Raiders

Raiders make hiring of six coaches official

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Raiders make hiring of six coaches official

Reports have been leaking over the past few weeks of recent coaching hires by the Raiders. None were confirmed by the team until their press release Tuesday afternoon.

Below is the official release sent out by the team:

The Oakland Raiders have added six more assistants to the 2012 coaching staff including two who are in their second stints with the Silver and Blackquarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore, tight ends coach Mark Hutson, defensive backs coach Clayton Lopez, defensive backs coach Johnnie Lynn and defensive line coach Terrell Williams.

DeFilippo, who coached quarterbacks for the Silver and Black from 2007-08, served in the same capacity at San Jose State for the last two seasons. He was also the assistant quarterbacks coach with the New York Jets in 2009.
NEWS: Defilippo returning as Raiders QB coach

Gilmore enters his first season on an NFL staff after coaching at the collegiate level for 17 seasons. Most recently, Gilmore served as wide receivers coach at USC in 2011. Gilmore spent six years (2005-10) at Nebraska coaching wide receivers and was the Cornhuskers' recruiting coordinator for four years (2007-10).

NEWS: USC's Gilmore named Raiders WR coach

Hutson also enters his first season on an NFL staff. A 25-year veteran of the college game as both a player and coach, Hutson spent the past five seasons as an assistant at Tulane and served as the interim head coach for the Green Wave in 2011.

An assistant for 17 years at the NFL level, Lynn coached defensive backs for the Philadelphia Eagles last season. Lynn joined Philadelphia after five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, serving as secondary coach and assistant head coach from 2009-10. Lopez returns to the Raiders after serving in a similar capacity with the Silver and Black for two seasons (2004-05).

NEWS: Raiders add Lynn, Hutson to coaching staff

Lopez was most recently with the St. Louis Rams where he served as defensive backscornerbacks coach for three seasons (2009-11). Williams comes to Oakland after spending the previous two seasons in the same capacity at Texas A&M, helping the Aggies to a pair of bowl game appearances.

NEWS: Raiders hire Terrell Williams

Williams previously served as the defensive line coach at Purdue (2006-09) and coached the defensive line at Akron (2004-05) and Youngstown State (2002-03).

Looking for better interior pass rush, Del Rio gives vote of confidence

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AP

Looking for better interior pass rush, Del Rio gives vote of confidence

ALAMEDA – A large chip rests on Jihad Ward’s shoulder. That’s common for athletes, always on the hunt for motivation. Critics, detractors, those of little faith are easy and obvious targets.

The Raiders defensive lineman had options during a rookie season where he was thrust into full-time duty. Mario Edwards Jr. got hurt and never truly recovered, leaving last year’s second-round pick to play significant snaps. The heavy workload came earlier than the Raiders had planned, before Ward was ready. When Edwards Jr. returned late in the year, Ward was essentially shut down.

The Illinois product took some flak for it. He listened, absorbed and was fueled. He’s comfortable with that process, and the motivation that comes with it.

“They’re just trying to hate (on) people trying to do what they have to do,” Ward said Tuesday. “Keep on pushing. That’s all. …There will be critics everywhere.”

Head coach Jack Del Rio openly criticized Ward’s position group. He said after last season that the Raiders had to upgrade their inside pass rush, that they need more quarterback pressure from guys not named Mack or Irvin. He was right. The Raiders had a league-low 25 sacks despite 18 coming from their star edge rushers.

Edwards Jr. got healthy and Eddie Vanderdoes came in the NFL draft’s third-round, adding power and speed to that group. Ward, Denico Autry, Treyvon Hester, Justin Ellis and Darius Latham all have a part to play inside, and Del Rio believes that unit will be more impactful this season.

“It definitely is a much deeper group than we’ve had. More athletic group than we’ve had,” Del Rio said. “I’m very encouraged by the early signs that I’ve seen in pads, throughout camps against a very good offensive line that we have. Another great test this week to evaluate these guys because we’re playing one of the better lines in the league.”

The Raiders play Dallas on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, where starters will play extensive snaps against the vaunted Cowboys offensive line.

“It’s a great opportunity to evaluate, develop, continue to push, but we feel like we’ve strengthened ourselves there,” Del Rio said. “It’s probably the strength of the defense right now.”

That’s a vote of confidence for a group that should be more effective if healthy. Edwards Jr. and Vanderdoes should front the effort, though Ward could be an impact player if he builds off a strong offseason program. Del Rio says Ward was “more decisive,” this spring, a product of being comfortable playing in this system and this league.

Then Ward suffered a setback. He felt a tweak in his foot during OTAs, one that proved serious and required surgery to repair. He spent training camp on the PUP list, and was finally cleared to practice on Monday. Ward doesn’t think the layoff killed offseason momentum. The comfort and confidence hasn’t left.

“Your first year coming here, you’re thinking too much,” Ward said. “Now it’s like ‘okay, I get it now.’ That’s how it is for all rookies. They just have to learn what’s going on, so I feel it. Everything is easier now, it’s my second years now. It’s regular.”

Donald Penn yet to report as Raiders return home

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AP

Donald Penn yet to report as Raiders return home

ALAMEDA – Raiders left tackle Donald Penn missed training camp holding out for a new, more lucrative contract. He missed Tuesday’s practice, the first back at the team’s training facility.

His protest began 26 days ago. The regular season is 19 days away.

Penn has worked out with top trainers and private offensive line coaches while away from the team, but still needs time to get back in the flow.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that Penn is expected back this week. He wasn’t there for the first of three sessions when the Raiders will focus on the third preseason game at Dallas. It’s the last meaningful exhibition, with players down on the depth chart expected to populate the preseason finale versus Seattle.

Penn doesn’t necessarily need to play in a preseason game to prep for the Sept. 10 regular-season opener at Tennessee, but it could help.

Head coach Jack Del Rio wouldn’t address Penn’s status, or whether there’s a deadline for him to report and be ready for the regular season.

The Raiders have managed with Marshall Newhouse on the left and Vadal Alexander on the right. The pair has fared well, though the line will be significantly stronger with Penn back and a Newhouse/Alexander competition on the right.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie made it clear weeks ago that the Raiders wouldn’t talk contract until a player reports. Penn preferred a contract get done before showing up. Weeks were lost to that impasse.

Quarterback Derek Carr hopes it will end soon, and that Penn will come back to the team.

“It would obviously mean a lot, if that’s what he chooses to do,” Carr said. “He’s our teammate. We want all our teammates here. We want to work hard together. We want to be together and joke together. It’s more than just football. We want to be there in his life, with him.

"It would mean a lot. Obviously, I would love it.”