Subscription date : 01 August 2018
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|ALAMEDA http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dallas-goedert-jersey , Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Raiders spent the first quarter of the season getting close before finally breaking through for their first win against the Cleveland Browns.
A lopsided loss to the Los Angeles Chargers looked like a step back, even if coach Jon Gruden tried to put a positive spin on the game Monday.
“I think there’s a lot of good things, honestly, that happened yesterday,” Gruden said about the 26-10 loss before ticking off a list of problems. “The scoreboard was lousy, the field positon was bad, we gave up some big plays that was not good. Terrible interception in the red zone. There’s some negative things that are still resonating with me and Raider Nation.”
Gruden then went on to praise the play of eight rookies, including tackle Brandon Parker and defensive tackle P.J. Hall, fill-in left guard Jon Feliciano, and some good plays made by Derek Carr outside of a costly interception on first-and-goal from the 1.
“I’m going to continue to emphasize the good and do everything I can to fix the things that are bad, because most of the things that are bad, my fingerprints are all over,” Gruden said.
It was not easy to sugarcoat this game, which marked the first time all season the Raiders (1-4) never held a lead. The pass rush generated little pressure, the defense created no turnovers, special teams provided no short fields, and Carr threw an interception at the worst time possible.
With the Raiders trailing 20-3 and looking to mount a comeback late in the third quarter, Oakland had the ball first-and-goal from the Los Angeles 1. Despite the presence of powerful back Marshawn Lynch, Gruden opted to call for a play-action pass on first down.
When no one broke open immediately, Carr held onto the ball before trying to force it to Derek Carrier in the end zone instead of throwing the ball away. Melvin Ingram was right there for an interception, marking the second time this season the decision to use Lynch as a decoy at the goal line backfired.
Fullback Keith Smith was stopped on a fourth-down run from the 1 in a 20-19 loss at Denver last month. And of course, Lynch is still smarting from another goal-line interception that cost him a Super Bowl title in Seattle back in the 2014 season.
Lynch tossed his helmet up in frustration as he left the field and didn’t play the rest of the day as the Raiders were in their hurry-up offense for their only remaining drive.
Gruden said he threw his visor and helmet in anger as well Youth Dallas Goedert Jersey , and that frustration was something he had in common with Lynch. He still stood by the play call even if the execution didn’t work.
“We were down 20-3. It wasn’t the last play of the Super Bowl. We were down 20-3,” he said. “It was first-and-goal, trying to save as much time as we can with a play-action pass.”
The Raiders have little time to dwell on this loss with a trip to London coming up this week to face the Seahawks. Rather than request an East Coast game before the long trip and either practice there or in London for the week, the Raiders opted to stay at home for most of this week.
They will practice Tuesday through Thursday at their facility in the Bay Area before taking the long trip to London on Thursday night. They will arrive Friday afternoon and then get ready for the game Sunday night.
“I hope I can make it, honestly,” Gruden said. “I’m not great. I get claustrophobic. My son was a weightlifter and he won a powerlifting competition in Belarus. I had to fly 14 hours. I had to fly home 14 hours. I had vertigo for a month. I couldn’t even lay down, the house was spinning. I am hoping I don’t get vertigo. I’m not a great traveler. I’ll be honest with you, I hate it. I’m not good. I’m concerned. I’m more worried about that than our goal-line offense right now.”
Arizona wide receiver Greg Little has not caught a pass in the NFL since 2014 but the down time has not prevented him from making a strong impression in training camp this summer.
If that continues, Little could find himself in the hunt for a starting position with a Cardinals team with no clear-cut favorite to pair with Larry Fitzgerald.
Little thinks about that every night.
"Every night before I go to bed, just try to realize and reflect and just kind of meditate a little bit about my journey and where I am and come out each day and try to get better," Little said. "How long it took and what's left on the plate for me to still accomplish and still go out and do it. Just try to achieve that each day."
Wide receiver Brice Butler, a free agent signee from Dallas, is listed No. 1 on the depth chart with Fitzgerald. Among the other competitors are holdovers J.J. Nelson and Chad Williams and second-round draft pick Christian Kirk, who appears to have secured a spot on the roster as the primary punt returner. Fitzgerald and Nelson are the only returnees with as many as 20 receptions in 2017.
The 29-year-old Little has 161 receptions in four NFL seasons, the first three with Cleveland after the Browns took him in the second round in 2011 out of North Carolina. He started 41 of 48 games with the Browns and was targeted more than 90 times each year, topping out at 61 receptions for 709 yards as a rookie. He led the team in catches his first two years.
After being cut by the Browns, he had six catches in six games with Cincinnati in 2014 and has not played in a regular-season game since. He spent time on the Bengals' practice squad in 2015 and was in Buffalo's training camp in 2016 before being released.
Little, 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, arrived in Arizona with little fanfare, candidly acknowledging the Cardinals were the only team that showed interest. After opening eyes at a rookie minicamp, he was intriguing enough to be asked back.
"The biggest thing that you see when he is out there, he does a tremendous job of catching the ball in traffic Womens Sean Couturier Jersey ," Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said. "Big body. Can really create that separation. There are tight windows in this league, so you have to have receivers that can do those kinds of things. That is one of the things that stands out with Greg."
Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea, who has played 13 seasons, has seen the same thing.
"When he was at UNC, he was a beast," Bethea said. "He's definitely doing some good things out there, jumping out on film. Good strong hands. Running good routes. After three years and coming out here and looking really good, I'm excited to see him out there."
Little's time in Cleveland was up and down. He was among the league leaders in dropped passes in his three years. He also seemed to clash with head coach Mike Pettine. Little said Pettine did not communicate well, although other players came to Pettine's defense.
"Just a number of things that kind of led me to this position," Little said. "I'm here now. I just want to make the best of it. I'm confident in my ability to still play this game."
A large support group of family and friends helped him make it through the last few seasons, Little said, even if the games themselves were difficult to watch.
"Sometimes I didn't watch at all," he said.
Being back on the field "makes you appreciate the privilege it is to be in the NFL. Once you understand that, then all the other noise doesn't bother you."
He said he views this as a final opportunity, but mainly because of the potential for injury.
"I'm going to take that approach, being that the nature of this game as physical as it is, you have to," Little said. "Obviously, it's a reality for anybody that is playing this game."