Raiders' Schilens finally healthy, ready to play

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Raiders' Schilens finally healthy, ready to play

Sept. 8, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comALAMEDA -- Raiders fans, you've heard it all before. So it's understood if you're a bit leery about fully embracing the possibility.But injury-prone receiver Chaz Schilens insists he is fully healed from the knee injury he suffered in Oakland's exhibition opener against Arizona on Aug. 11, and that you'll see him in the regular season opener Monday night in Denver."I plan to play in the game and I hope everything goes good," Schilens said following the Raiders' Wednesday night practice.Asked if he would be tentative coming back, what with his injury history, Schilens shook his head."No, actually, probably the opposite," he said. "I try to come back even harder. So maybe that's why I've gotten myself in some of the (injury) problems. But nah, I try not to think about it at all, really."Schilens has alternately teased and tortured Raiders fans with his skill set since the Raiders drafted him out of San Diego State in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.As a rookie, he played in all 16 games and caught a combined six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders' final two games of the season, victories over Houston and Tampa Bay.But then he broke a foot in a non-contact drill the following training camp, during a joint session with the 49ers. He missed half the year but again came on strong at the end, catching a career-high eight passes for 99 yards in the season finale finale against Baltimore.The foot, though, was not completely healed and after overcompensating for it, he injured a knee before the 2010 season. As such, he only appeared in five games but had a TD in the finale at Kansas City.This season, he reported to camp in fine physical condition, until he went down on an end-around play to the left against the Cardinals.But Wednesday, he completed his third straight practice without incident. Hence, his plan on playing against the Broncos. And re-joining a receiving corps filled with speed."They're a new team," he said of Denver, which was on the receiving end of the Raiders' 59-14 beatdown the last time they played in the Mile High City. "I think they're improved, watching them defense-wise. I don't expect to be anything like last year. I expect it to be a little more of a game and I know they're improved.I'm excited. I'm excited when we can all get out there, especially when Louis (Murphy) comes back and everything. I think we'll be good. It will be a hard pick-your-poison kind of thing."Better than picking an injured body part.

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.