Raiders

Raiders notebook: Asomugha practicing full

Raiders notebook: Asomugha practicing full

Dec. 24, 2010GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com

ALAMEDA Now, its not in the same category as Tiny Tim kicking his cane to the curb, but cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha practicing full Friday for the first time since badly spraining his right ankle on Halloween is newsworthy, nonetheless.God bless the Raider Nation, everyone? Especially with Indianapolis four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning rolling into town Sunday with receiver Reggie Wayne at his side.It was good, Asomugha said of his practice. Im not where I was before the injury but its a lot better than it was.Asomugha missed two games after the injury against Kansas City and at Pittsburgh and had the bye week in between to get healthy. He has had to keep numerous plays off, though, since returning to action.Against Wayne, though, hell see an old rival who already has 99 catches.Hes got some of the best hands in the entire league and I think everybody pretty much knows that on our team, Asomugha said. You see him catching slants with his finger tips, stuff like that. He had that one-handed one on me in 07.And that was the crux of Asomughas lesson to the young members of the Raiders secondary.You dont want to get in there and start getting nervous because its Peyton Manning, Asomugha said. Basically, what I was trying to tell them was you have to cover the receivers; youre not covering Peyton.If you can dominate the receivers that youre covering, you make it a lot tougher on Peyton. Sometimes the guys think, Oh, the quarterback, and hes just going to light everybody up. But if they handle their business, everything should be O.K.Defensive tackle Richard Seymour (hamstring) did not practice, nor did right tackle Langston Walker (concussion).Coach Tom Cable said Seymour was in meetings and on the field during practice and will be a gametime decision. Walker, meanwhile, has passed two of his three concussion tests, Cable said. If he cant play, Mario Henderson will start in his place.The Raiders injury report from FridayDid not practice, questionable: Seymour and Walker.Practiced limited, questionable: WRPR Johnnie Lee Higgins (ankle), P Shane Lechler (hamstring).Practiced full, probable: Asomugha, WRPR Nick Miller (ankle), TE Zach Miller (foot), CB Chris Johnson (groin), SS Mike Mitchell (ribs).

Raiders' Carr, Mack promote unity, racial harmony during national anthem

carr-mack-us.jpg
USATSI

Raiders' Carr, Mack promote unity, racial harmony during national anthem

OAKLAND – All eyes shifted to the Raiders sideline Saturday night when the national anthem played.

Yep, Marshawn Lynch took a seat. No shocker there. He did the same thing last week, and while he hasn’t addressed it specifically, the action is linked with other anthem protests bringing attention to mistreatment of minorities in the United States.

Bruce Irvin stood with his brethren but raised his fist, as he did several times last year.

Derek Carr stood right on the sideline, and put his arm on Khalil Mack’s left shoulder. That gesture wasn't happenstance. It carried a message. It wasn’t, Carr insists, meant to protest anything.

“We’re not doing anything like that,” Carr said after a 24-21 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Coliseum. “We wanted to show the kids that look up to me, look up to him, white kids, black kids, brown kids, blue, green, it doesn’t matter -- all be loving to each other. We’re best friends and we’re loving to one another.

“The only reason we did that was to unify the people that look up to us because obviously you see what’s going on in the world. Obviously everyone pays attention to the national anthem nowadays. We just said that obviously this was the best time to do it while still honoring this country because I love this country. We’re free to live here and play this game but we’re also free to show that we love one another.”

Mack isn’t one to rock the boat. He and Carr wanted to make a statement without ruffling feathers, something that would remain positive while addressing racial issues prevalent in the news today.

“It’s discussed a lot,” Mack said. “It’s one of the things I feel passionately about but I just don’t like the tension that comes with it. But at the same time, just using our platform for positivity is what’s important to me.”

Offensive coordinator Todd Downing put an arm on fullback Jamize Olawale and echoed the Carr-Mack message. We’ve seen similar signs of unity across the league. Philadelphia defensive end Chris Long, son of former Raiders pass rusher Howie Long, put an arm around Malcolm Jenkins while he protested. Seattle center Justin Britt put an hand on Michael Bennett’s shoulder while he sat for the national anthem.

Those actions drew attention. Carr and Mack do the same.

Their star power increases the volume of their message. Carr’s an MVP candidate and the league’s highest-paid player. Mack is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. When they do something, people pay attention. That was their hope on Saturday, when the cameras would be aimed at them.

Carr and Mack are good friends off the field, and want to be an example of unity despite different races and backgrounds.

“I think that’s the message, the only message we were trying to get out,” Carr said. “Any kid, any family, any adult that follows us and looks up to us we knew their eyes would be on us and we wanted to show them for a white kid and black kid that grew up in different neighborhoods can grow up and love one another and be best friends.”

As legal process unfolds, Raiders CB Sean Smith continues to battle for playing time

As legal process unfolds, Raiders CB Sean Smith continues to battle for playing time

OAKLAND – Raiders cornerback Sean Smith had a rough week. He’s losing grip on a starting spot, but that concern pales in comparison to mounting legal issues that put him in a Los Angeles County jail Thursday morning.

He was formally charged with felony assault and battery for beating his sister’s boyfriend on July 4 in his hometown of Pasadena, surrendered to authorities and was released on an $80,000 bond.

He was back in the East Bay to play Saturday’s exhibition against the Los Angeles Rams, where he was a third cornerback entering in sub packages. Smith had two tackles and a nice pass defensed in the end zone.

Smith’s legal issues shouldn’t stop him from playing and practicing with the team in the near future. He has an arraignment sent for Sept. 29, where will plead not guilty and fight the charges levied against him.

“We’ll let him battle what issues he has legally,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “I don’t have much to add to it. You hear the story of him defending his sister, and things occurred that have been taken issue with, so he's having to defend himself right now.”

An NFL spokesman said the league is looking into the matter, but didn’t have further comment at this time. It’s possible the league could place Smith on the commissioner’s exemption list, an option for players charged with violent offenses. He would essentially go on paid leave if that were the case. Smith will make $9.5 million in guaranteed money this season.

Smith will battle TJ Carrie and first-round cornerback Gareon Conley – he remains on the PUP list with a shin injury – for playing time in the Raiders defense. He practiced better last week, but must show consistency to get back in the team’s good graces.