HSFC_2017_01_11

(Jacob Rumans) #1

XXXXX• SFChronicle.com |Wednesday,January 11, 2017|B


The NFL’s owner-guided
stadium and finance commit-
tees are scheduled to meet in
New York City onWednesday
with the possible relocations
of the Raiders and Chargers
expected todominate the
conversation.
Talk of a possible move by


the Raiders comes on the
heels of the team’s mostsuc-
cessful season in 14years.
Head coach Jack Del Rio’s
teamwent 12-4 and reached
the playoffs, inwhichit lost to
Houston on Saturday in the
wild-card round.But the on-
field success hasdone little to
quell discussion of a possible
move to LasVegas orLos

Angeles.
Last month, Oakland of-
feredup to $350 million to-
ward the construction of a
stadium — a figure thatfalls
far short of the$750 million
Las Vegas is said to be willing
to spend. NFL Commissioner
Roge r Goodell said of negotia-
tions tokeep the Raiders in
place: “We have not made
great progress in Oakland.We
need to continue towork at
it.”
The latest planwould have
the city and Alameda County
turn over $150 millionworth
of landat the Coliseum site to
a group ledby Ronnie Lott,
and the public contributing

$200 million toupgrade infra-
structure for a$1.3 billion
stadium. The NFL and Raid-
ers would putup $500 mil-
lion, withLott’s group having
to comeup with the remain-
ing $600 million in private
financing.
If a newstadium deal can’t
be arranged in Oakland, the
Raiders have Las Vegas and
Los Angeles —where the
team played from 1982
through1994 — as likely relo-
cation options.
A year ago, the Rams’ re-
turn toLos Angeles(from St.
Louis) was OKdby the NFL
and at the same time the
Chargers were gi ven a one-

year dead line todecide wheth-
er they, too,wanted to move
to Los Angeles — andshare a
new stadium with the Rams
— or build astadium in San
Diego. Voters in San Diego
rejected a newstadium there
and Chargers owner Dean
Spanosfaces a Sundaydead-
line todecide whathe wants
to do:try again in San Diego
or move north.
If the Chargers opt to join
the Rams inLos Angeles, that
would eliminateL.A. as an
option for the Raiders and
perhaps increase the likeli-
hood thatowner Mark Davis
will move the Silver andBlack
to LasVegas.

OWNERS


Raiders’, Chargers’


fates to be discussed


STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES


This first one didn’t go so
greatafter Carr broke his leg
and coaches essentially
threwrookie Connor Cook to
the wolves, hoping the Raid-
ers’ defense could force three
or more turnovers. There
was noupset inHouston on
Saturday, and Del Rio tipped
his cap to his players before
getting on to the business of
next season — likechanging
offensive coordinators.
“Each year, the turnover
throughout the league is
close to 25 percent or so,”
Del Rio said. “It’s never go-
ing to be the same group of
men.We had agood group.
We had agood year. We
went from seven wins to 12
wins.Hada lot of great mo-
ments throughout theyear, a
lot to be proud of.”
Proud,yes. Happy? No.
“Weshould expect more,
and I’mgoing todemand
more,” Del Rio said.
The Raiders did expect
more after their season-open-
ing win inNew Orleans.It
set thestag e foreverything
when Del Riowent for a
two-point conversion and the
win with 47 seconds left.
Carrchanged the callat the
line of scrimmage — which
he would do again andagain
as theyear progressed —
and threw a high arcing pass
to the corner of the end zone
for Crabtree.
He grabbedit, the Raiders
won and Del Riowas lauded
for his gutsby the national
media.The pla yers’ confi-
dence started to match their
coach’s, and Oaklandwould
win its first five road games.
“Guys al ways think they
believe, butit takes some-
thing like that for things to
reallyclick,” Crabtree said.
“And you feel likeyou’re
going to win,even ifyou’re
down in the fourthquarter.
You trust inyour coaches
and teammates todo what it
takes toget theW.”
The victory inNew Orle-
ans was the first of seven
fourth-quarter comeback
wins for the Raiders.
“Jack was lik e, ‘Hey,it’s
about the process. Don’t
forget howyou won in Week
1,’ ” long snapperJon Condo
said. “Wewouldn’t look
aheadat the games three or
fourweeks away. It was a
great season.It was fun.”
ThoughDel Riowas
praised for his courage and
faith in his offense to make
the play, the decisionshowed
whatlittlefaith he had in his
defense. And thoughthe
defensegot better after al-
lowing a combined 69 points
in the first two games to the
Saints andFalcons,it didn’t
really turn the corner.


Teams withMack,a De-
fensive Player of theYear
candidate,should not finish
last in the league in sacks,
but Oakland did with 25.
The Raiders gave up 375
yards per game (26th in the
league) and 24.1 points
(20th), and things could have
been a lotworse if they
didn’t lead the league with a
plus-16 turnover margin.
Though effort is nodoubt a
part of the latterstat — and
the Raiders played hard for
Del Rio anddefensive coordi-
natorKen Norton.Jr — there
is also someluckinvolved
there.
The Raidermust address
theirdefensive line. Especial-
ly the big guys in the mid-
dle, whom linebacker Bruce
Irvin called out on more
than one occasion for not
getting enough push and
pressure. Del Rio called the

interior passrush a “critical”
needMonday, and went
through four of the linemen.
He didn’t mentionstarter
Dan Williams or former
starterJustin Ellis, and for
good reason:That’s a com-
bined700 pounds of invisible
right there.
“That’sgoing to be an area
for sure thatwe’re going to
have to be better anddo
better,” Del Rio said.
The Raiders also need help
at linebacker anddefensive
back, and hope that the
members of the 2016 draft
class —safetyKarl Joseph,
defensive linemanJihad
Ward, and linebackers Shi-
lique Calhoun and Cory
James — are reliable contrib-
utors next season. Because
theyweren’t this season.
The offensewas reliable
until Carrwent down. He
and the receivers developed a

special rapport and sense of
where andwhen theywant-
ed the footballdelivered. The
Raiderswere good enough to
overcome a lot of drops
when Carrwas in there, but
not when backups Matt
McGloin and Cook took their
turns the last two games.
The Raiders led the NFL
with46 dropped passes, per
SportsRadarUS. No. 3 receiv-
er SethRoberts led the
league with 13, Crabtree had
12 and Cooper and tight end
Clive Walford had six each.
“More than I’m comfort-
able with, more thanwe
should have,” Del Rio said of
the dropped passes. “You can
add that to the list of things
we’re talkingabout here,
areas that areobvious areas
that mustimprove.”
The Raiders areyoung,
though, andshould improve.
They have a franchisequar-

terback and a franchisede-
fensive player, and those
aren’t easy toget, not to
mention a high-priced offen-
sive line thatdominated be-
fore wearingdown the last
month.This offseason will
be about adding to thatnu-
cleus.
“I’msuper excited,” Carr
said. “Weshould have a
good majority of our guys
back. I’m going towork my
tail off to be better nextyear.
That’s the mind-set our
whole team has.
“Whenyou’ve got a group
of guys that have won 12
games anddon’t careabout
that, they justwant to be
better, thenwe’re going to be
all right.”

Vic Tafur is a SanFrancisco
Chronicle staff writer. Email:
vtafur@sfchronicle.com Twitter:
@VicTafur

‘Super excited’ for the future


Raidersfrom page B


Eric ChristianSmith /Associated Press
Oaklandrunning back LataviusMurray finds a holeagainstthe Texans inthe wild-cardgame inHouston on Saturday.

Raiders’ unrestricted freeagents


RBLatavius Murray —Ran for 13 TDs,
including playoffs, butlost carriesto rookies
Jalen Richard and DeAndreWashington.
Unlikelytobe back,considering he’llget
somegood offers and didn’t quite click with
coachingstaff.
LB MalcolmSmith —Complementary
player has beenasked todotoo much his
first two years.Comes back only if price and
roleare right.
RTMenelikWatson —Injureda lot, but
team likeshisaggressiveness,tools. Flip a
coin.

LBPerry RileyJr. —Stabilizing player; not a
priority,butvery possible hereturns.
DTStacy McGee —Thrivedfor firsttime in
years. How will thataffectprice?
CBDJHayden —Not agood first-round pick
but now a trusted roleplayer. Don’t rule it out.
WR Andre Holmes —Tall WR and special-
teamsstandout.Loves it here and theylove
him,
S NateAllen —Acceptedbackuprole. Will
heaccept much smallersalary?
LS JonCondo —We’ll see how sentimental
headcoach Jack Del Rio is.

TE Mychal Rivera —Could use change of
sceneryasthere is alowceilingfor his use
here.
S BryndenTrawick —Special-teams player
showed past two games that he should have
been on D more.
LB Daren Bates —Specialteams didn’t
improve asmuchaswas hoped withaddi-
tion of Bates,Trawick.
QB MattMcGloin —Missed wide-open
AmariCooper deep in Denver, andwas dead
toDel Rio.
— Vic Tafur

HoustononSaturday.
Accordingtosources,Raid-
ersheadcoach Jack DelRio
simplymade achoice,asDown-
inghadbecomea“hot”coach-
ingcandidateandwascontact-
edby “4-5teams”aboutjobs
recently. Musgrave’s two- year
contractexpiresintwoweeks.
Carrmade theProBowl each


ofthepasttwoyearsunder
Musgrave andDowning.
Downing,36,wasthe quar-
terba cks coach fortheLions
andBillsbeforejoiningthe
Raiders.He willbethefourth-
youngestoffensive coordinator
intheNFL.

Downingplayedfootballat
EdenPrairieHighinMinneso-
taforMike Grant,thesonof
BudGrant,theVikings’Hallof
Fameheadcoach.Downing
becameapublic-relationsin-
ternfortheVikingsat 19 and
laterearnedacoachingin-
ternshipunderMike Tice,the
Raiders’currentoffensive line
coach.
Thisisthesecondtimethat
Musgrave,49,hasbeenletgo by
DelRio.Thetwoweretogether
in2003-04whentheJaguars’
headcoach firedhisoffensive
coordinator.DelRioquestioned
Musgrave’s play-callingat sev-
eralpointsthisseason,espe-
ciallythelack ofrunningplays,

andhasbeenheavyinhis
praiseofDowningthepastfew
weeks.
OnSunday, DelRiobrought
up theschemewhenas ked
aboutthesecondstraight slow
finishofreceiverAmariCoo-
per’s two year-career.Cooper
had31catchesfor366yardsin
thelasteight gamesafterhehad
52for787yardsinthefirsteight
games.
“Lastyear,Ithinkit was
clearly involvedwithhisfoot,”
saidDelRio,whoadde dthe
teamwill“goba ck andlookat it,
whetherit waswhattheywere
doingtousorwhatwe weren’t
doingtoprovidethoseopportu-
nitiesforhim.

“Wastheguyhewasgoing
againstgoodenoughtogethim
sloweddown? Wasit scheme?
Wasit designonourpart?
Thoseareallthingswe have to
lookat indetail.”
Defensive coordinatorKen
NortonJr.,meanwhile, survived
despitetheRaiders’defense
finishing26thintheleague.
Defensive backs coach Marcus
Robinson’s contractwasnot
renewed,though,acoupleof
days afterDelRioputthebrunt
oftheburdenonthebigplays
allowed—passingandrunning
—onthedefensive backs.

VicTafurisaSanFrancisco
Chroniclestaffwriter.

Todd
Downing

Bill
Musgra ve

Downing


takesover


offense


Coordinator from pageB


NFL

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