Raiders defense rights wrongs in season opener


Raiders defense rights wrongs in season opener

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Raiders defense took some heat this preseason. It came from the press, the fans and even the coaching staff.

Head man Jack Del Rio said his defenders weren’t on the same page. They weren’t communicating well. They weren’t doing the little things right.

That wasn’t the case in Sunday’s 26-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

Wrongs, Khalil Mack points out, were righted.

“Guys were playing disciplined football,” the edge rusher said. “We were on the same page, especially going down the stretch. We didn’t want them scoring touchdowns.”

The Raiders defense was adept at stopping the run. That’s always a team effort. They put Tennessee in check early on. And, after an opening drive hiccup, they consistently got off the field on third down.

That’s winning football. That’s how the Raiders allowed just one touchdown in nine series. That’s nothing like how the Raiders played defense this summer.

“We always believed in ourselves and what we were capable of,” strong safety Karl Joseph said. “We’re still learning how to play smarter and how to play together. We just have to keep improving.”

Improvement was evident on the opening drive. Tennessee marched 75 yards on a 10-play drive capped by Marcus Mariota’s 10-yard run. The Titans converted three third-and-long opportunities, a seemingly bad omen in the season opener.

Not so. The Raiders clamped down after that, allowing 4-of-11 third down conversions and 2-of-7 in the second half. The Titans never saw the end zone again.

The opening drive was disappointing. The second was a three-and-out. Joseph set the tone on the third. Tennessee was eight yards from pay dirt when the second-year pro made a great open-field tackle of Eric Decker. Joseph’s finest play came next when he high-pointed the ball and broke up a seemingly sure touchdown pass.

“Coach Del Rio says you have to go hard every time because you never know what play’s going to make the difference,” Joseph said. “I gave it my all, and made two plays. That was important for us. It’s about us on defense. We came prepared. We came to play.”

Raiders defenders believe Sunday’s performance was a sign of things to come.

“We wanted to make them earn everything,” David Amerson said. “Even the balls they caught, everything was contested. You’re going to win some battles and lose some. You just want to keep competing. As long as we do that, we’ll have more games like this.”

Raiders QB Derek Carr channels inner pop star in mock music video ad


Raiders QB Derek Carr channels inner pop star in mock music video ad

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr is trying to moonlight as a pop star. That’s what a guerilla marketing campaign by a San Joaquin Valley credit union would have you believe.

They released billboards and short video teasers of the Raiders quarterback prepping to shoot a music video this summer, and the full video/commercial spot was released on Monday.

It’s well, something else. Clearly meant to be self deprecating, Carr is pumping up Educational Employees Credit Union and their great rates in the mock music video, where Carr is given a certain boy-band vibe. Take a look: 

Derek’s brother David shows up later in the ad, clearly upset at being outshined by little bro.

It’s the latest in an annual series of ads with the Carr brothers.

“It literally took us a couple of hours. That’s it,” Derek Carr said. "All of the takes were because I kept laughing. I couldn’t even take myself serious because they had the TV prompter so I could see it, and I couldn’t even take myself serious. But it was good. It was fun because every commercial we do with them, all we want to do is, the end goal is we want people to laugh. And if they laugh at me for it, that’s good, that’s what we want. I laughed at myself, so it’s all good with me.”

That begged a hard-hitting, journalist follow-up question. So, Derek, did you keep the jacket?

“I didn’t keep it, no. Gosh, no,” Carr said. "As soon as I walked in and we had our little dressing rooms, me and my brother looked at that jacket and I was like, ‘I really hope that’s not the one.’ And sure enough it was. But that’s alright. We have a good relationship with them and it was a lot of fun.”

Ex-Raider Terrelle Pryor: My dominant season starts this week vs Oakland


Ex-Raider Terrelle Pryor: My dominant season starts this week vs Oakland

In his first full season as a wide receiver last year, Terrelle Pryor caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards for the Browns.

After signing a one-year, $6 million contract with Washington in the offseason, the former Raiders quarterback was expected to put up big numbers with Kirk Cousins throwing him the ball.

But through two games, Pryor has caught just eight passes for 97 yards.

He's not worried though. In fact, he's proclaiming that he will begin his return to form this weekend against his first team.

"I am going to have a dominant season and it starts this week against Oakland," Pryor told The Athletic on Wednesday.

Kickoff between the Raiders and Washington is set for 5:30pm PT Sunday on NBC.