Raiders key matchup No. 1: Wheeler vs. Martin


Raiders key matchup No. 1: Wheeler vs. Martin

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the final part in a series that spotlighted three Raiders-Buccaneers matchups to watch Sunday, 1:05 p.m. (Fox), at Coliseum.

Raiders key matchup No. 2: Michael Huff vs. Vincent Jackson
Raiders key matchup No.1: Carson Palmer vs. Ronde Barber
Raiders LB Philip Wheeler vs. Buccaneers RB Doug MartinTale of the tape
Wheeler (52): 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, fifth season, Georgia Tech
Martin (22): 5-foot-9, 223 pounds, rookie season, Boise StateALAMEDA -- For the third straight week the Raiders figure to face an explosive, if undersized, running back with Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin following the trail blazed by Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew and Kansas City's Jamaal Charles.And for the third straight week, Philip Wheeler figures to shadow said running back. Especially with Martin such a dual threat and Wheeler flying all over the field in his first season with the Raiders.Martin lists Oakland as his home town, though he went to St. Mary's High School in Stockton and played collegiately at Boise State. The No. 31 overall pick of April's draft just had his coming-out party on national television, rushing for 139 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries with three receptions for 73 yards and another score in the Buccaneers' 36-17 beatdown of Minnesota on Thursday Night Football on Oct. 25."Hes a guy that really can do a lot of different things," said Raiders coach Dennis Allen. "I think he has great vision. I think hes extremely quick. He also runs with great power. Hes got a lot of different things he can do as far as the running game is concerned."And hes a threat anytime he gets out of the backfield. Theres a reason why he was drafted in the first round. Hes living up to that billing."Wednesday, Martin was named the NFC's offensive rookie of the month after going for 467 yards of total offense in three games in October, and his 155.7 yards-from-scrimmage average leads the NFL."It comes from just getting in that film room," he said this week, "studying the film and the way you practice, full-speed, game-tempo, and just keeping the body healthy."The Raiders, meanwhile, have surrendered a relatively mere 201 yards rushing combined the past three games and, with teams running for an average of 102.1 yards per game on Oakland, the Raiders currently have the No. 11-ranked run defense.The Buccaneers have scored 102 points and 13 touchdowns in their past three games.

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”