Raiders pregame notes -- Setting the scene


Raiders pregame notes -- Setting the scene

Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comDENVER -- There are few settings in the NFL as picturesque as the home of the Denver Broncos.But almost as jarring as the scene is serene is the new corporate name of the Broncos' stadium -- Sports Authority Field at Mile High.It makes the Coliseum sound like a Ma and Pa B&B.But I digress.There are miniature American flags adorning virtually every seat in the 75,125-seat stadium, sure to be utilized for a 9-11 pregame ceremony. More than 100 police officers and firefighters from the Denver area will be on the field to pay tribute to "all first responders of the 911 tragedy that took place 10 years ago."Three-plus hours before kickoff, though, the only people on the field were the Broncos cheerleaders and while there were clouds in the sky, it was 84 degrees late in the afternoon.But after the Raiders arrived, the first three players on the field were tight ends Brandon Myers and Richard Gordon and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy and they played a game of catch that was as ugly as it was brief. The spirals were, well, not spirals at all.Then there was rookie head coach Hue Jackson and returning defensive coordinator Chuck Bresnahan getting their laps in.A curious sight was going down on the other side of the field, though, as Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, in shorts and T-shirt, was running patterns and catching passes. And looking good doing it. He made a one-handed grab in the end zone from about 15 yards out.The Raiders and Broncos are also making history as the most common matchup in Monday Night Football history. This is the 15th time the teams have met on MNF, besting the 14 times Washington and Dallas have met on this primetime stage. Chicago and Minnesota have et 12 times on MNF, as have Dallas and Philadelphia. Miami and the New York Jets have met 11 times.The Broncos hold an 8-6-1 series lead on MNF against the Raiders.Finally, here's a quote Raiders fans will get a kick out of, straight from the Broncos' Gameday magazine: "The Raiders are the one team I can say in our division everybody hates." - Broncos third-year defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely, who also coached in San Diego.Nunnely also gave the Raiders props for being "very talented" and "well-coached." So there.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.