Routt's 'burn rate' No. 1

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Routt's 'burn rate' No. 1

ALAMEDA -- It's a small sample size, obviously, but Stanford Routt seems to be adapting well to the role of No. 1 cornerback on the Raiders.Through two games, Routt has given up four receptions on the 14 passes thrown his way for a 28.6 percent "burn rate," which is the lowest completion percentage in the NFL among any defender targeted at least 10 times, according to Stats Inc.A meaningless stat in that premier cover corners are rarely targeted, let alone five times per game? Fine, but Routt's rate is better than that of either the Philadelphia Eagles' Nnamdi Asomugha (three-of-six, 50 percent) or the New York Jets' Darrelle Revis (three-of-nine, 33.3 percent)."He's made some plays," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said of Routt. "Obviously, he had an interception last week. I think he's really into the game, not that he wasn't before. I think he understands the position he's in. I think he's up to the challenge, he wants it, he's not running from it, that's for sure. But he'll be the first to tell you he needs to get better, too. We all do, you know, and we will."
The Raiders will have an up-close-and-personal look at Revis Island on Sunday. And Routt will see the three-headed monster of Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes and Derrick Mason a week after Oakland's defense collapsed in the second half at Buffalo in giving up five touchdowns on five possessions.Against the Bills, Routt gave up three receptions on nine targets for 31 yards, while fellow cornerback Chris Johnson surrendered seven catches on 10 targets for 71 yards and middle linebacker Rolando McClain was victimized on eight of 11 for 62 yards."You kind of do it like whenever you go to the toilet and use the restroom," Routt said. "Whatever you put in there, you just flush it down and you just let it go, because games like that can definitely affect you for the next game."Weshould have been 2-0, effed it off in the fourth quarter and the third quarter and so now we've got our home opener. You've got to just go ahead, put it to bed and forget about it."And a victory over the Jets would bolster just as much confidence."Definitely. The Jets have been in the AFC title game what, the last two years, against the (Indianapolis) Colts and the (Pittsburgh) Steelers?" pondered Routt, who has also been called for pass interference and holding one time each. "So yeah, it would definitely build confidence. But no matter what, somebody said in our defensive meeting this morning, that if we want to go to the AFC title game, we want to go to the playoffs, if we want to go to the Super Bowl, we're going to have to go through this team. Or the (New England) Patriots, or the Steelers. Whatever."But we're going to have to get through this team. So we might as well go ahead and see where we are right now, rather than try to hold it off and just wait untill January or February, if it gets that far."

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.”