ALAMEDA -- As a predominantly power-blocking team last season, the Raiders were the No. 7-ranked rushing team in the NFL, averaging 131.9 yards per game on the ground.Through four games of the 2012 season utilizing the zone-blocking scheme, the Raiders are 32nd in the 32-team NFL -- last -- in averaging 60.8 rushing yards per game.Still think the switch should have been seamless, and that the ZBS is similar to what the Raiders ran last year?"It's very different in the run game," center Stefen Wisniewski told CSNCalifornia.com following the Raiders' final pre-bye week practice on Wednesday. "Yeah, it really is."How, exactly?Wisniewski's eyes rolled and he smiled."Well, I mean, I'd get technical on you," he said with a laugh. "Yeah, it's, I mean, the footwork, the aiming points, just everything is. The whole goal's different -- you're trying to get people to run sideways and make a cut, instead of trying to move people, drive them off the ball. So, the whole broad scheme is different and then all the little details are different, with all the footwork and everything and the combinations."But we're getting more comfortable at them and the more reps we get, we're just going to keep getting better and the more reps the (running) backs get, they're going to keep getting better because it's different for them, too. The reads are all very different."Keep in mind, the Raiders' offensive line is still rounding into form, what with Wisniewski making the transition from left guard to center after missing all on-field work this offseason recovering from shoulder surgery before a calf injury sidelined him in the exhibition season. And Willie Smith is replacing the injured Khalif Barnes at right tackle. Plus, it's not like Oakland can practice the cut-blocking in practice against teammates."It's definitely close and we really feel we're continuing to get better at it," Wisniewski said. "You know, it's not an easy thing to pick up right away. It takes time, it takes practice and it takes game practice, too. It's a different look than practice (when) you can't really cut guys. It's a whole different deal."It's a things that's going to take time and we're definitely moving in the right direction and we're definitely close to where we want to be."And therein lies the frustration."It's tough," Wisniewski said, "and we certainly want to be seeing results right now but coaches have been good and encouraging, encouraging us to be patient, keep working, keep getting better and just trust that it's going to work and we believe it is going to work."
Watch out Jalen Richard. You have some competition for your punt returning job.
Okay, not really.
But quarterback Derek Carr got in on the action Tuesday. In a video posted by the Raiders on Twitter, Carr fielded a punt and ran it back to the endzone for a touchdown.
He proceeded to do Deion Sanders' touchdown dance and that elicited a response from the Pro Football Hall of Famer.
Carr has yet to respond.
— Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) July 25, 2017
The Raiders placed two players on the Non-Football Injury List, the team announced on Tuesday.
Linebacker Ben Heeney and tight end Cooper Helfet both count against the 90-man roster.
The Raiders' first team practice of training camp is scheduled for Saturdya.
Heeney was selected in the 5th round of the 2015 draft out of Kansas.
After appearing in 15 games a rookie, he saw action in just four games last season.
Over 23 games for the Seahawks in 2014 and 2015, Helfet caught 25 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns.
He spent time on the Raiders' practice squad last season.