Raiders make Hoffman hiring official


Raiders make Hoffman hiring official

The Raiders formally announced the hiring of Steve Hoffman as special teams coordinator, the latest addition to the new staff of head coach Dennis Allen.

Hoffman replaced John Fassel, who joined Jeff Fisher with St. Louis Rams.

Raiders team press release:
The Oakland Raiders have named Steve Hoffman special teams coordinator. Hoffman hasserved as an assistant coach at the NFL level for 22 seasons, including the past three years asspecial teams coach for the Kansas City Chiefs.Under Hoffmans tutelage in 2011, Chiefs P Dustin Colquitt established a career high with a45.9-yard punting average. Hoffmans coverage units ranked sixth in the NFL in 2010, allowingopponents an average of just 20.2 yards per kickoff return. Kansas Citys special teams groupshowed dramatic improvement in his first season with the Chiefs, as the team improved from29th in 2008 to 12th in 2009 in the comprehensive NFL special teams rankings compiled by RickGosselin of the Dallas Morning News. Colquitt registered a 40.8-yard net punting average in2009, the top single-season mark in Chiefs history. In addition, K Ryan Succop posted an 86.2field goal percentage in 2009, which tied for the highest mark by an NFL rookie since 1970.Prior to joining the Chiefs, Hoffman spent two seasons with the Miami Dolphins (2007-08) asassistant special teams coach. In 2007, K Jay Feely established a Dolphins single-seasonrecord by connecting on 21 of 23 (91.3) field goal attempts. Hoffman also tutored P BrandonFields, who led all NFL rookies with a 43.2-yard punting average in 2007. He was assistantspecial teams coach with the Atlanta Falcons in 2006.Hoffman served on the Dallas Cowboys staff for 16 years (1989-04) as kicking coach. Inaddition to his duties with kicking specialists, he spent seven sevens as offensivedefensivequality control coach (1989-95). He later coached kickers and served as offensive quality controlcoach (1996-99) before finishing his tenure in Dallas as defensive quality control coach (2000-04). During his time in Dallas, Hoffmans specialists established 15 club records and he was apart of three Super Bowl Championship teams, as Dallas claimed titles in Super Bowls XXVII,XXVIII and XXX.Hoffman instructed kickers and punters at the University of Miami (1985-88) prior to joining theprofessional ranks. With the Hurricanes, he mentored P Jeff Feagles, who went on to becomethe NFLs all-time leader in punts (1,713) and punting yards (71,211).The Camden, N.J.-native played quarterback, running back, wide receiver and handled kickingand punting duties during his collegiate career at Dickinson (Penn.) College. He spent one yearpunting for the Washington Federals of the USFL (1983) and attended NFL training camps withWashington (1981, 1983), Seattle (1984) and New Orleans (1985).

Donald Penn ends holdout, returns to Raiders practice


Donald Penn ends holdout, returns to Raiders practice

After missing nearly a month while holding out for a restructured contract, Raiders left tackle Donald Penn was back on the field Wednesday. 

Donald Penn practicing with the Raiders for the first time this preseason

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Penn has not missed a game since signing with the Raiders prior to the 2014 season. He was named to the Pro Bowl after a stellar 2016 in which he only allowed one sack.

The 34-year-old is in his final year of a two-year, $11.9 million contract. Penn will receive $5,950,000 in the 2017-18 season. 

More to come...

Bulked up Amari Cooper 'not going to let anybody push him around'


Bulked up Amari Cooper 'not going to let anybody push him around'

ALAMEDA – Amari Cooper enters this season bigger and stronger, yet still just as fast. The Raiders receiver analyzed how opponents covered him, honing on what worked best.

Defenders tried to be physical at the line of scrimmage to disrupt his timing and divert precise routes. They also shaded safeties to his side, doubling coverage downfield to make Derek Carr throw another direction.

The Raiders quarterback didn’t do that Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. Cooper ran a go route, with a linebacker trailing, a corner on the outside and a safety crashing from the interior. In that moment, Carr let Cooper go make a play.

It was an excellent catch where Cooper high-pointed the ball and brought it down in heavy traffic. That wasn’t the type of play he was known for in previous seasons. He’s excellent at making explosive plays after the catch.

Cooper didn’t have room to move after hauling in the first-quarter volley. He crashed to the ground, but held on for a 31-yard gain, proving he can produce in different ways.

“He’s becoming that guy that we can throw it up to,” Carr said. “We all know (Michael Crabtree) can do that. In ‘Coop’s’ rookie year, he’d come down with a few of them, but it’s consistent now that he wants to be a guy that has every aspect of the receiver game. He put it on display on the one that I threw up to him. I tell the receivers before every game, ‘If it’s you one-on-one on a go and that’s the play call, I’m always going to give you a chance. I don’t care what it looks like. You go make the play or nobody does.’ I guess ‘Coop’ really took that to heart, because he wants the ball to keep coming to him.”

Cooper has said before gaining 1,000 receiving yards isn’t that hard, and he hasn’t been satisfied with two straight Pro Bowl seasons. That’s why Cooper came into training camp bigger, stronger and ready to push back.

“I think that that’s the (new) aspect this year. He’s just playing so physical,” Carr said. “He’s not going to let anybody push him around, and that’s his personality since I’ve known him. He doesn’t want anyone to push him around. He doesn’t want to take anything from anybody. I think that each year he has gotten so much better at both of those.”

High-pointing a ball is one thing. Avoiding route disruption is another. He turned to Crabtree for help near the line of scrimmage, and has added dimension to the start of his route.

“I usually use my feet to get separation off the line of scrimmage at the top of my route,” Cooper said. “But, one of the things I’ve learned from him is you can also get the same results using your hands. … The defensive back, he wouldn’t know. Are you going to use your feet? Are you going to use your hands? So it’s a good change up.”

The Raiders have seen an improved Cooper this summer in practice and preseason games, someone who isn’t simply stronger. He’s using his strength well to counter how he’s being defended.

“Much has been made about him being bigger and stronger, and you certainly see that,” offensive coordinator Todd Downing said. “It’s harder for defenders to knock him off his route. He maintains proper route depth more consistently, and his play speed is high for someone who didn’t get a lot of practice (in training camp, due to injury). We were pretty pleased with what we saw (Saturday against L.A.).