Raiders notes: Who runs the no-huddle?

921147.jpg

Raiders notes: Who runs the no-huddle?

OAKLAND -- So, who's at the helm when the Raiders offense goes into full no-huddle mode, quarterback Carson Palmer or offensive coordinator Greg Knapp?"There's communication between (Carson) and Greg Knapp," said Raiders rookie coach Dennis Allen. "But at the end of the day, Carson makes the final decision on what plays we'll run based off the gameplan and what we feel like we can do to exploit their defensive structure."Of course, Palmer is calling the plays off a "menu," of sorts, provided by Knapp. Such was the case in the second half of Oakland's 26-23 overtime win over Jacksonville on Sunday."We tired them out a little bit, especially in their secondary," Palmer said. "They went down a corner(back) and only had like three real corners left. So, we got them tired, kept things off balance, and it was a great halftime adjustment by coach Knapp and the rest of the crew."Speaking of halftime adjustments, Knapp made an attitude adjustment on his offense in the locker room."Coach Knapp was not happy at halftime, so to speak," Palmer said. "We had a great gameplan coming in (but) we werent executing as individuals and it starts with me being the quarterback. Youve got to executethe game plan."Coach Knapp let us have it, and offensively that fires us up and (we) took it as almost a threat. He was all over us and sometimes you need that from your coach. He picked the right time and let us have it. We came together and found ways to move the ball and found ways to score in the second half."The Raiders seemingly caught a break when Jaguars star running back Maurice Jones-Drew's day ended after just two carries with an injured left foot.Jones-Drew, a native of Antioch who prepped at De La Salle High in Concord, is now 1-5 in Bay Area games since living the East Bay for UCLA."It was a routine tackle and (I) just got rolled up," he said. "I didnt know what it was. It felt like it was kind of just a little boo-boo."It just didnt feel right. I didnt want to go out there and hurt our team if Im not feeling right."Jones-Drew, like the 50 or so friends and family who came to the game, was a mere spectator the rest of the game. The player, though, watched the second half on crutches and in a boot.Allen said the only injury of note to emerge from the game to his team was an elbow injury suffered by defensive tackle Desmond Bryant. He had an ice bag on his right arm as he left the locker room.And Allen left no doubt who emerged victorious in the trenches between the Raiders offensive line and the Jaguars defensive line."They won the battle up front, theres no question about it," Allen said. "We werent able to run the ball effectively. We had too much pressure on the quarterback. That will be something that we will have to look at. We have to get that corrected moving forward."The Jaguars entered the game allowing an average of 4.7 yards per carry; Darren McFadden averaged 2.8 against the No. 30-ranked rush defense in the NFL.Plus, Palmer was sacked twice times and the Jaguars also had six QB hits.
And finally, Allen, on when he used his last timeout, with 3:53 remaining in regulation, and whether he thought of having Sebastian Janikowski attempt a 43-yard field goal -- the unit was on the field before the timeout -- despite being down by seven points, or going for it on 4th and 10: "I thought that we had enough time that we could kick the field goal, (though) we still needed a touchdown to win the game. With it being 4th and 10, my thought process was originally to kick the field goal knowing that we had played pretty good defense there in the second half. I felt like we would get another opportunity to get the ball back. Thought differently and we decided to go for it and obviously we got helped out by the pass interference call in the end zone. That was the big play in the game."Aaron Ross was flagged for the PI in the end zone as he covered Darrius Heyward-Bey, setting the Raiders up at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Palmer went in over center for the keeper and touchdown before Sebastian Janikowski's PAT tied the score at 23-23.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”