Tollefson brings championship pedigree back to Raiders

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Tollefson brings championship pedigree back to Raiders

Dave Tollefson was channeling his inner Lloyd Christmas during a conference call with Bay Area media on Tuesday afternoon.The newest Raiders defensive lineman, signed as a free agent on Saturday after five years and two Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants, was asked how his championship pedigree would rub off on his new teammates.RELATED: Signing with Raiders homecoming for Tollefson
"I don't know much, but there's a few things I do know," Tollefson said after a brief pause. "And one of them is getting in the tournament. I mean, you've got to have a chance. If you're not in the tournament -- which is playoffs when I say that -- you don't have a chance."I always like to quote my favorite movie "Dumb and Dumber," when he was asking what are the chances a girl like (you) and a guy like (me) can be together and she says, 'One in a million.'"The character of Christmas, played by Jim Carey in the 1994 film, was anything but crestfallen."And Jim Carey says, 'So you're saying there's a chance,'" Tollefson recounted with a laugh. "Just to have the opportunity to play for the title and get in the playoffs, that's all you need. And then you take it one game at a time and next thing you know you're hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy. There's no secret to winning championships. It's just a matter of doing the work and when it comes to playoff time, taking advantage of the opportunities."In Gotham, the Walnut Creek native who grew up in Concord and played at Ygnacio Valley High was a role player, of sorts, on the Giants' fearsome defensive line. Drafted by Green Bay in the seventh round (No. 253 overall) of the 2006 draft out of Northwest Missouri State and later being a member of the Raiders' practice squad, Tollefson played behind and alongside some of the game's best at the position and contributed his own flavor.Michael Strahan. Osi Umenyiora. Justin Tuck."It's huge, man." Tollefson said. "To be the best, you've got to be around the best, you've got to be surrounded by people that are successful in order for yourself to be successful. So being with those group of guys for that period of time was really special."I just got here (to Oakland) today, my first workout in today, but there's a group of guys here that can play ball up front, too, which is exciting to see. I'm not quite an old, wily vet yet. I've got a few years left in me. I think I've seen quite a bit in this league and they got a group of guys here that can do some big things also. I look back fondly on my time with those guys (in New York). It was special, for sure, but you can't dwell on the past. You've got to keep going forward and make the future."The 6-foot-4, 266-pound Tollefson has started just two of the 62 career games in which he's played and he's not expected to replace either Lamarr Houston or a physically-healed Matt Shaughnessy in the starting lineup. Rather, he's expected to provide a boost off the bench and on special teams.Last season, Tollefson, 29, played in all 16 regular season games with the two starts and had career highs in tackles (21) and sacks (five). In his career, he has 81 tackles (56 solo), with 10 sacks, five passes defensed and three forced fumbles.RELATED: Dave Tollefson 2011 game logs
So what does he anticipate his on-field role being in Oakland?"You know, I think it's the multiplicitywhat I can do as a player," he said. "I played a lot of snaps inside. Will I do that here? I'm not quite sure. We've got a great groups of D tackles that can do a really good job inside. So I think that's what intrigued the Raiders about me, just the ability to do anything. And that's something that you have to do as a guy that hasn't necessarily started in this league."I've started a couple of games but you kind of got to be good at everything because you really don't know when an opportunity's going to come for you to contribute to a team winning a game. So I think that's what, hopefully, they're going to use me for. Just kind of, whatever, what do you need me to do? I can even mow the grass if you want to."Rather, the Raiders would prefer he mow down opposing running backs.The Raiders' run defense has been an Achilles' heel in recent years. Last season, the Raiders ranked 27th against the run, giving up 136.1 yards per game on the ground. The Giants, meanwhile, were 19th, with a 121.2 average."You've got to be physical and I think sometimes run defense can be overshadowed by a want to get sacks because that's considered to be such game-changing plays," Tollefson said. "But I'm always thinking you've got earn the right to rush the passer and the way you do that is by stopping the run. That's going to be a focus of mine no matter what, and I think it will be the guys' (focus) up front."You've got to do it up front and obviously the linebackers are named linebackers because they back the line. If the guys up front aren't getting the job done, it doesn't matter who you have behind you. It's definitely going to be a focus of ours -- stop the run -- because if you can't stop the run you better not even start thinking about getting sacks, because they'll just run the ball all day on you."

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Adrian Peterson played defense on Friday night.

Hours after a report suggesting that the four-time All-Pro running back was still a free agent due to salary demands, the former Viking posted a lengthy statement on Instagram along with a video of his running an agility drill.

"YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD"

Early in the free agency period, the Raiders were linked to Peterson, but nothing came of those rumors.

The Raiders, in need of a feature back after Latavius Murray signed with the Vikings, are reportedly pursuing the possibility of luring Oakland-native Marshawn Lynch out of retirement.

Peterson was scheduled to make $18 million in 2017, but the Vikings declined to exercise his contract, making him a free agent. The 2012 NFL MVP turned 32 on March 21 and played in just three games in 2016 due to a major knee injury.

According to the ESPN report, Peterson was looking for a contract that paid him over $8 million in the first year of the deal.

YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD

A post shared by Adrian L Peterson (@adrianpeterson) on

 

Oakland, Lott Group pen letter to NFL in last-ditch effort to keep Raiders

Oakland, Lott Group pen letter to NFL in last-ditch effort to keep Raiders

Through the office of mayor Libby Schaaf, the City of Oakland issued the following statement on Friday, revealing a letter they sent to the NFL a day earlier highlighting the viability and appeal of keeping the Raiders in Oakland.

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OAKLAND, CA — Today, the City of Oakland, Alameda County, the Lott Group and Fortress, who have been working in concert to develop a fully-financed local stadium proposal for the Oakland Raiders, shared publicly documents detailing the strength of the Oakland plan.

Specifically, they made public for the first time, their most recent correspondence to the NFL. The letters and accompanying documents were sent in follow-up to a March 6, 2017 presentation Mayor Libby Schaaf and former NFL player and real estate investor Ronnie Lott made to the NFL’s Joint Stadium and Finance Committee that outlined the economic advantages to the league and the team of staying in Oakland.

[RELATED: Letter to NFL from Libby Schaaf, Lott Group]

“We’re not giving up in the fourth quarter,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Since I took office two years ago, I have been focused on taking a team-centered approach that is responsible to the Raiders, the NFL, the fans and the taxpayers of Oakland. We’ve been successful in doing the environmental clearance, aligning the City and the County which jointly own the land, engaging the league and bringing partners to the table in the Lott Group and Fortress who have the financial backing, compassion for this community and intimate knowledge of the game -- on and off the field -- to get a deal done. All that’s missing is the Raiders.”

“I know how passionate the Bay Area is about the Raiders,” said NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott. “To rip this team away from Oakland for a second time would be heartbreaking and entirely unnecessary given that we have a viable option on the table that keeps them here and helps this community and the team grow. We have a sophisticated financial partner in Fortress. We have done the due diligence, and it is clear that the only fully-financed, ready-to-roll option for the Raiders is in Oakland.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, City Council President Larry Reid, whose district is home to the existing Coliseum and the proposed new stadium site, Lott Group partner and former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and Fortress Managing Director Drew McKnight plan to gather with fans, local business leaders, nearby residents and other community members to demonstrate support for the Oakland stadium plan at events planned for Saturday, March 25. This is the day before NFL owners begin a series of meetings during which they are expected to discuss, and possibly vote on Raiders’ owner Mark Davis’ request to move the team to Las Vegas.

City of Oakland media services