through workouts Tuesday in suburban Atlanta - nearly 2,500 miles from the Raiders' headquarters in Alameda, Calif.The six-time Pro Bowl selection isn't looking to relocate. He just felt Georgia was a good place to hold a mini-camp.Seymour lives in the metropolitan area, is paying some of the training costs and likes the easy access to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.Quarterback Jason Campbell, running back Darren McFadden and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey were on hand, but free agents like Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha aren't expected to attend the four-day session."You have to build that foundation in the offseason," said Seymour, who won three Super Bowls with New England before spending the last two years in Oakland. "I think it's going to benefit us with when the season starts."Campbell and Seymour designed the structure of the workouts together with Competitive Edge Sports founder Chip Smith, who oversaw the outdoor session at Buford High School and the indoor session at his training complex in nearby Duluth.The Raiders worked out on the high school field before the Atlanta Falcons' late-morning session.Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan thought the Raiders' turnout was a testament to NFL players' commitment to training during the lockout.Ryan has been running his teammates through workouts at Buford High for a couple of weeks, but added that the Raiders and Falcons have no plans to face off against each other."It was impressive to see how many guys that they had down here," Ryan said. "Everybody is professional about what we do. Even though we are not able to go to the facility at this point, we know that we need to stay in shape."I think everybody has great faith in that we'll get (an end to the lockout) and we'll be able to play our games."Seymour, the former University of Georgia standout who signed a new two-year contract in February to stay with the Raiders for 22.5 million guaranteed, felt responsible to gather players during the NFL lockout.The Raiders are coming off an 8-8 season in which they avoided an eighth straight losing record and swept AFC West rivals Kansas City, San Diego and Denver. Oakland became the first team since the 1970 merger to win all its division games and miss the playoffs."I think we made huge strides last season, but not making the playoffs was a disappointment," Seymour said. "But there is only one happy team at the end of the year, and that was the Green Bay Packers."Seymour said he and his teammates thought they would be training out West."We knew we were going to get together," Seymour said. "We said it early on. We thought we were going to be able to go out to Oakland when the lockout was lifted, and we had to change our plans. We were able to get out there and it's been a good experience for us."Campbell ran the offense, middle linebacker Rolando McClain the defense."The main thing is building the camaraderie that we were getting toward the end of last season," Campbell said. "The next part of it is hearing a play and running some plays instead of just running a lifting weights, we are actually running plays."Other Raiders on the field were receivers Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy, fullback Rock Cartwright and rookies Stefen Wisniewski, a second-round draft pick, and cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, a third-round pick."All of the guys who could be here - (except for) guys that are not restricted or unrestricted - are here," said Campbell, who lives in Northern Virginia. "You can't ask for much more than that."Seymour and Campbell have yet to meet with Hue Jackson since he was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach after Raiders owner Al Davis fired Tom Cable.But both players spoke to Jackson during the brief lifting of the lockout."I had a flight booked the next morning," Campbell said. "I had a chance to talk to him and I've been in the system before, so (being out here) gives me a chance to help the guys."Seymour has no immediate plans to organize other sessions after he and his teammates finish workouts on Friday."We can't control what's going to happen with the lockout," Seymour said. "As players, we are part of it. It's a negotiation. I'm sure at the end of the day when both sides want a fair deal, we'll be able to come to that. Until then we'll keep working."

If McGregor beats Mayweather, Raiders may move to Dublin

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AP

If McGregor beats Mayweather, Raiders may move to Dublin

So Las Vegas’ army of legal books are in a moderate panic because they are so overexposed with Conor McGregor bets. Apparently, other than the Maloof brothers, they can’t scare up any Mayweather money at all.

Maybe this is the secret reason Mark Davis has declared publicly that the Raiders intend to colonize Los Angeles.

The latest evidence of the books’ distress is this Big Lead headline, which subtly hints, “Vegas Sportsbooks Are Exposed Like Never Before, Will Be Decimated if Conor McGregor Beats Floyd Mayweather.”

Well, if McGregor wins (and you’ll have to tell me about it because I’d rather watch feet sweat in the noonday sun than this), gambling in Vegas apparently will not exist any longer because the sporting apocalypse will finally be upon us. And if there is no gambling in Vegas, there is no Vegas, and all of a sudden the Raiders are moving to a town whose mayor is an iguana and whose chamber of commerce is tumbleweeds.

Hence, Davis’ answer to a question from Los Angeles Daily News writer Vincent Bonsignore about how L.A. has always been a Raiders’ town and that the team will get lots of its fans from the basin – fans who apparently cannot stomach either the Rams or the Chargers.

Ignoring Davis’ folly of answering that question that way at this time, when the NFL itself is wondering if, for its financial purposes, the mayor of L.A. is an iguana and the chamber of commerce is tumbleweeds, this news reminds us that the league has managed in less than two years to ruin the second-largest market in the United States by dithering, by backroom deals, by aversion of money spent by “the wrong kind of people” (see “brown”). That level of chaos is to be appreciated and enjoyed for what it is – nature’s way of telling rich people who’s boss.

Now, if nature doubles down and figures a way to make McGregor win and break Vegas, maybe the entire down isn’t destroyed but instead becomes a colony of Ireland, where the prime minister is not an iguana but a human, and the closest thing to tumbleweeds is a Guinness brewery.

Maybe if that happens, the Raiders end up playing in Dublin instead (a delightful little asterisk since there was a perfectly good Dublin not far from Oakland to begin with) – and they spend their entire time complaining that they have to share Croke Park and that there are too many markings on the field from all those damned hurling matches.

Of course this isn’t likely to happen, and Vegas keeps taking all the McGregor money you can throw at it. But one of these times, and sooner than we think, the apocalypse is not going to take no for an answer, and you will see Mark Davis with a pipe stuck bowl downward in his mouth standing next to a pot of gold.

Which of course will belong to the Bank Of America, because there are some things even the apocalypse can’t beat.

Following surgery, Raiders activate former second-round pick off PUP list

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AP

Following surgery, Raiders activate former second-round pick off PUP list

Raiders defensive lineman Jihad Ward injured his foot during the team's offseason program and hasn't seen the field since. Last year's second-round pick had it surgically repaired, and missed training camp rehabiltating. 

He's finally ready to go. He passed a physical on Monday and was removed from the physically unable to perform list. The team had a walk-through on Monday. Ward should be active for Tuesday afternoon's practice, the first back at their Alameda practice facility. 

The Illinois product had 30 tackles in 13 starts last season, playing significant snaps with Mario Edwards Jr. out due to a hip injury. He'll have to compete for a spot in the rotation, even after working with the first unit during the offseason program. Rookie third-round pick Eddie Vanderdoes has played well in his absence and could be a three-down player inside. 

Ward was a raw, yet athletic talent capable of playing several techniques across the line. The teams sees great potential, though Ward must continue to develop as a player. 

In addition, the Raiders activated tight end Cooper Helfet off the non-football injury list.