Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

June 15, 2013

NFL: Allen pleased with Raiders' progress in mini-camp

OAKLAND — Coach Dennis Allen is pleased with the progress he's seen the past two months during the offseason program for the new-look Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders wrapped up their mandatory three-day minicamp on Thursday and won't reconvene as a team again until they report to training camp in Napa on July 24 - two days before the start of practice.

The team that arrives in wine country will look very different from Allen's first one with the Raiders with key players like quarterback Carson Palmer, receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, and defensive back Michael Huff long gone as part of the rebuilding plan in Oakland.

"We got a lot of change, a lot of turnover on this football team and the thing I've been the most pleased with is the mindset of this team,'' Allen said. "I know there's a lot of experts out there that might think differently, but I like this football team.''

While making plenty of subtractions as general manager Reggie McKenzie got the team's bloated salary cap in order, the Raiders also made one key addition since starting the offseason program April 15 by bringing defensive back Charles Woodson back to Oakland.

Woodson has moved right into the starting free safety role and has become a leader on a rebuilt defense that could have as many as nine new starters from a year ago.

"Nobody's going to give us a shot this year to do anything,'' Woodson said. "But for us, if we come out and practice in a way that's going to help us go out there and win games it won't really matter what anybody else says. It'll be about what we do out here on the field.''

The changes on defense are part of a complete overhaul engineered by Allen and McKenzie since January 2010, when they took over a franchise that had been run by late owner Al Davis for a half-century.

"I'm getting used to it,'' said kicker Sebastian Janikowski, whose 13 years with the team make him the longest-tenured player on the roster. "But it's for a good reason. We need to change and we need to change now.''

Only 17 players are left from the roster at the end of the 2011 season as McKenzie tries to overhaul a team that hasn't had a winning season or playoff berth since 2010.

There are still some major questions unanswered after the offseason conditioning program, three weeks of OTAs and this week's minicamp. The most notable of those are who will start at quarterback and what to expect from first-round pick D.J. Hayden at cornerback.

Matt Flynn was acquired in April from Seattle to be the front-runner to take over at quarterback from Palmer. Flynn has started only two games in five NFL seasons as the backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay and Russell Wilson in Seattle.

Flynn was expected to start for the Seahawks last year only to be beaten out by the rookie Wilson. While he has failed to seize the job during the offseason program, Terrelle Pryor and rookie Tyler Wilson have been at least equally inconsistent, keeping Flynn the favorite to start when the season opens in September.

"I think they've gotten better,'' Allen said. "I really do. We're not where we need to be yet but we're not playing tomorrow. I feel good about where we're at from a quarterback standpoint. We got some different elements at the quarterback position, I think all of them have their strengths and we got to try to put them in position to try to utilize their strengths.''

The Raiders have little idea what Hayden can do after his offseason program was shut down quickly after he underwent surgery to remove scar tissue from his abdominal region. Hayden was picked 12th overall despite missing the end of his final season in college at Houston because of a torn blood vessel that nearly killed him last November after a practice collision with a teammate.

Hayden is expected to be fully recovered when training camp starts in July and will compete with veteran offseason additions Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins for a starting cornerback spot.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0111web.jpg ‘Team behind the Team’

    For the second-straight year, the Claremore Zebra student training staff will be represented in the Oklahoma Coaches All-State games held in Tulsa.
    Meranda Golbek and Sarah Szcinski, a pair of 2014 Claremore High School graduates, earned All-State honors for their athletic training careers and will join two other student trainers from Jenks and Stillwater High School on the East squad.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • MLB: Rangers struggle in 9-3 loss to A's

    A rough month didn't get any better for Texas on Sunday night, even though the game-time temperature of 100 degrees would have seemed to be in the Rangers' favor against Oakland.

    However, they trailed 5-0 in the second inning en route to a 9-3 loss to the Athletics. Texas has lost 15 of its last 18 and dropped to 4-19 in July.

    July 28, 2014

  • Lost Red Sox title ring returned by Yankees fan

    A lost Red Sox World Series ring is back on the finger of its owner, thanks to a nifty pickup by an ardent New York Yankees fan.

    Manhattan restaurant owner Luigi Militello could hardly believe it when he found the shiny 2013 championship ring on a restroom sink at his Luke's Bar and Grill on Thursday night.

    July 28, 2014

  • MLB: First-place Dodgers complete sweep of Giants

    Manager Don Mattingly hardly considers a late-July sweep in San Francisco a turning point to put his Dodgers in the driver's seat atop the NL West.

    Yet coming off consecutive series losses at St. Louis and Pittsburgh, Los Angeles needed some sort of spark as August approaches. The Dodgers found it in the ballpark of their biggest rival, and left the Bay Area in first place following an emphatic three-game swing.

    Carl Crawford hit an RBI triple to back Hyun-Jin Ryu's third straight victory, and division-leading Los Angeles beat the Giants 4-3 Sunday night to establish some momentum behind their pitching and offense.

    July 28, 2014

  • NBA: Lakers set on hiring Byron Scott for new coach

    The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they're apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days.

    Scott said this weekend that he has been hired by the Lakers, but the club insisted Sunday that no deal has been reached.

    July 28, 2014

  • NASCAR: Jeff Gordon claims fifth Brickyard 400 title

    With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again.

    Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight days before his 43rd birthday and on the weekend Indianapolis Motor Speedway celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first Brickyard victory.

    July 28, 2014

  • MLB: Thomas, Torre highlight HOF class

    Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy.

    Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats.

    Thomas, pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, and managers Bobby Cox, Torre and La Russa were inducted into the baseball shrine Sunday, and all paid special tribute to their families before an adoring crowd of nearly 50,000.

    July 28, 2014

  • Blackmon a 'big deal' for the wrong reasons

    The sports world is littered with gifted athletes whose self-destructive tendencies derailed what should have been promising careers. Ex-Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon appears to be on that well-worn path with his latest arrest.

    July 27, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Three Rivers Bandits notch 8th-straight win

    The Three Rivers Bandits seem to be getting hot when they need to be, heading into next week’s state tournament.

    The Bartlesville Indians were victims of the heat as the Bandits swept a doubleheader from them, 2-0 and then 9-2, on Saturday at Connors State College for their eighth straight win.

    July 27, 2014