Raiders Notebook: Cornerstones Getting Healthy

Raiders Notebook: Cornerstones Getting Healthy


ALAMEDA For the most part, the Raiders walking wounded have a little more bounce to their respective injured steps.Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle) and tight end Zach Miller(foot), neither of whom played in the Raiders 23-20 overtime defeat ofKansas City on Nov. 7, and run-stuffing defensive tackle John Henderson(foot), who has not played since the home opener on Sept. 19, allpracticed limited Wednesday.It was a decent amount, hopefully it will be more Thursday, coach TomCable said of the workload the trio took on in practice. We want tokind of put them through some things today and see how they feelThursday. If they feel like they did at the end of practice, wereprobably going to get more and more out of them.Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring), meanwhile, joined fellow receiver ChazSchilens (knee) on the sidelines as he did not practice either.According to Cable, Heyward-Bey strained the hamstring in practice lastTuesday.
Its just sore, Cable said. Its a real slight strain, not realserious, but its one of those things where of you push it too much tooquick, it could become serious.Schilens has not played as all after undergoing surgery during trainingcamp. He appeared to be making progress before the bye week.Its not so much a setback, Cable said. Its responded really wellwhen were on the field running straight ahead. Its just a matter ofbeing able to cut and coming in and out of cuts. Still not very smooth.And still not very promising news for a receiver.Think the first-place Raiders, riding their first three-game winningstreak since 2002 and armed with the experience of beating the Steelersin their house last season, could enter Pittsburgh a tad overconfident?I wont let that happen, Cable said. We havent done a damn thing,and thats been our motto. We have got to keep grinding and fightingand going to work and cutting it loose and doing what we do.If I ever feel like we lose sight of that, Ill reel them back in. But thats not us. At least, not yet.Cable also acknowledged that there are a few doubters out there. And for good reason.Were 5-4, he said. We missed a kick in Arizona. We didnt score atouchdown in San Francisco. And those two things, from a coachsstandpoint, really gnaw it you because you kind of know what your teamshould be (record-wise, 7-2). But were not. So, in order to accomplishanything, we have got to keep doing our job, which is (keep) gettingbetter.The Raiders, like the rest of the football-watching world, took inSunday nights Pittsburgh-New England game and saw the Patriots offensespread out the Steelers and pick them apart.Naturally, you wonder of a blueprint, of sorts, was provided theRaiders. Thing is, the Raiders are really not built that way on offense.We have to be who we are, Cable said. At the end of the day, be who you are and you might mix in a few things.Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said receiver Hines Ward (concussion) has been cleared to play.But were going to continue to monitor him day-to-day, Tomlin said,as always is the case as guys come off of that kind of injury.

McKenzie: Marshawn Lynch 'already entrenched' in Raiders locker room

McKenzie: Marshawn Lynch 'already entrenched' in Raiders locker room

Marshawn Lynch took some time to agree on contract terms with the Raiders. The Oakland native formally joined the Silver and Black a day before the NFL Draft, which served as a soft deadline for his commitment to unretire and join his hometown team.

The Raiders have been pleasantly surprised by Lynch since acquiring his rights from Seattle on April 26, starting with unbridled enthusiasm upon signing his new contract.

He reported to the Raiders offseason program in tremendous shape despite being out of football in 2016, and has been a full participant in workouts he was apathetic towards in Seattle. Lynch has also fit right in to the Raiders locker room culture since joining the club.

“He has been great,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday in an interview with 95.7-The Game. “He has been great in meetings. He has been great on the field. He’s going well in terms of his physical progress. He’s doing quite nicely and we think he’s going to be a great help on the field.

“Off the field, he has meshed very well with the team and is already entrenched as one of the guys. It’s going well with him.”

While it took some time to navigate a complex acquisition process, McKenzie said it went relatively smooth.

“Prior to getting him, I had no setbacks thinking he was not going to be able to get here,” McKenzie said. “My communication with Seattle and Marshawn’s people was great. Everyone indicated that he wanted to play. That’s all we needed to know. The fact he wanted to be a Raider was icing on the cake. We went through the process and got it done. He’s excited, and so are we.”

The Raiders now have a deep running back group. Lynch’s physical rushing style is the focal point of an attack that also features smaller, elusive rushers Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Those guys will run behind a productive offensive line considered among the NFL’s best.

Board unanimously approves conditional lease for Raiders stadium in Vegas

Board unanimously approves conditional lease for Raiders stadium in Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- The public board that oversees the proposed stadium where the Raiders want to start playing in 2020 on Thursday unanimously approved a conditional lease agreement for the facility after months of negotiations that were affected by the sudden exit of an instrumental financial backer of the $1.9 billion project.

The Las Vegas Stadium Authority board was running up against a deadline to approve the lease to avoid delaying the team’s relocation by a year, as NFL owners gathering next week in Chicago plan to take up the document. It addresses various aspects related to the 65,000-seat stadium, including insurance, repairs, maintenance, naming rights and a rent-free provision.

“We got to the finish line in time, but we didn’t start real well, and obviously, that kind of set off some events,” board chairman Steve Hill said after the meeting. “We lost six weeks in the process, but we made up for it, the Raiders made up for it, and we are here today where we need to be.”

The six weeks were lost after casino mogul Sheldon Adelson withdrew his multimillion-dollar pledge from the project just days after the first draft of the lease agreement, which included a $1 annual rent, was unveiled in January. The billionaire’s move sent the team searching for $650 million to fill the financial gap he created.

The team ended up securing a loan from Bank of America. Guests of hotels and other lodging facilities in the Las Vegas area are contributing $750 million through a room tax increase, while the Raiders and the NFL all along have been expected to contribute $500 million.

The document approved Thursday to the cheers of workers in the Laborers Union and others is conditional upon other agreements being reached between the team, the board and other entities. The team would not pay rent under the 30-year agreement, but it would have to contribute to a fund that would cover capital expenses that come up as the facility ages.

The agreement also gives the team the right to name the stadium and prohibits any type of gambling in the premises.

Next on the board’s priority list is an agreement that would allow the football team of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to use the facility. The team also has to figure out parking options for the stadium that will be built near the Las Vegas Strip, west of the Mandalay Bay casino-resort. The land they recently purchased is not big enough to accommodate the one-spot-per-four-seats county requirement.

Raiders President Marc Badain said the design for the stadium has been finalized, but renderings will not be unveiled immediately.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” he said after the lease was approved. He added that the team has heard from entities interested in the stadium’s naming rights.