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  • Oakland Raiders Oakland get set for the 2017 season The Raiders are looking to improve on their 12-5 season last year by winning games in the playoffs. They have to get there first and Head coach Jack Del Rio knows it ain't gonna be easy. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Oakland Raiders Will the Birds bounce back Yhe Atlanta Falcons did everything but win the Super Bowl last year. How will Mattie Ice and Co respond in 2017. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Photo by Eric Taylor SF is trying to change it's losing ways San Francisco brought in QB Brian Hoyer to see if he can jump start an offense that lacks muc of a punch. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Oakland Raiders All eyes on Cam Carolina suffered the Super Bowl loser curse last year. The Panthers finished 6-10 plus their QB, Cam Newton got hurt. Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine
  • Photo by Eric Taylor John Madden honors the Snake One of the NFL finest, John Madden was on hand to honor his old QB Kenny "The Snake" Stabler's Hall of Fame induction during halftime of Oakland's game vs Atlanta. Photo by Eric Taylor

 


Oakland Raider's | San Francisco 49ers | NFL

 

 

The Raiders are trying to leave town with a bang

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

A lot of things come into play when you are picked as one of the top teams in the league.

After a 12-4 regular season was followed by a one and done playoff appearance last season.

The thrill of making their first playoffs in 13-years was off set by the broken leg Derek Carr suffered late in the season.

Carr is back looking healthy and keeping him so will be a big part of Oakland's plans on making a run towards a Super Bowl.

Sure the Raiders added Beast Mode (running back Marshawn Lynch to the team but it will be the improvement of a defense that ranked near the bottom of the NFL (26th) last season that will be the difference maker.

The Carr injury also showed that Oakland needed some depth on their roster. Oakland had to start a rookie (Conner Cook) at QB in their playoff loss to Houston last season.

It was the first time in NFL history that somebody made their first NFL start in the playoffs.

With another year under their belts Carr and his receiving corps should be able to exploit defenses even more in 2017. Michael Crabtree emerged as a go to threat for Carr.

The development of Amari Cooper is a big priority for the Raiders coaching staff. Cooper has the ability to be a star in the league, but he can disappear at times on the field.

Players can make a big leap in production during the 3rd year of their careers and that is what Oakland coaches, teammates and fans are hoping Cooper does in this, his third year in the NFL.

For now everything is all good. The energy around the Raiders is very positive and the team can't wait to get on the field and start hitting somebody with a different color jersey on.

 

 

Oakland suffers a tough loss in win over the Colts

Photo by Eric Taylor

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

It was going so well. The AFC West leading Raiders were polishing off the Indianapolis Colts early in the 4th quarter when Derek Carr, Oakland's starting QB, went back to pass when Trent Cole fell on his legs in an awkward fashion and breaking Carr's right Fibula.

His season is most likely over and the Raiders season took a turn for the worse right when it was starting to get good.

The Raiders offense had not looked this good for a long time. The defense was balling out of control as well before Carr got hurt. After his injury the team had a understandable letdown.

Injuries are a part of the game and the Colts tried to take full advantage of Oakland's trouble, scoring 11pts in a hurry to make it a 8-point game with just over four minutes left in the game.

Oakland was on their way to over 500-yards of offense when Carr got hurt. The running game was having it's best game of the season with DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and starting tailback Latavius Murray combined for 205-yards rushing and two TD's.

Richard added a touchdown receiving for Oakland. Carr had 228-yards passing when he got hurt. That is the kind of offensive balance every team wants to have.

It will be up to new starting QB Matt McGloin to show he can throw the ball down the field in order to give the running game some room. The running game needs to grind out yards to give the passing game some room.

The two work hand in hand and without one the other will suffer.

Oakland and it's fans will now settle down after a Chrismas dinner and do something they are not used to. Root for the Denver Bronco's. A Denver win against Kansas City and the Raiders clinch the AFC West title.

That will allow them to play a stress free game next week when they close out their regular season in Denver.

A KC win in Denver on X-Mas and the Raiders will be forced to play at Denver with the possibility of losing the division lead and having to play in a wild card game the next week. More click here

 

 

 

 

 

A CLASS ACT

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

NFL FOOTBALL. Oakland Raiders corner back Charles Woodson. Photo by Eric Taylor

From out of nowhere San Francisco drafted Patrick Willis in the 2007 NFL draft with the 11th pick.

Then rest as they say is history. Willis helped transform the woeful 49ers into one of the best teams in the league.

At the height of his career Willis was perhaps the best linebacker in the game.

It took a few years for San Francisco to start winning and going to the playoffs,.

Willis was right in the middle of it all, making tackles and living up to the high standards that his draft position suggested.

Willis instantly made the 49ers defense respectable.

Turning them into one of the best units in the league. Fast forward to the Jim Harbaugh era and the playoffs and Super Bowl that followed.

Willis, still one of the best in the league took a back seat to newcomer Navarro Bowman, a great player in his own right, to fit into the new coaches system and the team took off.

You can go on and on about how professional Willis was on and off the field. He is perhaps the best linebacker the 49ers have ever had and he trails only the great Ronnie Lott (in my book) as the greatest defensive player San Francisco has ever had.

In the end it was not a big bad running back or offensive scheme that did Patrick in. In what a turf toe injury that would not go away.

Seeing the writing on the wall and knowing father time has won every battle with athlete's Willis gracefully stepped away from the game he loved.

Willis retirement was the center piece of an off season that has seen a Super Bowl type squad from just a year ago almost fall to pieces.

Gone is longtime running back and San Francisco's career leading rusher Frank Gore (signed with Indy), head coach Jim Harbaugh (hired at the University of Michigan) and possibly wide receiver Michael Crabtree and defensive end Justin Smith.

This is about Willis and what he meant not only to the 49ers but to the NFL as a whole.

 

 

 

 

Oakland Raiders doing what they can to get kids back at the park

Oakland's George Atkinson plays with some kids during the Raiders NFL Play 60 camp.

Photo by Eric Taylor/1st String Magazine

NFL FOOTBALL. Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden. Photo by Eric Taylor

The Raiders do not want their young fans to sit around and wait for a football game to come on TV.

Oakland has partnered up with Hall of Fame tackle Anthony Munoz and the Munoz Agency to host an NFL Play 60 Character Camp in the Bay Area.

Over 350 kids between the ages of 7 and 13 were treated to a two day camp at the Raiders practice facility.

Members of the Oakland Raiders came out to play with the kids.

Top 2014 draft pick Khalil Mack was on hand to interact with the kids.

Among the players joining him were two local high school stars now on the Raiders roster.

George Atkinson of Livermore's Granada High And Notre Dame and T.J. Carrie (De La Salle High school, Concord Ca.) took time away from their busy schedules to come out and spend a couple of hours playing with the kids.

"It was great being able to come out here today and relax playing around with all these kids. I can remember when I was young and going to football camps and you grow up so fast that is it important for players like myself to give their time back to show kids that they do not have to be a star to have fun playing sports." said Atkinson.

The mission of the Play 60 campaign is to emphasize exercise and the importance of having good character in sports as well as life.

So often kids grow up thinking that winning is the only thing that matters.

Many kids drop out of sports just because they are not a top dog and many fail to see the big picture and as a result they miss out on a lot that life has to offer. The Play 60 experience is trying to show kids that playing sports is not only about winning or making to the pro's.

Play 60 is trying to teach kids that playing sports and being active when you are young helps you have a long and healthy life and that staying active with sports also helps you learn better in the class room.

The NFL's Play 60 campaign is design to encourage youth to spend at least 60-minutes a day being active getting some kind of exercise.

Each camp participant received a football with a bilingual hang-tag that will allow them to view video's in Spanish or English teaching the basic's of football on the NFL's web site, NFLRUSH.com.

The NFL donated 40,000 football's for the program that is being run in selected NFL cities were the team has, over the years, shown a commitment to reaching out and helping the area's youth succeed in life.

Photo's click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title1 Selected
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Folsom High's Jordan Richard's drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 NFL Draft by New England

NFL Football - Oakland Raiders v Kansas City Chief's

Oakland 20 KC 34

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland Raiders v New York Jets

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland 37 Baltimore 33

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland 13 Cincinnati 33

Major League Baseball. Photo by Eric Taylor

Oakland Raiders 2015 pre season against Arizona

 

 

 
 

 

 
 

 

   
       
       
       
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