Raiders finish 8-8, 6-0 in division with win in K.C.

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Raiders finish 8-8, 6-0 in division with win in K.C.

Jan. 2, 2011RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEO
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KANSASCITY, Mo. (AP) If this turns out to be Tom Cable's last year asOakland's head coach, at least he'll know he made history.After beating Kansas City 31-10Sunday in their regular-season finale, the 2010 Raiders became the onlyteam since the 1970 merger to go unbeaten in their division and stillnot make the playoffs. The short-handed Raiders (8-8) wrapped up adivision record of 6-0, while the Chiefs (10-6) went 2-4 in thedivision and will host a playoff game next weekend as AFC Westchampions.
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"We are disappointed because we arenot going to the playoffs, but at the same time we stuck to the goaland stuck to the plan as we have done very week, and we got our eighthwin," said Cable, whose job status with the Raiders has been thesubject of speculation. "I'm very happy about that."Michael Bush rushed for 137 yards andJason Campbell threw a TD pass for the Raiders, who beat the Chiefs inArrowhead Stadium for the fourth year in a row and ruined their perfecthome record.Running back Darren McFadden and ProBowl defensive tackle Richard Seymour were inactive because ofinjuries, but the Raiders dominated from start to finish, interceptingtwo of Matt Cassel's passes and getting seven sacks. The interceptionsboth led directly to Oakland's last two scores. Jacoby Ford scored on a10-yard reverse after Michael Huff's interception, and Stanford Routtreturned a pick 22 yards for the Raiders' final TD when Cassel washurried while throwing from his end zone. GUTIERREZ: McFadden, Seymour inactive for Raiders' finale
The Chiefs' worst home game of theseason came on the heels of news that offensive coordinator CharlieWeis is returning to college coaching to become Florida's offensivecoordinator. Weis, in one year with the Chiefs, has been given muchcredit for developing Cassel into a topflight quarterback and turningJamaal Charles into a Pro Bowl running back."Charlie Weis is moving on. He'sgoing to go to the University of Florida as a coordinator," said Chiefscoach Todd Haley. "This is a bittersweet thing for me as the headcoach. Charlie was obviously someone I was excited about having inhere. That being said, Charlie is a family guy and he's got a familysituation, where he can go to Florida and be with his son, who is goingto get into coaching. This is a great situation for Charlie and Irespect it 100 percent."Weis was not made available to the media.The Raiders posted their best recordsince 2002 amid talk that Cable may be out; the team went to 17-27since he became head coach four games into the 2008 season. It was thefirst time since '02, when Oakland went to the Super Bowl, that itdidn't lose at least 11 games.The Raiders had 344 total yards to Kansas City's 201 and held the top-rated rushing offense to 115 yards on the ground.Asked if he thinks he's coming back, Cable did answer directly."We're not losers anymore. We're 8and 8," he said. "That's not what we wanted. We wanted to be a playoffteam. We came here to get the sixth win, which means we went 6-0 in thedivision and most importantly, we are done with that losing. We are notlosers anymore."Charles, who trailed Houston's ArianFoster by 56 yards for the NFL rushing lead, had 87 yards on 14carries, including a 47-yard burst that was KC's offensive highlight.He finished the regular season with 1,467 yards and came within awhisker of catching Jim Brown's NFL record of 6.40 yards per carry. Hefinished at 6.38."I wasn't even paying attention thatI wasn't in the record books. I wasn't even worried about it," saidCharles. "I was just going out there and just running the ball like Ido every week. My goal is to go out and win. I'm disappointed we lost,but we've got to bounce back. We've got another week going. The Raidersdon't."The Chiefs' pass protection, goodmost of the season, began breaking down in the second quarter. Casselwas flagged for intentional grounding and then sacked for an 11-yardloss on the next play by Jarvis Moss.Campbell got the Raiders going witha 9-yard completion to Zach Miller. On third-and-10 from the Oakland46, Campbell dumped off to Bush and he turned it into a 16-yard gain.With 7 seconds left in the half, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 39-yardfield goal for a 10-3 lead.Campbell, after sitting out a serieswhen he apparently hurt his right knee, scrambled 21 yards during a14-play, 91-yard drive. He hit Ford for a 35-yard gain to the 6and Chaz Schilens was wide open in the end zone for the touchdown passthat gave the Raiders a 7-3 lead.The Chiefs managed a meager 72 yardsin the first half to Oakland's 192, but Charles broke free for a47-yard run to the 8. From the 5, Charles went in almost untouched fora 10-10 tie the Raiders erased on their next possession.Aided by a 15-yard face mask penaltyagainst Jovan Belcher, the Raiders moved 75 yards in nine plays. Bushwent over the right side of the defense virtually untouched for a27-yard touchdown, the first TD rushing the Chiefs allowed at home allseason.NOTES: Kamerion Wimbley had three ofOakland's seven sacks. ... KC's Tamba Hali had 2 12 sacks, the ninthmultisack game of his career. ... Former coach Marty Schottenheimer wasinducted into the Chiefs' Hall of Fame at halftime. ... Huff has fourcareer interceptions against Kansas City.

Raiders sign rookie OT Sharpe, LB Lee, all four seventh-round draft picks

Raiders sign rookie OT Sharpe, LB Lee, all four seventh-round draft picks

The Raiders signed several members of their 2017 draft class, the team announced on Friday. Later round picks put pen to paper following the first week of OTAs, which began on Monday.

Fourth-round offensive tackle David Sharpe and fifth-round linebacker Marquel Lee highlight this group of signings, as both players inked four-year rookie contracts.

All four seventh-round picks also signed their first professional contract. That group includes running back Elijah Hood, safety Shalom Luani, offensive lineman Jylan Ware and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester.

These deals aren’t hard to work out. The NFL and the league’s players union agreed on a rookie wage scale in the last collective bargaining agreement that slots salaries by draft order, which leaves little negotiating room within the set payment structure.

The team’s top picks remain unsigned, though they’ll get done in time. First round cornerback Gareon Conley, second-round safety Obi Melifonwu and third-round defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes remain unsigned.

Here’s a list of estimated contract values over a four-year rookie deal for each signed draft pick, per spotrac.com:

OT David Sharpe (No. 129 overall): $2,986,415 total; $586,415 signing bonus
LB Marquel Lee (No. 168 overall): $2,653,693 total; $253,693 signing bonus
S Shalom Luani (No. 221 overall): $2,494,414 total; $94,414 signing bonus
OT Jylan Ware (No. 231 overall): $2,484,295 total; $84,295 signing bonus
RB Elijah Hood (No. 242 overall): $2,469,750 total; $69,750 signing bonus
DT Treyvon Hester (No. 244 overall): $2,468,601 total; $69,750 signing bonus

Marquel Lee gets to play for his father's favorite team: 'He started bawling'

Marquel Lee gets to play for his father's favorite team: 'He started bawling'

ALAMEDA -- Marquel Lee’s NFL draft weekend wasn’t always fun, a byproduct of high hopes unrealized. The former Wake Forest linebacker wanted to go early, but slid into Saturday and waited well into the fifth round before his phone lifted spirits.

A 510 area code brought Lee out of an emotional rut, one so deep he started wondering whether he’d get drafted at all.

“When I got the call from the Raiders, everything changed,” Lee said in the latest episode of NBC Sports California’s Raiders Insider Podcast. “I was so excited to play for this organization.”

Marquel Lee wasn’t the only one. His father jumped over the moon.

“He might’ve been more excited than I was,” Marquel Lee said. “He started bawling. I’ve never seen my dad cry like that.”

Corey Lee’s tears don’t come easy. He’s a no-nonsense military man who served 11 years in the Navy before entering the private sector. He was a strict but fair father and football coach who instilled the discipline and work ethic required for his son to realize great potential.

Corey Lee is also a lifelong Raiders fan. Seeing his son get drafted by his favorite team created a perfect emotional storm.

“I’m as die-hard as they get,” Corey Lee said. “When they called his name in the fifth round, it was such a great, powerful moment. There was some relief, because he worked so hard and sacrificed to reach this point. When families were on vacation, we were in summer camps and working out hard.

“Everything we did was to prepare him for the next level. I was so proud to see him achieve a goal he had.”

Corey Lee didn’t break down completely when Marquel Lee officially became the Raiders’ fifth-round selection. This proud papa let emotion overcome for a beat, and then darted for his bedroom. He returned to the party with a brand new Raiders hat and a No. 89 Amari Cooper shirt from his vast Raiders collection.

Marquel Lee threw on dad’s gear to honor his new team and the golden opportunity to play for a linebacker-starved Raiders team.

That wasn’t Marquel Lee’s first time in silver and black. He rocked a full Raiders uniform at age 2, complete with a helmet, football pants and a Tim Brown jersey.

He donned one again when rookies reported to the Raiders offseason program earlier this month. The full-circle moment wasn’t lost on Marquel, a man proud of his past and excited about an NFL future.

“There’s a picture of me in a Raiders jersey, pants and a helmet on my second birthday,” he said. “I look at it now and think, ‘Wow. It really happened.’ I’m wearing a Raiders uniform for real. My dream is becoming a reality.”

Corey Lee grew up a Raiders fan in Southern California, going to games with his family at the Los Angeles Coliseum. Pardon Marquel for not following in those footsteps. He grew up on the East Coast when Donovan McNabb was a superstar and gravitated toward the Eagles. Ray Lewis performed in Lee’s Maryland backyard and became an athletic role model.

Marquel watched tons of NFL football with his dad, complete games where father and son would talk about strategy and scheme. Marquel would watch game tape with his father at an early age and when Corey Lee deployed with the Navy, his mother Katanya – she, too, understood football -- made sure that practice continued.

Marquel Lee was armed with natural athletic gifts and cultivated knowledge of the game, allowing him play quarterback and middle linebacker as a junior at Westlake High in Waldorf, Md. His dad was a guiding light as youth instructor, a JV head coach and a varsity linebackers coach, but took steps to separate family and football.

“As a father, I never would allow him to call me dad on a practice field or anywhere,” Corey Lee said. “I was always ‘Coach’ during the season, whether we were at home or at practice, because I wanted to keep him in that mindset.”

Football was a primary focus back then, when the family often traded summer vacations for skills camps. Despite buzz around Marquel’s talents, Corey was against his son doing interviews with recruiting websites or ranking services. Father wanted his son’s head on straight, and it has remained that way. 

Top schools were slow to come around, but gravitated after Marquel fully recovered from a torn patella and stood out early in his senior year. He chose Wake Forest, a commitment his father wanted upheld even with late interest from other programs.

His growth continued as a collegian, and took a real spike during the 2016 season. Wake Forest’s defensive captains graduated, leaving him to assume a leadership role and put team over stats. Lee considered his junior season at Wake Forest subpar, and vowed to do better.

“I was pressing a lot, trying to rush my time and trying to get to the NFL,” Lee said. “I was on a road where I thought I wanted to leave (school) early. I was so hard on myself, especially if I didn’t produce. That’s why I said it was subpar. I don’t think I played like a team player that year.

“(The next season) I made a decision to finish what I started and be the leader I always knew I could be. I wanted to help my team get to a bowl game. I hadn’t played in one. That was a major part of me coming back in 2016. … I grew up a lot. I feel like I gained respect as a team leader, and really understood what it took to own that responsibility.”

Lee might have major responsibilities as an NFL rookie. The Raiders don’t have many options at middle linebacker, and Lee will be allowed to compete for a starting spot. It’ll take a solid spring and summer to earn it and give the Raiders confidence to hand an important starting spot to a rookie. The Silver and Black could add a veteran to that position group, though they have high hopes for their fifth-round pick. Lee could well make an instant impact. 

“We definitely think he has the potential to start,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said in an interview with 95.7-The Game. “He’s a long ways away from that. We haven’t even begun to get the pads on, so a lot will be determined in training camp and the preseason. So far, he has looked very good.”

Lee considers himself well prepared for the challenges ahead, and believes he can compete at the professional level.

“I’ve been getting ready for this a long time,” Marquel Lee said. “My dad has been telling me that this experience will be different. It’s not like college anymore. It’s a job, and I have to be mentally prepared for everything I’m about to do. I’m here and I’m learning and I’m trying to do my best.”