Raiders

Raiders sign three tryout players after rookie minicamp

Raiders sign three tryout players after rookie minicamp

The Raiders have turned tryout players into valued contributors over the years. 

Marcel Reece was signed in 2008 after a tryout, and he made several Pro Bowls as a Raiders. Quarterback Matt McGloin was a late tryout signing back in 2013, beat out fourth-round pick Tyler Wilson and started six games as a rookie before becoming Derek Carr's backup. Running back Jalen Richard is the latest odds defier, after turning a 2016 tryout into a major role as a rookie. Defensive lineman Branden Jackson was also signed after last year's tryout, and eventually ended up on the 53-man roster.  

The Raiders gave three players a chance to join that group. They signed defensive end Chris Casher (Florida State, Faulkner) and linebackers LaTroy Lewis (Tennessee) and Najee Harris (Warner College) to the 90-man roster after strong tryouts during last weekend's Raiders rookie minicamp. 

The new Raiders play positions of need, and will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster. While that's undoubtedly a longshot, the Raiders' history with undrafted talent should provide hope. A total of seven undrafted players contributed in a small way at least to last season's 12-4 record. 

"Anything is possible with these young men," Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. "That’s what we talk about. Once they get here, it doesn’t really matter how they got here, we’re going to let these guys compete. We’re looking for men that are locked in to doing the right things and guys that can help us win. Regardless of how you got here, you have a shot." 

Those additions brought a swift, harsh ending for previously signed undrfted free agents. Safety Ahmad Thomas (Oklahoma), offensive tackle Jordan Wade (Oklahoma) and DE Dwayne Norman (Duke) were waived Monday in corresponding moves.

Three things you need to know from Raiders’ 27-10 loss to Washington

Three things you need to know from Raiders’ 27-10 loss to Washington

LANDOVER, Md. – Three things you need to know about the Raiders’ 27-10 loss to the Washington football club:

1. Raiders eat ‘humble pie’

The Silver and Black were riding high after two dominant showings to start the season. That produced positive press clippings claiming the Raiders might have the league’s best offense and a real shot to win the AFC.

Everything went wrong against Washington, as the Raiders got outplayed and outcoached in every phase.

“This was one of those games that will wake you up,” edge rusher Khalil Mack said. “They served us some humble pie.”

The Raiders were honest about the fact they got their butts kicked. They gave credit to Washington, and admitted they didn’t play up to their high standard.

The hope is that it’s an aberration, not the start of a trend. The Raiders remained confident even in defeat, knowing they must play better to beat a tough Denver team on the road next week.

2. Third-down disaster

The Raiders offense faced 11 third downs on Sunday. They didn’t convert a single one. True story. That seems impossible given the level of offensive talent, but Oakland never earned a first down. That stat, more than any other in the box score, explains just how bad things got for a normally dynamic unit.

Head coach Jack Del Rio was beside himself looking at that stat. Derek Carr said that was the main problem with his unit.

“That’s not good. It sucked,” Carr said. “Getting off on third down, for a defense it gives them life. For the other offense, it’s joyful. It really is. We did not do a good job executing on third down, obviously. That just sucked. There’s no other word for it.”

It’s safe to call that stat an outlier. The Raiders converted 54 percent of their third downs over the first two games, before laying an egg in the nation’s capital.

3. Bullied up front

The Raiders might have the best offensive line in football. The front five didn’t play like that on Sunday night. Typically steady guys had an off night. Donald Penn was penalized. Marshall Newhouse struggled in pass protection. Even Kelechi Osemele was off. The Raiders struggled on the ground, and didn’t give Carr much time to get going. He was sacked four times on the night.

The offensive line makes the Raiders offense go. When it’s not right, the attack stalls out. Other teams will use this game film against the Raiders. That’s why the line has to get right in a hurry and put a bad day in the rearview.

“We have to keep practicing and get things fixed because people will watch this tape,” Osemele said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board and be more prepared next time.”

Carr's message after rough offensive showing: 'Put all the blame on me'

Carr's message after rough offensive showing: 'Put all the blame on me'

LANDOVER, Md. -- Derek Carr had a horrible, no good, very bad day at the office. The Raiders quarterback was uncharacteristically out of sync in Sunday night’s 27-10 loss to the Washington football club, turning in one of the worst performances of his career.

His first pass was an interception, and he didn’t fare much better after that. He was 19-for-31 passing for 118 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked four times on a bad night for the offensive line. The Raiders offense was 0-for-11 on third down.

Many played a part in this disaster, but Carr insists the blame only head his way.

“I have to be better,” Carr said. “Put all the blame on me. It’s my fault. Everybody wants to pat you on the back when you win. You have to own it when you don’t. Put it all on me. I’ll be all right.”

Carr’s stats have been worse only once. He had 117 yards passing in a Thursday night loss to Kansas City, but he didn’t add turnovers to the situation.

Carr had two against Washington. Montae Nicholson snagged an underthrown ball intended for Amari Cooper that set the tone for a terrible offensive showing. Washington scored a touchdown off that turnover and Carr’s next pick, which came in the second quarter.

“I mean, we've obviously seen him play at a real high level. Tonight wasn’t one of those nights,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “It started on the second play of the game, and I think it just kind of unraveled from there. We didn't get a lot done with our offense and he's the triggerman, makes it all go.”

The Raiders didn’t go far, only exceeding 100 yards of offense late in the fourth quarter. They didn’t execute well on the ground or through the air, in stark contrast to the season’s first two games.

The offense got stuck in the mud. Carr says now the Raiders have to work their way out.

“This isn’t alarming, but we did get punched in the mouth,” Carr said. “It’s all about how we respond. We’ll be ready to fight.”