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 on: May 20, 2018, 08:28:02 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by varaider
Derek Carr can't hide excitement over Marshawn Lynch's return
ByJEFF SMITH May 18, 9:16 PM

When the 2018 NFL offseason began, there were looming questions about what the future held for Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch. After the team acquired Beast Mode from the Seattle Seahawks via trade once he came out of retirement last offseason, there was no shortage of excitement about the move.

But, the 2017 season didn't go anywhere close to plan, as the Raiders finished with a disappointing 6-10 record and owner Mark Davis opted to send the team through a huge overhaul. He fired head coach Jack Del Rio and brought in legendary coach Jon Gruden, which began the early speculation that Lynch could be a cap casualty, as he was due over $5.4 million next season.

Throughout the early stages of the offseason, while Gruden and his new coaching staff made big moves, Lynch's future remained in question. But then, the team restructured Lynch's deal, guaranteeing a much larger portion of his contract and in turn, all but securing his immediate future with the Raiders.

And now, with Lynch back in the mix and the team practicing during the offseason program, there's been no one happier about his return than franchise quarterback Derek Carr. And as the days roll on, it becomes more and more apparent just how much Beast Mode's return means to him.

Just weeks ago, The Athletic's Vic Tafur revealed quotes from the signal caller on his backfield mate, and he offered up a rave review.

"He is not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a good friend. He’s someone that does so much for our community here in Oakland. There’s nothing wrong. Those are all plusses. To have him here, it fired me up.” Carr told Tafur.

And as you can imagine, there have been plenty of pictures throughout the start of the offseason program with the duo hanging out and practicing together.

On Friday, Carr took to social media to post a photo of he and Lynch high-fiving with the caption "Working...":

Even while Lynch's future was seemingly up in the air at times, Carr was never one who wavered when it came to having his teammate's back. Not even when Lynch was suspended for one game last season for making contact with an official.

The fact that the veteran running back remained on the roster is certainly telling, especially since Gruden and company opted to release quite a few starters from last season, including Michael Crabtree, David Amerson, Marquette King, Marshall Newhouse, among others.

The Oakland Raiders are rolling through offseason practices and are gearing up for Jon Gruden's first season back on the sidelines! Want the latest news sent straight to your inbox?  – Sign up for our FREE Raiders newsletter now!

It did take Lynch a bit of time to really get back to full-Beast Mode, and the proof of that came in an early-season span which featured Lynch going under four yards per carry from Weeks 2 to 5.

The Beast Mode of old really showed up later in the season, though, as he averaged at least 4.8 yards per carry in four of the last five games of the season, while also scoring five touchdowns in a five-game stretch in the latter half of the year. He finished up the 2017 season with 891 rushing yards on 207 carries (4.3 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns.

Now, he'll get the chance to prove that age really is just a number and that he's still ready to run over opponents and be the clear-cut No. 1 running back in 2018 for the Silver and Black.

 on: May 20, 2018, 03:53:01 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by CC 2
Mo also has a high level of QB/RB pursuit. His TFL amount is high for a DT. The kid doesn't quit getting through, Go Blue!!! Go Silver&Black!!!
Glad he was able to get #73 it means a lot to him.
Mack and Irvin are going to love the nasty energy he is going to bring to the D line.

 on: May 19, 2018, 09:58:01 PM 
Started by 805raiderslo - Last post by 805raiderslo
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 on: May 19, 2018, 04:32:34 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by varaider
I am really excited about him and Hall on that D line.

Don't forget Key.... I think he will be a force too.

And Hall, lol...

 on: May 19, 2018, 03:25:24 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by ghostmech
I am really excited about him and Hall on that D line.

Don't forget Key.... I think he will be a force too.

 on: May 19, 2018, 01:36:00 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by SoCal_Mike
I am really excited about him and Hall on that D line.

I think this kid is going to tear it up!  First round talent in the 5th, you gotta love that.

 on: May 19, 2018, 01:20:36 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by The one
I am really excited about him and Hall on that D line.

 on: May 19, 2018, 12:01:07 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by varaider
Michigan coach calls star pupil perfect for Raiders, 'a disruptive, attacking force inside'
By Scott Bair May 18, 2018 1:18 PM

The University of Michigan football team is in a quiet period between spring practice and fall camp, but Greg Mattison is hot on the recruiting trail. The University of Michigan’s defensive line coach is crisscrossing the country trying to secure quality Wolverines, without much time for anything else.

Squeezing in an interview request during a brief stretch home in Ann Arbor, Mich., wasn’t easy. Mattison, I was told, would get to it during a free moment over a few days.

The respected defensive coach called within the hour.

“I am pretty busy these days, but after I saw (the interview request), I wanted be sure and talk to you,” Mattison said. “Anything for Mo.”

‘Mo’ is defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, Mattison’s star pupil and a Raiders fifth-round pick. The bond is strong between player and position coach. Mattison recruited Hurst out of Xaverian Brothers High in Westwood, Mass., and spent five subsequent years developing him into an NFL-caliber player.

Mattison gave a glowing review of his time working with Hurst during an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area, as you’d expect from a college coach talking about a former player.

College coaches don’t publicly criticize their guys. But, if they don’t have anything nice to say, they don’t say anything at all.

Mattison called back in a snap.

“I recruited him and coached him for five years, so I probably know Mo Hurst as well as anybody around,” said Mattison, a longtime college coach who was Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator from 2009-10. “He comes from a tremendous family, and his mother is as good a person as you’ll meet and did a tremendous job raising him. Mo has all the work habits and character you want in a player. He’s one of those guys, where I’ve never seen him do something that wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Mattison has great affection for Hurst, which is why the NFL Draft was so tough to watch. Hurst is a first-round talent, arguably the draft’s best interior pass rusher, yet fell to the fifth due to concerns about an irregular EKG.

The University of Michigan cleared him to play despite a heart condition. The Raiders didn’t have a problem with it either, and drafted Hurst with the No. 140 overall selection. The draft slide was a disappointment for all involved.

“He has a lot of pride,” Mattison said. “You watch the draft and so many times I said, ‘Mo’s way better that the kid they just took.’ You know why it was happening, because of this test or whatever. The thing we all knew was that he was fine. It was the same thing when he came to Michigan. He was fine.”

The Raiders believe he is fine to play in 2018, and will have annual checkups to ensure that remains the case each season. Head coach Jon Gruden wants Hurst to be judged on the field -- he won’t discuss Hurst’s health any farther – and the Wolverine has a real chance to make an immediate impact as a three-technique in Paul Guenther’s defensive system.

“He fits perfectly in a scheme like that,” Mattison said. “The Raiders got the greatest steal in the world. He’s a perfect fit, and to get Mo when they did is quite something. What you always want in that type of defense is a disruptive, attacking force inside. I’ll put Mo up against anybody in his ability to do that.”

Hurst is an excellent pass rusher and solid run defender, perfectly capable of being a three-down standout. A lot of that is due to an explosive first step that’s as fast and impactful as any.

“He’s born with that,” Mattison said. “We certainly tried to improve it, but he has always had that great first step. Him doing that and playing low and strong, that’s what makes him special.”

Mattison also lauded Hurst’s football IQ and his willingness to study offensive tendencies, saying “he was really good identifying things on the field and using them to his advantage.”

Mattison believes the five years spent at Michigan gave him the maturity and toughness to excel at the NFL level. It allowed Hurst to earn his bachelor’s degree and start work on his master’s degree. Seeing Hurst move on after accomplishing so much gives Mattison a great sense of gratification.

“That’s why you coach, and that’s why I left the NFL to come back to college football,” Mattison said. “The pride you take in getting a young man to come to your school and watching him develop is immense. I have two goals with my guys. I want them to get a degree, and to play in the NFL. If they do that, then I’ve done my job and I’m the happiest guy in the world. Mo’s a perfect example of that.”

 on: May 18, 2018, 11:36:44 PM 
Started by 805raiderslo - Last post by 805raiderslo
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 on: May 18, 2018, 04:04:47 PM 
Started by varaider - Last post by varaider
I think the arguments we see about this topic are reason enough to steer clear of Kap!  Cheesy

Is the dude even willing to play for league minimum?  It's not like we're flush with "Kap" space at the moment so spending money on a second string QB who hopefully never has to play during the regular season seems a little silly.

Would love to see Reid play for us though, dude looks pretty solid.

In 2016, we wished we had a capable backup... IMO, with Kap, we win in Denver and Look a lot better against Houston in the playoffs...

Which is the only reason I agreed it was worth kicking the tires, and that I wouldn't be against it...

And because we have Olson... who has worked with his skillset before...

True.  It's a tough call, spend more money on an upper echelon backup QB that may never see regular season reps or use the money on every down players?  I think most teams roll the dice and hope their #1 QB stays healthy, not a lot of guys that are capable of coming in and assuming starting duties with little or no drop-off.

Agree 100%

Although I don't think Kap is in a great position to demand a lot of money... You know what they say, beggars can't be choosers, lol...

If I was him, and it was that important for me to get back in the league, I'd take whatever offer I can get, even the vet minimum (for him) should be a nice chunk of change...

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