Signing with Raiders a homecoming for Tollefson

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Signing with Raiders a homecoming for Tollefson

Raiders defensive lineman Dave Tollefson, who officially signed with Oakland on Saturday after five years with the New York Giants, credited his relationship with new general manager Reggie McKenzie, who drafted him as a seventh-rounder in 2006 for Green Bay, as a main reason for his choosing to return to the East Bay.Tollefson is a Walnut Creek native who played high school ball at Ygnacio Valley High and is a former member of the Raiders practice squad."So there's a level of comfort coming here, knowing that this organization is headed in the right direction with the guys he brought in to run it," Tollefson said of McKenzie in a conference call Tuesday with Bay Area media. "Coach (Dennis) Allen, I got to meet him on my visit here and the energy that he brings, it's exciting."And obviously, I'm from here. I grew up a Raiders fan. My mom is a Raiders fan. Obviously, she's a fan of her son, but if you were to ask her who her favorite team is, she's going to say the Raiders. So, there's something special about playing for the team you grew up watching and where you grew up. It means a lot to me that they believe in me. That's a big part of it. Again, I just go back to the excitement here. Guys are excited to play football, talk football and get ready."Tollefson said the Raiders jumpstarted his NFL career."There's a debt there that I feel like I really got to repay after leaving," he said. "Kind of funny how life works, you know? You get opportunities to come back to someplace like this and kind of show them that you appreciate the opportunity that they gave you."Since leaving Oakland, Tollefson picked up a pair of Super Bowl rings with the Giants. But he never forgot his roots, so to speak."It was great to see the equipment guys," Tollefson said. "I mean, when you're an old practice squad guy you tend to get close to those guys like that and it was good to see them. Some of the front office guys I remember but when I left here it was kind of like it, felt like it was a secret mission; I left in the middle of the night. It was such a quick stop here. There is a mutual amount of respect throughout the league amongst players so there is a bunch of guys that I do know that I've played against that I have a lot of respect for so it comes into play."It's awesome. I mean, I grew up here, I lived here for 22 years, come back home, my mom and my step-dad are out here, my sister, my brother and a lot of my childhood friends. My phone was blowing up as soon as this thing went public. So, it's definitely exciting for me and my family."And in case you doubted his loyalty, this is how he ended the call: "Hey, go Ygnacio Valley Warriors."

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.

Derek Carr to be ready for Raiders offseason activities: 'He's fired up'

Derek Carr to be ready for Raiders offseason activities: 'He's fired up'

PHOENIX – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr’s rehab from a broken fibula has been smooth and steady. He had surgery to repair a bone broken in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, an injury that essentially killed hopes of a Raiders division, conference or league championship.

Carr’s return to health progressed through the winter, leaving him ready to start playing football again soon.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said at this week’s NFL owners meetings that Carr should be a full participant in offseason activities. The offseason program begins April 17, with a few weeks of strength and conditioning.

The first set of OTAs starts on May 22, and Carr is expected to participate fully in those workouts. There are 12 OTAs followed by a three-day mandatory minicamp that ends June 15.

Barring a setback, the Raiders won’t pull the reins on Carr’s participation during that stretch.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to take it easy,” head coach Jack Del Rio said. “He’s fired up. I got to see him working out with the trainers last week before we came down (to Phoenix). He’s doing well. I think he’s really excited about where it is and how the rehab is going. We expect to have him for all the OTAs and everything.”