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Saints double up Raiders at the O.co 40-20

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Saints double up Raiders at the O.co 40-20

Aug. 28, 2011
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OAKLAND (AP) -- There's nothing like a trip to Oakland to get Drew Brees ready for the regular season.Brees threw for 189 yards and led New Orleans to scores on all three drives he played in the Saints' 40-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday night.Brees completed 15 of 23 passes and looked almost as sharp as he did in his last trip to Oakland when he led three touchdown drives in his only series of a 45-7 victory two years ago in the third exhibition game. The Saints used that regular-season dress rehearsal to go on and win their first 13 games and win the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
RELATED: Raiders In-Game notes -- Van Dyke's baptism by fire
"A lot of similarities to two years ago when we came out here," Brees said. "I felt like we were very efficient offensively running the football and throwing. Obviously, there's always some mistakes and things you could have done better. But for most part I was pleased with what we accomplished."The Saints gashed the Raiders for 514 yards as the defense struggled once again in a third straight preseason loss for new coach Hue Jackson. Oakland allowed 297 yards passing to Arizona in the opener, 239 on the ground last week to San Francisco and then 388 in the air to New Orleans."Obviously on that side of the ball we have some work to do," Jackson said. "We'll do the work and we'll get it done. As I said a week ago, thank gosh this is not the regular season. We have some fixing to do. I understand that and we'll get it done."The good news for Oakland was the first-team offense played well with the offensive line giving Jason Campbell time to throw and Michael Bush running the ball effectively.Campbell completed 12 of 17 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown, capping his first drive with a 35-yard scoring strike to Derek Hagan.Hagan, signed during training camp, has become one of Oakland's most reliable receivers this summer, catching six passes for 121 yards this game. Rookie Taiwan Jones also shined in his exhibition debut, running for 81 yards and a touchdown and catching two passes for 18 yards.Campbell also drove the Raiders to a 57-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski and had Oakland in position for another score before Jonathon Amaya's interception in the end zone on a deflected pass on the second-to-last play of the first half."You have to do that in preseason in order to see where the lay the ball the next time," Campbell said. "But you have to throw those."Brees' night was already over at that point, doing more than enough in his three drives to allow coach Sean Payton to turn it over to Chase Daniel and the backups."I thought we were in and out of the huddle quicker than we had been and that's something we've always been pretty good at and I thought we were back to that tempo a little bit tonight," Payton said. "I thought it was similar to the preseason game he played here two years ago."Brees was clicking right from the start, finding Devery Henderson on a 37-yard pass over rookie DeMarcus Van Dyke on the first play from scrimmage. Brees targeted Van Dyke three more times in that drive with rookie Mark Ingram capping it with a 1-yard TD run. Ingram fired the ball at the Black Hole sign in the back of the end zone after scoring his third touchdown of the preseason.After Hagan's touchdown tied it, Brees went 4 for 6 for 60 yards on his second drive with Pierre Thomas finishing it with a 1-yard leap into the end zone. Brees had good chemistry going with tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught five passes for 73 yards.The Raiders finally got Brees in check on the third drive after New Orleans moved it to the Oakland 15. Three straight incompletions led to a 33-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley and ended Brees' night with the Saints on top 17-7."We have some things that we need to clean up," Raiders linebacker Kamerion Wimbley said. "Big plays hurt us. We did better in the run game but it wasn't acceptable in the passing game."Oakland took the lead with Janikowski's second 57-yard field goal of the preseason late in the first half, rookie Taiwan Jones' 22-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the third quarter and then another field goal by Janikowski later in the third quarter.Chase Daniel threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Tory Humphrey midway through the third to put the Saints back on top 24-20. The drive was helped by a 32-yard pass to Joique Bell and roughing the passer penalty on Bruce Davis on the same play.Bell also had a 60-yard reception that set up a 1-yard TD run and Adrian Arrington caught a 39-yard TD pass from Daniel to make it 40-20.Notes: DT Richard Seymour, RB Darren McFadden and WR Jacoby Ford sat out for the Raiders with injuries. New QB Terrelle Pryor also did not dress for the game. ... Hartley had a minor hip injury so the Saints went for 2-point conversions after their last two TDs. ... NFL security chief Jeff Miller was on hand a week after violence marred Oakland's game at San Francisco last week and praised changes in security in recent years by the Raiders and the police. "If it works here, it will work anywhere," he said.

Donald Penn ends holdout, returns to Raiders practice

Donald Penn ends holdout, returns to Raiders practice

ALAMEDA -- Left tackle Donald Penn missed Raiders training camp, two preseason games and a return to the team's practice facility while holding out for a new contract. 

He still doesn't have one. Penn ended a 26-day holdout on Wednesday afternoon, returning in time to practice with his team for the first time since the offseason program. He returned on faith, believing the Raiders would work out a higher pay rate after he re-joined the club. 

General manager Reggie McKenzie made it clear on July 31 that the Raiders wouldn't talk contract with a player who wasn't in camp. That stance never changed. 

Penn still wants a new deal. That hasn't changed, either.

The Pro Bowler out-performed the two-year, $11.9 million contract he signed during the 2016 offseason. Penn allowed just one sack and 28 total quarterback pressures last season, totals that ranked No. 6 among all NFL tackles. He wanted salary to reflect performance, with paychecks that put him in the top 10 offensive tackles. He is scheduled to receive a $5.8 million base salary in 2017, which ranks far below highest earners. 

Penn doesn't need to play in either contest to prep for the season, and he has plenty of time to get ready for the Sept. 10 opener at Tennessee. Everything he does can be simulated in practice, though game intensity is tough to match. He should slide back in with the starting offensive line, allowing Mashall Newhouse from the left side to right tackle and wage a position battle there with Vadal Alexander. 

Donald Penn practicing with the Raiders for the first time this preseason

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Penn was formally added to the active roster late Wednesday afternoon. Defensive end Jimmy Bean was waived in a corresponding move.

Bulked up Amari Cooper 'not going to let anybody push him around'

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AP

Bulked up Amari Cooper 'not going to let anybody push him around'

ALAMEDA – Amari Cooper enters this season bigger and stronger, yet still just as fast. The Raiders receiver analyzed how opponents covered him, honing on what worked best.

Defenders tried to be physical at the line of scrimmage to disrupt his timing and divert precise routes. They also shaded safeties to his side, doubling coverage downfield to make Derek Carr throw another direction.

The Raiders quarterback didn’t do that Saturday night against the Los Angeles Rams. Cooper ran a go route, with a linebacker trailing, a corner on the outside and a safety crashing from the interior. In that moment, Carr let Cooper go make a play.

It was an excellent catch where Cooper high-pointed the ball and brought it down in heavy traffic. That wasn’t the type of play he was known for in previous seasons. He’s excellent at making explosive plays after the catch.

Cooper didn’t have room to move after hauling in the first-quarter volley. He crashed to the ground, but held on for a 31-yard gain, proving he can produce in different ways.

“He’s becoming that guy that we can throw it up to,” Carr said. “We all know (Michael Crabtree) can do that. In ‘Coop’s’ rookie year, he’d come down with a few of them, but it’s consistent now that he wants to be a guy that has every aspect of the receiver game. He put it on display on the one that I threw up to him. I tell the receivers before every game, ‘If it’s you one-on-one on a go and that’s the play call, I’m always going to give you a chance. I don’t care what it looks like. You go make the play or nobody does.’ I guess ‘Coop’ really took that to heart, because he wants the ball to keep coming to him.”

Cooper has said before gaining 1,000 receiving yards isn’t that hard, and he hasn’t been satisfied with two straight Pro Bowl seasons. That’s why Cooper came into training camp bigger, stronger and ready to push back.

“I think that that’s the (new) aspect this year. He’s just playing so physical,” Carr said. “He’s not going to let anybody push him around, and that’s his personality since I’ve known him. He doesn’t want anyone to push him around. He doesn’t want to take anything from anybody. I think that each year he has gotten so much better at both of those.”

High-pointing a ball is one thing. Avoiding route disruption is another. He turned to Crabtree for help near the line of scrimmage, and has added dimension to the start of his route.

“I usually use my feet to get separation off the line of scrimmage at the top of my route,” Cooper said. “But, one of the things I’ve learned from him is you can also get the same results using your hands. … The defensive back, he wouldn’t know. Are you going to use your feet? Are you going to use your hands? So it’s a good change up.”

The Raiders have seen an improved Cooper this summer in practice and preseason games, someone who isn’t simply stronger. He’s using his strength well to counter how he’s being defended.

“Much has been made about him being bigger and stronger, and you certainly see that,” offensive coordinator Todd Downing said. “It’s harder for defenders to knock him off his route. He maintains proper route depth more consistently, and his play speed is high for someone who didn’t get a lot of practice (in training camp, due to injury). We were pretty pleased with what we saw (Saturday against L.A.).