Raiders

Sources: Allen signs 4-year deal with Raiders

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Sources: Allen signs 4-year deal with Raiders

The Raiders officially have reached an agreement with Dennis Allen on a four-year deal, two sources told CSNCalifornia.com on Thursday.
At age 39, Allen will be the second-youngest head coach in the NFL -- six months older than Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin.He will be the first new Raiders coach to come from the defensive side of the ball since Hall of Famer John Madden was hired in 1969. He will be Oakland's seventh head coach since 2003.Hue Jackson was fired earlier this month after one season on the job.
Allen spent 2011 as Denver's defensive coordinator. The Broncos improved in every defensive category from 2010. Allen runs a 4-3 defense, which the Raiders have used the past seven seasons.
Point allowed: 32nd in 2010 -- 24th in 2011
Rush yardsgame: from 31st to 22nd
Pass yardsgame: from 25th to 18th
Total yardsgame: from 32nd to 20th
Third downs: from tied for 17th to 6th
Red-zone TDs: from 27th to 15th
His NFL coaching career began with Atlanta in 2002, assisting with the secondary. He then moved to defensive assistantquality control, with emphasis on the defensive line. He was hired by the Saints as assistant defensive line coach in 2006, then moved to secondary coach in 2008.Wednesday, while attending Senior Bowl workouts in Mobile, Ala., new Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie indicated to CSNCalifornia.com via text message that he had a "handshake agreement" with Allen to become the next head coach of the Raiders.Raiders punter Shane Lechler spoke as if Allen's arrival is all but official, telling NFL.com this week that he thinks it's the right hire.
"I think it will be a good fit for us," Lechler said. "He's a young, energetic guy. Smart guy. Been through a lot with Atlanta, then a lot with New Orleans, over to Denver and that defense. We'll take all the help we can get right now."Denver cornerback Champ Bailey, speaking to reporters at the Pro Bowl, had nothing but praise for the former Texas A&M defensive back."I know what type of team he's going to have," Bailey said. "Very intense, hard-nosed. Tough. That's the way he is. That's what I expect his team to be."The last time the Raiders hired a former Denver assistant as head coach was Mike Shanahan in 1988.

Following surgery, Raiders activate former second-round pick off PUP list

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AP

Following surgery, Raiders activate former second-round pick off PUP list

Raiders defensive lineman Jihad Ward injured his foot during the team's offseason program and hasn't seen the field since. Last year's second-round pick had it surgically repaired, and missed training camp rehabiltating. 

He's finally ready to go. He passed a physical on Monday and was removed from the physically unable to perform list. The team had a walk-through on Monday. Ward should be active for Tuesday afternoon's practice, the first back at their Alameda practice facility. 

The Illinois product had 30 tackles in 13 starts last season, playing significant snaps with Mario Edwards Jr. out due to a hip injury. He'll have to compete for a spot in the rotation, even after working with the first unit during the offseason program. Rookie third-round pick Eddie Vanderdoes has played well in his absence and could be a three-down player inside. 

Ward was a raw, yet athletic talent capable of playing several techniques across the line. The teams sees great potential, though Ward must continue to develop as a player. 

In addition, the Raiders activated tight end Cooper Helfet off the non-football injury list.

Khalil Mack ready for regular season, but Raiders defense is not

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AP

Khalil Mack ready for regular season, but Raiders defense is not

OAKLAND – The Los Angeles Rams assigned two blockers to Khalil Mack, a common practice against the reigning defensive player of the year. Sometimes it works. This time it didn’t.

The Raiders edge rusher split the double team, found his target and pounced. Jared Goff stood zero chance. There was no evading this one. Mack brought last year’s No. 1 overall pick down with authority, claiming a sack that ultimately won’t count in his 2017 total.

The sacks highlighted a dominant performance that also included three quarterback pressures, four total tackles and two for a loss. All that in three series.

Mack’s clearly ready for the regular season. As a whole, the Raiders defense is not.

Saturday’s 24-21 loss to the Rams at Oakland Coliseum proved that point. A below average offense had no trouble scoring on a starting unit that looks a bit lost.

“I thought our defense was poor, in particular early when we started the game,” head coach Jack Del Rio said in a postgame press conference. “We’re going to have to get a whole lot better there.”

It has to happen quickly, with the regular season bearing down and the Raiders still trying to correct the same old thing. Making proper reads and improved communication has been an emphasis this offseason as coaches work to get this defense playing better together. It’s still preseason and there’s time to teach and coach and fix problems, but the defense isn't quite right.

“I think we’ll go a long way when we clean some of those things up,” Del Rio said. “The things that we’ve talked about for too long in terms of communication errors, eye violations and things like that that just keep you from ever being really good on defense. Those just have to get cleaned up.”

Issues are present in the front seven but more obvious in the back, where explosive pass plays continue to plague the starting unit. The Raiders allowed two plays over 20 yards on the first series and six plays of 10 or more yards in three series on Saturday, when the full starting unit was active. The Rams scored 14 points – Mack’s sack squashed the lone non-scoring drive – in those three series.

Del Rio was bothered by misreads and “eye violations,” in coverage, which make things easier for an opposing offense.

“When you see them, it’s not a good thing,” Del Rio said. “Yeah, I mean it’s really simple. You don’t have your eyes where they belong and you’re playing man? You’re playing man or even in zone. If you’re not seeing what you need to see, it makes it hard.”

Fixing these problems could improve execution and make life harder on opponents. It needs to happen this summer or the Raiders will have to win a lot of shootouts.

“Obviously, I identify what the problem is,” Del Rio said. “Getting it fixed is the challenge.”