Monthly Archives: August 2016

Raiders Notes: Osemele, Calhoun, Carr, Cook & more

Mario Edwards Jr. and Kelechi Osemele

These two hoggies got into two fights in one practice, which resulted in an exchange of punches. Both were booted from practice for the day. The punch was atleast hard enough for Edwards Jr. to ice his hand after practice.

Edwards Jr. will be okay. However, head coach Jack Del Rio said it was put to rest. He said it was a learning experience for everyone involved.

Shilique Calhoun

The third-round pick has been asked to drop back as a strong side linebacker. He is more comfortable rushing the passer like what he did in college. However, he accepts the challenge.

“I don’t believe that what they have me doing is outside my reach,” Calhoun said via CSN Bay Area. “I’ve covered in college, although not as much as I’m being asked to do now, and I think it’s well within my athletic abilities. There are new responsibilities, and I haven’t been put in a situation where I felt uncomfortable.”

Calhoun likes the Raiders are helping him grow while also asking him to do what he does best.

“You have to advance your skills at this level, but it was so great to hear them say they want me to be myself,” Calhoun said. “They drafted me for a reason, because they like my style of play. We’re trying to expand my repertoire a little more to counter what people have planned for you.”

Justin Ellis

How did Justin Ellis end up as the starting nose tackle headed into camp?

“Last year I ran so much, thinking that that was going to help me,” said Ellis via Silver and Black Pride. “But I was dead when I came to camp. Even though I had a solid camp last year, but I was dead. I feel like I wasn’t at my best because my legs were so heavy. But this year I worked smarter, but I also worked hard.”

As for his competition against Dan Williams, Ellis complimented the veteran.

“It’s a great competition at that spot. Competition comes with the sport, with this profession. Dan Williams is a great player and I’m working to be great. Just working hard every day.” Ellis said.

Derek Carr

The third year quarterback is finally not focused on earning a spot or learning a new offense or receivers.

The game is finally getting slower for Carr.

“I can just see things faster. The game has slowed down a lot and that’s the biggest thing. Once you’re just out there playing football and you’re not swimming mentally, that’s the biggest thing. Now, again, I’m only in my third year so I have a ways to go. But, the fact that it’s slowed down already helps me out a lot.” Carr said via CSN Bay Area.

Now, Carr can help the offense get more balanced.

“We’re past the point of the X’s and O’s stuff,” Carr said. “If you go to Amari and say what do you have on blah, blah, blah. He knows that. I know my reads, all those things. Now, it’s those little details that we always talk about. … Those things that we can get to, that’s the next step. … That’s the kind of stuff that you can do in the second year. That’s the kind of stuff you can do with a guys like Amari and Crabtree, who work really hard.”

Injuries

Karl Joseph, Clive Walford and Denico Autry all made their training camp premieres on Friday. Both players missed workouts.

Taiwan Jones also returned last week, but he was also seen sitting out after his return.

Offensive line

Offensive line coach Mike Tice talked about the line a few times this week.

Right tackle is the only position not set. Tice believes the battle between Menelik Watson and Austin Howard is going to the wire.

As for the rest of the line, Tice is happy with Gabe Jackson’s move from left guard to right guard. He called Jackson a natural fit at that position.

Tice also said the interior of Jackson, Osemele and Rodney Hudson may combine for the best interior line he has ever seen.

Connor Cook

After looking like he could be the backup, Connor Cook took steps back in camp. Beat reporter Vic Tafur went as hard as comparing him to Tyler Wilson.

Sean Smith

The MMQB wrote on article on the corner as part of their season preview. The article talks about Smith leading a secondary that will lead the Raiders to contention.

“He has such a wide radius and such long arms, that if he gets his hands on you, he’s got a chance to take you out of the play,” Raiders defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson said about Smith.

Smith said he sees that Raiders secondary was filled with talent, but they needed to go throw growing pains. Now, he is sharing knowledge.

“You don’t have to cover the whole route tree, so stop stressing. Make the game simple! Small things like that.” Smith said.

Raiders’ Ken Stabler finally gets into Hall of Fame

The late Kenny Stabler finally got into the Pro Football Hall of Fame via video by his Hall of Fame coach John Madden.

It took stabler 27 years to enter the HOF, but his coach Madden has always said he would take Stabler over any quarterback for one game winning drive.

The Snake helped the 1970 Raiders win their first Super Bowl. Stabler also won the 1974 league MVP. He also helped Oakland make four conference Championships in five years. Stabler is still the Raiders’ career leader in passing yards and touchdowns. Best of all, he registered a 96-49-1 record as a starter.

Instead of a speech, the crowd simply cheered as Stabler got inducted. It brought family members tears as they lost the QB to colon cancer only a year ago.

“He were are. His final drive. And there’s a Snake in the Hall,” his daughter, Kendra Stabler Moyes, said later, fighting back emotion.

Brett Favre shared a great memory about attending a Saints game, where Stabler played after the Raiders.

“As I stood, I saw this long-, gray-haired, scruffy-beard player emerging from the tunnel, and I knew then and there, as goosebumps ran up my arm and the hair on the back of my neck stood up, that that was what I was destined to do and be. I wanted to be that player. Well, that player happened to be none other than Kenny Stabler. Of course, I didn’t have many choices. It was football, baseball or bust for me. But I knew then and there that I wanted to be and feel what Kenny Stabler was feeling. What an exciting moment for me.” Farve said.

Further, Stabler is only the second lefty quarterback in the HOF, after Steve Young was inducted in 2005.

As a young fan, I always love reading about Stabler and how he embodied the image of the Raiders.

Here are some good quotes from his teammates:

“Even if you’re covered by a guy he can only cover half of you. Stabler would hit the other half.” Dave Casper once said.

“I hope not,” Fred Biletnikoff said about Stabler getting a sympathy vote. “I’ve asked why he wasn’t in and nobody could give me an answer. Without reservation, a lot of people in the Hall of Fame wonder why it didn’t happen earlier.”

“He was the master,” George Atkinson said, “and he knew every weak link and how to expose it.”

“People talk about Joe Montana; Kenny was doing it before Joe Montana — and he was doing it calling all his own plays,” Cliff Branch said about Stabler’s late game reputation.

“I kept hitting him, and he just looked at me and said, ‘Ted, how come you’re hitting me so hard?’ And I told him it was because he was wearing the wrong color uniform. There are just so many memories I have of him, the good times we had, the smile on his face. Never any envy — always cool, calm and collected.” Ted Hendricks said about facing his former teammate.

Those quotes are from Raiders insider Gerry McDonald. You can find more and some of Stabler’s other nicknames in this great piece.

Check out info on Stabler’s display here.