Raiders key matchup No. 2: Curry vs. Rice


Raiders key matchup No. 2: Curry vs. Rice

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Raiders-Ravens matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (CBS), at M&T Bank Stadium.

Matchup No. 1: Carson Palmer vs. Terrell Suggs
Raiders LB Aaron Curry vs. Ravens RB Ray RiceTale of the tape
Curry (51): 6-foot-2, 255 pounds, fourth season, Wake Forest
Rice (27): 5-foot-8, 212 pounds, fifth season, RutgersLast week, the Raiders got a taste of Ray Rice's heir apparent in Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin, who blew Oakland's doors off with 251 yards rushing.Aaron Curry did not play.This week, the Raiders get the original version of Rice. And Curry, who was activated off the PUP list on Tuesday, is expected to play. And he's expected to provide a spark after working at all three linebacker positions in practice the past three weeks. At least, that's the hope. And need, especially with defensive tackle Richard Seymour out with a hamstring issue.NEWS: McFadden, Goodson, Seymour out
"Ive been studying all positions across the D-line, across the linebackers, knowing the secondary," Curry said this week. "Ive had nothing else to do but study football, which has been good. Which I think was the purpose of all this, was for me to learn football more in depth, to give myself an advantage, that when its time to go, Ill be a step ahead of everybody."They can count on me, whether Mike (middle linebacker), Will (weakside linebacker), Sam (strongside linebacker), anything. Im just here to step in and just be energy and just be a positive energy."Rice, meanwhile, is averaging 6.1 yards per carry against the Raiders in his career, and has also caught seven passes for 56 yards in the two games.The Ravens have won 14 straight home games, 22 of 23 regular season games at M&T Bank Stadium, and they are 13-2 when Rice rushes for at least 100 yards. And, oh yes, he needs just one yard to join Jamal Lewis (7,801) as the only players in club history with 5,000 career rushing yards.So, yeah, the Raiders are going to need Curry's energy to combat that of Rice."If theres a football on the field and somebody needs a breather," Curry said, "Im out there."

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

Oakland stadium authority director doesn't want Raiders in 2019

PHOENIX – The Raiders hope to play the next three years in the Bay Area before moving to Las Vegas. They were approved to relocate on Monday at the NFL owners meetings, but can’t leave right away because Las Vegas doesn’t have a suitable temporary NFL venue.

The Raiders have team options on one-year leases to play at Oakland Coliseum during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and are expected to do exactly that. Owner Mark Davis said he’s open to negotiating a lease to play the 2019 season there as well before moving into new Vegas digs in 2020.

The Oakland Coliseum authority may not grant that request.

"I would say to you with the highest level of confidence, my opinion and recommendation and that of my board members, I don’t believe there is any appetite for a third season (in Oakland),” director of the Oakland Coliseum joint powers authority Scott McKibben told USA Today.

McKibben said hosting a Raiders game is a financial loss for the JPA.

If the Raiders can’t reach an agreement to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019, they have other options in the Bay Area, though none is ideal. They could play at Cal’s Memorial Stadium or use Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as a last resort in the Bay Area, sources told CSN California reporter Scott Bair.

They could renovate UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium – locker room and security upgrades are mandatory – though the Raiders would prefer to avoid that route.

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

Raiders HC Jack Del Rio believes he could help Aldon Smith

PHOENIX – Raiders edge rusher Aldon Smith has been banished from the NFL for over 16 months now as a repeat offender of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t ruled on Smith’s reinstatement application and it’s hard to imagine movement coming soon on that front after a pair of recent run-ins with the law.

He was reportedly involved in a domestic incident and was questioned by San Francisco police last month. Then he was a passenger in a vehicle that hit an unmarked police car on March 10, an incident where the driver was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Smith seemed out of sorts when interviewed by media after emerging from a San Francisco police station.

Smith’s banishment states he can’t have contact with Raiders personnel outside the director of player engagement, a stipulation head coach Jack Del Rio has criticized in the past.

He did so again Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings, saying it’s unfortunate the organization can’t support Smith during difficult times.

“It’s a little bit frustrating to not be able to be a part of the process,” Del Rio said. “My feel is that I could help him, but the experts know. The experts don’t allow that. We have to follow the rules.

“It does get frustrating to not be able to help a young man and provide support and provide structure. Somebody else has to make those decisions. It’s just out of my hands.”

The Raiders can’t petition for greater involvement, and are therefore in a wait-and-see mode regarding their troubled, yet talented player.

“He has to get himself together,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “(Smith’s status) is totally on the league office. They know more than what we know.”