Raiders hold off Jets 34-24

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Raiders hold off Jets 34-24

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OAKLAND (AP) -- Whether it was Darren McFadden sprinting around the corner, a couple of trick plays or pure will, the Oakland Raiders overpowered the Jets like no other team has since coach Rex Ryan brought his brash style to New York two years ago.McFadden ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns and the Raiders added two more touchdowns on the ground as part of the most productive rushing day against the Jets since Ryan took over as the Raiders won 34-24 Sunday."Coach Hue (Jackson) always tells us we're building a bully," McFadden said. "It doesn't matter who we're playing against. That's what we're trying to do, to bully them. That's what we did today."Denarius Moore scored on a 23-yard reverse and Michael Bush added a 1-yard TD run 42 seconds later as the Raiders (2-1) took control in a dizzying span beginning late in the third quarter to hand the Jets (2-1) their first loss.Mark Sanchez had a much rougher second trip to Oakland in his career, getting bloodied on one of Oakland's four second-half sacks and needing a visor to protect a cut on his face. He also said after the game that he would have an X-ray to check to see if his nose was broken.It was a far different end than his game here two years ago, when he memorably was eating a hot dog on the sideline in the closing minutes of a 38-0 victory that was the most lopsided home loss in Raiders history.Sanchez completed 27 of 43 passes for a career-high 369 yards, but threw a costly interception in the end zone in the first half. He later cut Oakland's lead to 31-24 with a 16-yard pass to Plaxico Burress with 5:33 remaining. He also ran for one touchdown and had a second overturned by replay in the final minute, ending New York's last gasp."I just feel like they're a revamped Raiders group," Sanchez said. "We had momentum on our side, we let them hang around at halftime then they came and knocked us around a little in the third quarter."A week after blowing a game defensively in the second half in Buffalo, the Raiders finished against New York. Campbell scrambled 10 yards and found Bush for a 28-yard gain after buying time with his feet to set up Sebastian Janikowski's 49-yard field goal with 2:32 left to ice it.Campbell was 18 for 27 for 156 yards, but the Raiders won this game on the ground, putting up the most yards rushing (234), most rushing touchdowns and the third-most points in a game against the Ryan-led Jets."It was humiliating for us to have something like that happen to us," Jets defensive lineman Sione Pouha said. "All we can do is make the corrections that we need to do and bounce back."After Chimdi Chekwa broke up a fourth-down pass to Burress, Oakland used some trickery to go 63 yards in four plays to take a 24-17 lead in the final minute of the third quarter. The first deception came on a halfback option to McFadden. He wanted to throw back to Campbell, but that was covered so he ran 27 yards instead, faking a pass about 8 yards down the field.On the next play, Moore took a reverse that the Jets appeared to have stopped. But Moore cut upfield to elude David Harris and Samson Satele flattened Jim Leonhard with a block, springing Moore for the touchdown that made it 24-17."Let your players make plays," Jackson said of his philosophy. "That's what I'm trying to create here. I'm going to create an environment where our great players can do something special."After Jackson urged on the rare sellout crowd on the ensuing kickoff, Antonio Cromartie mishandled the short kick and Taiwan Jones recovered the fumble at the 13. Bush scored from 1 yard out two plays later to make it 31-17 one play into the fourth quarter."They're a physical football team and I felt like that played right into our hands," Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour said. "Because we're pretty physical up front on the offensive and defensive lines. Anytime a team wants to come in and play that type of game with us, I like our chances all the time."The Raiders showed no hangover from last week's second-half collapse against Buffalo. They took just five plays to drive 76 yards for the opening score against the Jets, with tight end Kevin Boss making a 28-yard catch in his Oakland debut to set up McFadden's 2-yard run.The Jets responded with the next 17 points as Sanchez took advantage of a secondary missing injured starting cornerback Chris Johnson (groin) and safety Michael Huff (concussion) and Tomlinson once again bewildered the Raiders.Tomlinson broke a tackle from Rolando McClain and took a short pass 74 yards down to the 1 to set up Sanchez's 1-yard TD run. Tomlinson later caught an 18-yard TD pass for his 160th career touchdown, including 26 against the Raiders.McFadden got the Raiders back into it when he bolted around left end for a 70-yard run that was the longest against them since 1998."You've got to set edges on this guy," Ryan said. "We never did that. We know he's got great speed. That's why the ball has to be turned inside. It wasn't turned inside and he made the 70-yard run."Campbell completed six short passes in a 2-minute drill to set up a 54-yard field goal by Janikowski on the final play of the half to tie it at 17.Notes: Cromartie left with a rib injury and was undergoing X-rays. He committed four penalties to go with his fumble. ... The previous high for a game against Ryan's Jets was 153 yards by New Orleans in 2009. ... Raiders FB Marcel Reece left in the first quarter with an ankle injury.

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.”