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Raiders’ Mack wins PFWA Player of Year honor

Mack is also a leading candidate for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award, which will be announced Feb. 4, the day before Super Bowl LI in Houston.

The Raiders’ first-round pick in 2014 (No. 5 overall) also had 77 tackles, four passes defensed, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception return for a touchdown.

Mack is the first Raiders player to earn the PFWA’s Defensive Player of the Year honor since the award’s inception in 1992.

The pick-six came in Week 12 against the Panthers’ Cam Newton, and Mack became the first NFL player since 2009 to have an interception, sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery and a touchdown in the same game.

Raiders defensive line coach Jethro Franklin said the 6-foot-3, 247-pounder was better than he was a season ago, when he had 15 sacks and became the first player to win All-Pro honors at two spots, defensive end and linebacker.

Mack didn’t get a lot of help, though, as the Raiders were last in the NFL in sacks with 25 and allowed the most receptions of 20 or more yards (61) in the league.


Steelers’ Mike Tomlin not happy with Antonio Brown’s decision

PITTSBURGH — The father in Mike Tomlin regrets the language he used to describe the New England Patriots during the postgame speech Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown opted to live-stream on social media after a taut playoff victory over Kansas City.

The coach in Tomlin has just as big an issue with one of his team’s most important players forcing the Steelers to talk about something other than trying to find a way to finally beat Tom Brady when it counts.

A characteristically blunt Tomlin called Brown’s decision to broadcast to the world more than 17 minutes of Pittsburgh’s giddy locker-room celebration — a move that caught Tomlin using a handful of profanities — “foolish,” “selfish” and “inconsiderate.”

During Tomlin’s postgame remarks, he attached an expletive to the Patriots, who earned a full day’s head start on preparing for the Steelers by virtue of beating Houston on Saturday night, 24 hours before Pittsburgh outlasted Kansas City 18-16.

The 2010 sixth-round pick has evolved from a raw project into one of the NFL’s best wide receivers.

Brown can be found on TV pitching everything from soda to credit cards to video games.

The player who — for reasons he hasn’t yet disclosed — occasionally refers to himself as “Ronald” also has a devoted social-media presence, with more than 1.5 million following on Instagram and an additional 650,000 on Facebook, many of whom got an eyeful and an earful as the Steelers celebrated their first trip to the AFC title game in six years.

The Steelers have grown accustomed to Brown’s flights of fancy, whether it’s posing for the Mannequin challenge while meeting with reporters, wearing eye-opening (and fine-threatening) cleats or doing over-the-top touchdown celebrations.

New England (15-2) pulled away from the Steelers (13-5) in the second half of a 27-16 victory in Pittsburgh on Oct. 23, a game quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed while recovering from surgery on his left knee.

Oakland police thank Derek Carr for assist in locating missing Amber Alert toddler

A retweet may not seem like much but, when you’re as famous as Derek Carr, sometimes it’s enough to have a huge impact.

Oakland Raiders’ Offseason To-Do List

Today would’ve been the first day of Derek Carr’s preparation for a “Tuck Rule” rematch. 

It’s just another day of recovery instead—for both the best Oakland Raiders quarterback since that 2001 AFC Divisional Round run and the fans who root him on. Carr’s broken leg impacted the playoffs more than any injury in recent memory; it’ll take time to absorb the truth of what could’ve been a Super Bowl year gone sour. That’s doubly true if this year signals the end of football in Oakland.

Luckily for general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio, Raider Nation expands far and wide. And unlike the club that lost a conference championship game bid in wild fashion 15 seasons ago, this version feels like it’s at the start of a successful journey—not the back end.

Here are 10 steps McKenzie and Del Rio can take to ensure it stays that way.

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KNBR Conversation with ex-Raiders CEO Amy Trask

An edited transcript of a conversation with former Raiders CEO — and current CBS Sports analyst — Amy Trask:

What goes on in these interviews when hiring a GM or coach?

Is this the Jon Gruden hire?

[...] I never thought he’d make that public, but he would always say to me in private, “Boy, kid, you sure know how to hire a coach.”

[...] he did make that public and share that with the media and I was very touched that he did.

Al, when he was hiring coaches, wanted them to go to the board and it was primarily a football conversation.

There are some owners who focused on the business of being a head coach.

The best coaches evaluate the talent on their roster and put those players in the best positions where they can succeed.

The view of Vegas being susceptible to gambling is rather antiquated.

Forty or 30 years ago, if you wanted to gamble you made a trip out to Vegas or Atlantic City, but nowadays, anywhere you have cellular or Internet connectivity, you can gamble.

[...] I think the league has come around to that view that the gambling angle is antiquated.

Jack Del Rio Contract: Latest News, Rumors on Negotiations with Raiders

The Oakland Raiders and head coach Jack Del Rio are reportedly set to begin negotiations on a contract extension in the near future after the Silver and Black boss helped lead the franchise to a 12-win season for the first time since 2000.

Continue for updates. 


Latest on Negotiations Between Del Rio, Raiders

Saturday, Jan. 14

According to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora, the two sides will start talking about an extension “soon” after the Raiders were bounced from the playoffs in the AFC Wild Card Round by the Houston Texans.

Del Rio originally signed a four-year deal when he accepted the Raiders job in January 2015, per La Canfora, and he’s exceeded expectations since arriving in the Bay Area. 

The Raiders finished one win shy of .500 in 2015, a 7-9 finish gave them as many victories as the franchise compiled during the 2013 and 2014 campaign combined. 

Oakland used that year as a springboard, and the result was a 2016 season filled with prosperity.

Although their season ended prematurely in the postseason after quarterback Derek Carr suffered a broken fibula in Week 16, the Raiders looked like legitimate AFC title contenders when he was healthy. 

All told, the Raiders finished the year ranked seventh in scoring offense (26.0 points per game) and sixth in total offense (373.3 yards per game). 

The defense lagged behind and allowed a 26th-ranked average of 375.1 yards per game, but if that unit can progress toward the league average as the offense continues to evolve under Carr’s watch, Del Rio should have the Raiders right back in the Super Bowl conversation again next season. 

Read more Oakland Raiders news on BleacherReport.com

Raiders say they’ve secured Las Vegas financing

Raiders executives have told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board that investment bank Goldman Sachs has guaranteed the necessary financing for a move to Las Vegas.

Adelson “has had some differences with the Raiders,” a league source said, after Adelson played a key role in getting Nevada lawmakers to pass legislation that would contribute $750 million in public money to a proposed $1.9 billion stadium project.

Tom Blanda, team senior vice president of stadium development and operations, told the Review-Journal on Thursday that he is optimistic the matter will be resolved within a month.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II told the paper that owners were told that the Raiders had secured a no-Adelson option at a Wednesday meeting in New York.

There has been speculation that Adelson will attempt to purchase a piece of the Raiders, but Rooney on Wednesday cited rules and policies that would prohibit a casino owner from owning a franchise.

“We have delivered to the Raiders a stadium that will be privately financed and is responsible to the taxpayers in one of the most valuable NFL markets in the country with the most amazing fan base and legacy that any football team could ever dream of having,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said Wednesday.

Todd Downing Named Raiders OC: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Oakland Raiders have officially hired Todd Downing to be their offensive coordinator, his agent, Ken Sarnoff, announced Thursday.

Downing replaces Bill Musgrave, whose contract with the team expired. He worked as the team’s quarterbacks coach over the last two years.

John Middlekauff, who co-hosts the Haberman and Middlekauff Podcast, reported the Raiders worried about losing the 36-year-old to another team, which is why they let Musgrave go. Middlekauff listed the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars as teams that were looking to potentially hire Downing.

Downing has earned praise for his work with quarterback Derek Carr. At the end of the 2015 season, Pro Football Focus’ Neil Hornsby listed Downing as the top quarterbacks coach in the league:

While people saw talent in rookie QB Derek Carr, he was still our 38th of 39 ranked quarterback in 2014. His deep and underneath game was significantly flawed, and his ability to read blitzes remained poor. That completely changed in 2015, turning into a borderline top-10 signal caller whose deep game has improved out of all recognition, with a penchant for taking on extra rushers—his QB rating when blitzed is now 108.7. Downing deserves credit for his part in turning Carr from a borderline case to a franchise-worthy player.

Under Downing’s tutelage, Carr took a big step forward in 2016. Before suffering a season-ending leg injury in Week 16, he threw for 3,937 yards, 28 touchdowns and six interceptions, playing a large role in helping the Raiders win 12 games—their most in the regular season since 2000.

George Takata of KSEE in Fresno, California, thought retaining Downing was a smart move:

In an ideal world, Oakland would’ve been able to keep both Musgrave and Downing. However, it was only a matter of time before Downing moved to greener pastures. Not only is he younger than Musgrave (49), but he’s also had a closer working relationship with Carr.

With the choice between Musgrave and Downing, the Raiders’ long-term future should be in better hands with Downing on the staff.

Read more Oakland Raiders news on BleacherReport.com

Mack to sit out Pro Bowl

Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack will sit out the Pro Bowl with a minor undisclosed injury and be replaced by the Jets’ Leonard Williams. Mack led the Raiders with 11 sacks. Quarterback Derek Carr (leg) will also miss the Jan. 29 all-star game in Orlando, leaving the Raiders right now with five remaining Pro Bowlers in the game: center Rodney Hudson, left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele, receiver Amari Cooper and safety Reggie Nelson. Vic Tafur is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: vtafur@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @VicTafur

Mark Davis continues to pitch Raiders’ move to Las Vegas

Raiders owner Mark Davis continued to pave the road to Las Vegas on Wednesday, going before the league’s stadium and finance committees in New York City with updates on his plans to relocate the team from Oakland.

ESPN reported Wednesday night that the Chargers have decided to return to the city where the franchise began, ending a 56-season stay in San Diego.

The Chargers — who on Wednesday had been granted an extension, to Tuesday, to make their relocation decision — may announce their move north as soon as Thursday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

[...] it was the Raiders, not Chargers, who were the focus of Wednesday’s 3½-hour meeting that ended with owners seemingly warming to the idea of Las Vegas.

NFL executive vice president Eric Grubman told reporters that the progress Davis has made is “impressive.”

The league’s initial concerns were the size of the Las Vegas market compared with the Bay Area and the role of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson in the deal.

Davis, who refused comment, has been meeting with Adelson for months about various terms of a lease agreement for the Raiders at a new Las Vegas venue.

Adelson played a key role in getting Nevada lawmakers to pass legislation that will contribute $750 million in public money to the $1.9 billion stadium project.

Officials in Oakland reached a land deal in November with a group backed by Fortress Investment and led by former 49ers and Raiders defensive back Ronnie Lott.

Asked what city and Alameda County officials think of Davis’ New York City sales pitch, Oakland City Council President Larry Reid said the city “can’t control” the Raiders’ owner.

City and county officials believe they have met Davis’ demands for the Coliseum land and to fill in the $400 million financing gap for a stadium.

NFL owners could vote on a Raiders move to Las Vegas as soon as March, at the annual league meeting in Phoenix.