Brown reflects on anniversary of Davis' passing


Brown reflects on anniversary of Davis' passing

ALAMEDA -- Al Davis passed away one year Monday and according to one of his closest confidantes, it does not seem that long ago that the former Raiders owner was still lording over 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway. In fact, even with the Raiders' new regime, Davis' presence is still felt. Which should not be a surprise.

"I'm here everyday and the organization is still going strong and it just seems like a couple of weeks ago, when you look at it," Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown told last week."The impact that he had on this organization, it's hard to believe that he's not still here making some of the decisions that need to be made and should have been made and have not been made."Brown was a longtime coaching staff member but has transitioned into being a team ambassador.RELATED: Remembering Al Davis"But surely, we all miss him because of his ideas and things," Brown said of Davis. "You believed in him and he believed in you and he hired you to do a job and you did your job and those kinds of things. And when you don't have a person with that impact and that hands-on, that push a button on you and makes you do all the right things, it's not the same, of course."Because he was involved in every facet, every position in this organization. He did everything, you know? And it's difficult for a person trying to replace him -- he'll never be replaced -- but the point is that it's hard to fill all the positions that he had here, you know? I mean, he emptied the trash, he drove the car, he lifted weights, he went in the classroom, he went in the meeting room, he was everywhere."

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”