Oakland Raiders Amari Cooper Gets Encouraging Words From Childhood Idol Andre Johnson

 By Shawn Jonas

Oakland, California  – The Oakland Raiders fell to the Tennessee Titans 27-14 in their their third preseason game (1-2) and first at home on Saturday night.  The Raiders second year wide receiver Amari Cooper had another great night as a pro.

HeadShot

Photo by Shawn Jonas
Amari Coopers’ 30-yard touchdown grab from Derek Carr.  Photos by Shawn Jonas

Cooper had three receptions for 52-yards and a touchdown with a 17.3 yard per catch average in limited duty.  Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and Amari connected on a deep 30-yard scoring play where Cooper made a spectacular catch in the back of the end zone.

Derek Carr and Amari Cooper celebrate. Photo by Shawn Jonas
Derek Carr and Amari Cooper celebrate. Photo by Shawn Jonas

That wasn’t the only highlight of the night for Cooper.  During the traditional post game meet in the middle of the field event that happens after every NFL game, Amari had another gem happen.  He was tapped on the shoulder from behind and it was none other than 7-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Johnson had some encouraging words to share with the second year wideout.

Question: I saw Andre Johnson sought you out after the game, what did he say to you?

Cooper- “He just told me to keep on doing what I am doing,” Amari said. “That guy was my favorite receiver growing up. He went to the University of Miami, I’m from Miami. He’s a great wide receiver.  I wanted to meet him a while ago, but I’m happy I got a chance to meet him at the game and kinda talk to him. It was cool.”

Amari Cooper was born in Miami, Florida in June of 1994 and Andre Johnson was born in Miami, Florida in July of 1981.

Johnson has had a storied career where he currently has the most reception of any active player with 1,053 receptions which also puts him 8th on the all-time list in that category.  He also has the most receiving yards of any active player with 14,100 which also puts him 9th on the all-time list. He has countless other statistics that puts him right there with some of the greatest to ever play the game.

Cooper has a long way to go, but there is no doubt he would like to be one of the best ever like his childhood idol Andre Johnson.

All Photos by Shawn Jonas

Oakland Raiders Announce Transactions

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have made the following roster moves, the club announced Monday. The transactions bring the Raiders to the NFL-mandated 75-player limit on their active roster.

Joe Hansley un-drafted free agent out of Colorado State. Photo by Shawn Jonas
Joe Hansley un-drafted free agent out of Colorado State. Photo by Shawn Jonas

WAIVED THE FOLLOWING PLAYERS:
Player Pos.                           Ht.               Wt.                   Exp.   College
Burbank, Ross C               6-4              294                  R         Virginia
East, Andrew LS                6-2             220                  1          Vanderbilt
Edwards, Chris S              6-1              218                  R          Idaho
Hackett, Chris S                6-0              195                  1          TCU
Hall, Jimmy S                      6-1              230                  2          Northwestern
Hansley, Joe WR              5-9              168                  R          Colorado State
Jacobs, Tramain DB       5-11            190                  3          Texas A&M
Jones, Lenny LB                6-3               270                 R          Nevada
McCaffrey, Max WR      6-2               196                 R          Duke
Orr, Leon DT                       6-5               320                 1           Florida
Palmer, Nathan WR       5-11             200                 2          Northern Illinois
Tavecchio, Giorgio K      5-10             180                 1          California
Underwood, Colton TE   6-3             255                 1          Illinois State
Vaughn, Terran G/C        6-3               306                  R       Stephen F. Austin

PLACED THE FOLLOWING PLAYER ON THE RESERVE/INJURED LIST:
Player Pos.                         Ht.      Wt.          Exp.                  College
Holmes, Gabe TE           6-5      255         2                         Purdue

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Raiders Fall To Packers 20-12 At Lambeau Field

The Oakland Raiders starting offense struggled to get anything going in the first half in Green Bay. Despite playing the entire first half they only chalked up three points against the first and string Packers.

Quarterback Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders starters saw a significant increase in workload Thursday night at Lambeau Field, as both the team’s starting offensive and defensive units played the entire first half.

Carr finished the night 9 of 13 for 38 yards

Defensively, the starting unit started slow as well giving up a  14-play, 74-yard drive to the Packers to start the evening, resulting in a touchdown by Eddie Lacy.  After that initial drive Green Bay was unable to put any more points on the board in the first half.

The second half was a different story, as the Packers were able to get their offense rolling a little bit, and were able to put up 13 points on the Silver and Black’s defense, en route to a 20-12 win at Lambeau Field.

Rookie quarterback Connor Cook had a good night, finishing the game 6 of 9 for 101 yards.

Highlight of the night was a blocked punt by Brendan Trawick’s.  Safety Nate Allen would fall on it in the end zone to give the Raiders their first touchdown of the night with 3:01 remaining in the game.

The Raiders fly back to Northern California tonight, and will be back on the practice field Saturday afternoon at their Alameda, Calif., facility.

Their next preseason game will be next Saturday when they take on the Tennessee Titans at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Raiders, 49ers Team Up To Assist In Clayton Fire Recovery

Alameda, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders and the San Francisco 49ers are teaming up to aid in the Lake County Clayton Fire recovery efforts. Each organization will contribute $10,000 to the Konocti Unified School District, which had schools directly impacted by the fire.

The Konocti Unified School District, which serves the Clearlake and Lower Lake communities, was scheduled to begin classes on Monday but cancelled all schools for the week of August 15 due to the Clayton Fire. Lower Lake High School’s sports fields and equipment were damaged in the fire.

“The Raiders express our care and concern for those affected by the Clayton Fire,” said Raiders President Marc Badain. “We salute all of those who are assisting in the recovery efforts that are already underway.”

“Our hearts go out to the people of Lake County and everyone involved in the relief efforts as they courageously fight through the terrible tragedy that is affecting their homes and their way of life,” said 49ers President Al Guido. “We are happy to come together to help them along the path to recovery.”
The funds from the $20,000 joint donation will go to support the school’s efforts to rebuild fields and restore sports equipment lost in the fire.

Nearly 2,500 firefighting personnel throughout Northern California are working feverishly to contain the fire that has left more than 4,000 acres burned in and around the town of Lower Lake on the southern edge of Clear Lake. The Clayton Fire started Saturday, August 13, 2016, about 100 miles north of the Bay Area.

Fans of either team who would like to contribute to the Konocti Unified School District relief efforts should send donations to: Konocti Unified School District, PO Box 759, 9430-B Lake Street, Lower Lake, CA 95457. General donations for Clayton fire victims can also be made at www.larca5130.org/donate/ and www.ncoinc.org/give/.

Courtesy of Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Ties With San Antonio FC 1-1

Octavio Guzman’s stoppage time penalty kick goal gives Republic FC a 1-1 draw with San Antonio FC at a sold out Bonney Field.

Sacramento Republic FC attacked San Antonio FC early and saw there first chance on goal in the 7th minute when Cameron Iwasa was able to use some nifty footwork to get around his defender. Iwasa pushed his touch a bit too close to San Antonio FC keeper Josh Ford as the forward’s chipped shot attempt was blocked away by Ford, keeping the match scoreless early.

San Antonio broke the deadlock in the 15th minute after a turnover in the Republic defensive end. Midfielder Rafa Castillo recovered the loose ball and drove towards goal before dropping the ball back to Sebastien Thuriere. The midfielder then rocketed a shot on goal, forcing Republic FC keeper Evan Newton to make a diving safe. Though he made the difficult save, forward Cesar Elizondo followed the shot and finished the rebound chance, blasting the ball into the back of the net and putting San Antonio FC ahead 1-0.

Republic FC nearly equalized twice before halftime, both of them supplied by Tommy Thompson. In the 30th minute, Thompson attacked up the right flank, got to the touchline and sent a low, driven cross into the feet of forward Cameron Iwasa. With two defenders closing in, Iwasa drilled a one-touch shot up and over the keeper Ford but couldn’t beat the crossbar as it whizzed out of play. In the 38th minute, Thompson sent a dangerous cross into the box for defender Mike da Fonte. Beating his mark to the ball, da Fonte sent a powerful header on net, only to have Ford make another timely, acrobatic save preserving San Antonio FC’s 1-0 lead into the break.

Republic FC continued to chase the equalizing goal and nearly found it in the 55th minute when defender James Kiffe struck a menacing right-footed shot from 20 yards out. The shot curled to the far post but San Antonio keeper Josh Ford was up to the task and made another clean save.

Republic FC continued to pressure for the second half searching for a goal. About four minutes into stoppage time, James Kiffe earned a penalty kick after being taken down in the box chasing after a through ball. Midfielder Octavio Guzman stepped up to the spot and sent a right-footed shot to Ford’s right hand side. Ford guessed right on the penalty and was able to deflect the ball, but the shot had too much pace on it as it squeezed underneath Ford and into the net for the late equalizer for Guzman.

In the last seconds of the match, second-half substitute Mackenzie Pridham had one more chance for a Republic FC winner. Pridham attacked across the face of goal, just outside the 18-yard box. The forward then sent a left-footed strike through three defenders and past a diving Ford. Unfortunately, the shot rolled inches past the far post and out of play. Pridham’s shot would serve as the last play of the match, as it ended in a 1-1 draw.

“I love that this team never gives in”, said Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle after the 1-1 draw. “It’s a side that keeps going. The fans keep us going. I thought we created the most chances in the game and I feel that’s the best we moved the football in a long time.”

Republic FC will go back on the road to take on Saint Louis FC on Saturday, August 13. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sacramento River Cats Implodes Late In 9-2 Loss To Albuquerque Isotopes

River Cats’ streak ends as they drop first game of August

Albuquerque, NM – The Sacramento River Cats (53-62) came into Saturday night’s contest against the Albuquerque Isotopes (49-64) winners of six straight games and an undefeated record in the month of August. In their 9-2 loss tonight however, the River Cats weren’t able to continue their hot hitting while their pitching let the game slip away late.

Right-hander Clayton Blackburn was on the bump for Sacramento making his 19th start of the season and fourth against Albuquerque. Blackburn has struggled on the road this year to the tune of a 6.12 ERA away from Raley Field but pitched well early in this one. Through the first six innings, the 23-year-old allowed two runs on six hits while leaving the Isotopes 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Blackburn hit a skid in his seventh and final inning, however, allowing a leadoff double to start the trouble. A sacrifice bunt and single gave the ‘Topes a 3-2 lead, and things snowballed from there. One out later Albuquerque’s best hitter Jordan Patterson stepped to the dish with one on and two out. The clean-up hitter blasted a two-run home run off the righty, extending the lead to 5-2.

Of the five earned runs by Blackburn tonight, four came with two outs. He finished the night facing a season-high 32 batters, and tied his season-high with eight strikeouts. The game would get away from the River Cats late, as left-hander Steven Okert was roughed up for four runs on five hits during his eighth inning appearance.

The offensive highlight came courtesy of third baseman Grant Green tonight, who hit his seventh home run for Sacramento in the fourth inning, a solo-shot which at the time gave the River Cats a 2-1 lead. That would be all the scoring, however, as over their next five innings Sacramento scattered just four hits.

Centerfielder Austin Slater, right fielder Chris Denorfia and Green all registered two-hit games and catcher Tony Sanchez tallied in his first RBI with the club on a sacrifice fly. Tonight’s two runs were the fewest in a game so far this month, a month in which the River Cats lead the Pacific Coast League in batting average (.344) and home runs (9). The offensive couldn’t emulate the success of their 5-0 record this month, finishing the game tonight 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine men on base.

Sacramento will hit the road for an early flight tomorrow morning to Tacoma. Right-hander Chris Stratton (8-5, 4.81) will take the hill for the River Cats in the opener and is 1-0 with a 7.20 ERA in two starts against the Rainiers this season. Tacoma will send righty Zach Lee (0-4, 5.74) to the mound, who has a 6.00 ERA against Sacramento in two starts. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. (PT) and can be heard live online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Claim DB Tramain Jacobs And LB Lenny Jones Via Waivers

NAPA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have claimed DB Tramain Jacobs (New York Giants) and LB Lenny Jones (San Francisco 49ers) via waivers, the club announced Friday.

Jacobs was originally signed by the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in May 2014. He spent most of the 2014 season Baltimore’s practice squad before being elevated to the active roster and appearing in three games for the Ravens, primarily on special teams. Last year, he was waived by the Ravens at the end of training camp before joining the Giants in September and playing in five games. For his career, Jacobs has appeared in eight games and recorded three special teams tackles. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder played in 26 games over two seasons at Texas A&M, totaling 55 tackles (39 solo), two interceptions and 13 passes defensed.

Jones was originally signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in May 2016. He appeared in 50 games with 31 starts over four seasons at Nevada, totaling 149 tackles and 19 sacks, ranking fifth on the school’s all-time sack list. The 6-foot-3, 270-pounder is a native of nearby San Leandro, Calif., and attended San Leandro High School.

In corresponding moves, the Raiders have waived/injured CB SaQwan Edwards and waived DE Damontre Moore. Additionally, DL Denico Autry passed his physical and returned to practice today.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Announce Pre-Training Camp Transactions

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have made the following transactions, the club announced Monday. All three players count towards the team’s active roster.

DECLARED NON-FOOTBALL INJURY

Alexander, Vadal Guard 6’5″ 326 lbs.  Rookie LSU

DECLARED PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM

Helu, Jr., Roy Running Back  5’11” 215 lbs 6th year Nebraska
Townsend Jr., Greg Defensive End 6′ 3″ 275 lbs. Rookie USC
Courtesy of Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Sacramento Republic FC Falls To Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 2-1

A stoppage time goal propels Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 past visiting Sacramento Republic FC 2-1 at Thunderbird Stadium.

The match started strong for Sacramento Republic FC, who just 14 minutes into the match found the first goal of the match. Midfielder Danny Barrera had the ball in the center of the field before sliding it through the middle of the Vancouver defense to a streaking Cameron Iwasa. The forward received the ball and went one-on-one with WFC2 keeper Spencer Richey. Iwasa drove up the left side of the box before sending a low shot to the bottom right corner that cleared the sliding Richey, putting Republic FC ahead 1-0.

The lead would not last long however as just six minutes later WFC2 would earn a penalty. Forward Kyle Greig was taken down in the middle of the box as Kadin Chung tried to swing a cross into the middle, earning WFC2 a penalty. Marco Bustos stepped up to take the ensuing penalty kick and sent a low shot into the left side of the goal as Republic FC keeper Evan Newton dove right, leveling the score 1-1, where it would stay until halftime.

Republic FC had the first strong chance of the second half in the 55th minute when defender Kip Colvey drove down the right wing. Colvey then sent a cross toward Adam Jahn. The forward connected with the cross, but his right-footed volley went just over the bar.

In the 76th minute, Republic FC had another good look on goal. Defender Chris Christian played a long ball from midfield to Jahn who held up the ball in the middle of the box. After settling the ball, Jahn laid it back to Iwasa who was sprinting down the right side of the box. Iwasa sent a low, powerful shot toward goal, but Richey quickly got down to his side to make the save, keeping the match even at 1-1.

Vancouver would break the deadlock two minutes into stoppage time. WFC2 substitute midfielder Fatawu Safiu played the ball wide to Daniel Haber who was streaking down the right side of the field. Haber then sent a cross into the box, where substitute forward Thomas Sanner connected with the cross for a header into the lower left corner of the goal and past a diving Newton, giving Vancouver the 2-1 win.

Republic FC continue their five-match road stretch when they take on Rio Grande Valley FC Toros on Saturday, July 30. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be streamed live at SacRepublicFC.com/matchday.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Sactown Slugfest Ends In Sacramento River Cats Rout

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Adrianza and Pence lead cast of rehabbers, former Giants in win

West Sacramento, CA – The best offense in the Pacific Coast League took the field Saturday night and then looked on as the Sacramento River Cats (45-56) ran up the score early en route to a 12-0 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas (57-42). Sacramento struck for nine runs in the first two innings and coasted to the win behind an excellent combination effort from the bullpen.

Sacramento’s five-run first inning followed last night’s six-run outburst and was highlighted by a two-run blast off the bat of Ehire Adrianza. Adrianza joined the River Cats this afternoon as he continues his rehab for a broken foot and wasted no time getting comfortable, driving the first pitch he saw out to left. Overall, the switch-hitting shortstop went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

“It felt good being back in Sacramento,” Adrianza said after the game. “My foot feels great. I’m ready to help out the big club whenever they think I’m ready.”

In 10 rehab games, Adrianza is hitting .368 (14-for-38) with six home runs, 13 RBI and 10 runs scored between San Jose and Sacramento.

Hunter Pence also made his 2016 River Cats debut tonight, going 1-for-4 with a double in six innings. The two-time World Champ and two-time All-Star is working his way back from hamstring surgery and in three games with the River Cats is hitting .500 (4-for-8) with two doubles, a home run, and an RBI.

“It feels good to be out on a baseball field playing and competing. The crowds here are so passionate and fun. I’m trying to get back out there as quick as I can.”

Austin Slater homered for the River Cats, his fourth, as did Andrew Susac, his eighth. Since returning from the All-Star break, the two have combined to hit .299 (20-for-67) with seven home runs, 15 RBI and 16 runs scored. Juan Ciriaco and Rando Moreno each drove in a pair and Kelby Tomlinson was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. As a team, the River Cats racked up 19 hits, matching their third highest total this season.

Behind an explosive offensive performance, the bullpen quietly put together an excellent outing, led by spot-starter Austin Fleet. Fleet got the start after throwing just two days ago in San Jose and went three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out two.

The Chihuahuas entered this series with a PCL-best .314 team batting average while scoring over six runs per game. In their last 18 innings against River Cats pitching, though, the Chihuahuas have pushed just three runs across while generating 15 hits. Tonight, Fleet combined with Alex Torres, Duke Welker, Matt Reynolds, and Jake Dunning to hand the Chihuahuas their third shutout loss of the season.

The River Cats and Chihuahuas will play two tomorrow to close out this series. Left-hander and PCL wins-leader Ty Blach (10-5, 3.70) will take the mound for game one against El Paso’s Aaron Northcraft (4-0, 4.46). Game two, which will start a half hour after the end of game one, features two bullpen arms going head to head. River Cats reliever Vin Mazzaro (2-1, 2.64) will take on Eric Yardley (2-0, 4.91). Both games can be heard live online at rivercats.com.

Match Recap Courtesy of the Sacramento River Cats Media Relations