The Oakland Raiders Release Veteran Defensive Tackle Antonio Smith

March 31, 2015 1:00PM

Photo by Shawn Jonas

Alameda, California –The Oakland Raiders announce have they released veteran defensive tackle Antonio Smith Tuesday afternoon.

The Raiders 33-year-old had 20 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in 16 games in 2014. Smith has missed just one game since the 2005 season.

The Raiders save $4 million against the salary cap without any dead money associated with the transaction. Smith was set to enter the latter half of a two-year $9 million contract with $4 million in guaranteed money paid last season.

The Raiders added free agent Dan Williams to the interior defensive line, already manned by second-year pro Justin Ellis. Both players are known as run stuffers on the inside.

Smith would have complimented Ellis and Williams at the three technique.

C.J. Wilson was re-signed last week, he has the ability to play all four positions on the defensive line. He played defensive end last year. Wilson is expected to mover around under new head coach Jack Del Rio and defensive coordinator Ken Norton.

The Raiders should add another player in this group possibly through the 2015 NFL draft. USC’s Leonard Williams would be a great addition, although he isn’t expected to still be there when the Raiders draft at the #4 .

Photo Credit By Shawn Jonas

Antonio Smith giving thanks and enjoys a moment after breaking the longest losing streak by a single player. 2013 Houston Texans 14 games, and 2014 Oakland Raiders 10 games for a total of 24 straight losses. NFL record.

The San Jose SaberCats Take Down The Expansion Las Vegas Outlaws In Season Opener 59-41

March 30, 11:15 PM

Courtesy Of The San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

Las Vegas, Nevada – The San Jose SaberCats (1-0) rode a colossal first half to defeat the Las Vegas Outlaws (0-1) 59-41 at the Thomas & Mack Center Monday night.

Taking the ball under center, SaberCats’ quarterback Erik Meyer looked across the middle of the field and found the always reliable Ben Nelson for a 14-yard first down, his first completed pass as a SaberCat. The SaberCats shook off the season opener jitters en route to a 21-0 first quarter lead. The SaberCats got on the board first, when Odie Armstrong took the handoff in for a two yard touchdown. Meyer followed that with 32-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Gray, after an offside penalty on Outlaws’ defensive end Terrance Carter allowed for a free play.

On the Outlaw’s opening drive, SaberCats defensive backs Virgil Gray and Eric Crocker were both flagged for defensive holding in the secondary. The ball hawking Gray found his redemption though, picking off Outlaws’ quarterback J.J. Raterink in the end zone two plays later. On the ensuing two Outlaw possessions, Gray and the rest of the SaberCats’ defense forced a turnover-on-downs, including a goal-line run stop.

On the contrary, Meyer led the San Jose offense on six straight first half scoring drives. The former Spokane Shock duo of Meyer and wide receiver Adron Tennell were officially reacquainted, as Tennell hauled in a one-handed reception, as he crashed over the boards for a 29-yard touchdown, giving the SaberCats a 21-0 first quarter lead. Tennell hauled in five receptions for 84 yards in his SaberCats debut.
In his debut with San Jose, the 2013 AFL Most Valuable Player distributed the ball around, throwing for 294 yards on 18-of-29 passes and six touchdowns, while tossing at least one touchdown pass to each of his four receivers. Gray led all SaberCat receivers with seven receptions for 89 yards.

The ageless wonder, SaberCats’ wide receiver Ben Nelson got into the fray as well, catching two first half touchdowns from Meyer, to bring his AFL career total to 172 touchdown receptions. Nelson totaled four receptions for 60 yards.

Scoring the first points for the Outlaws’ franchise, Raterink was able to run in two touchdowns to cut the SaberCats lead to 42-13 at halftime. The Outlaws’ maneuvered the ball into the redzone on five separate occasions in the first half, but only capitalized twice.

On the opening drive of the second half, the Outlaws marched down the field and scored when Las Vegas native, Tysson Poots, caught a four yard touchdown reception from Raterink, his first of three touchdowns on the night. Poots finished with seven receptions and 123 yards to lead all receivers. After the SaberCats offense surrendered their first turnover on downs, the defense answered the call. After defensive end Luis Vasquez stripped Raterink, David Hyland scooped up the ball and was tripped up at the five yard line. The SaberCats would extend their lead to 49-20 after Meyer found Tennell for the second time in the end zone. There was a bit of a scare for the SaberCats after the pass, when Meyer was taken down by a host of Outlaw defenders and was seen icing his hand between possessions.

Similar to the 2014 season, where he took over for starting quarterback Russ Michna, Nathan Stanley assumed the role from Meyer but was unable to find the same immediate success. Coming off of the edge, Terrance Carter sacked Stanley on fourth down to force a turnover. Taking over on downs, Raterink connected with rookie wide receiver LaDon Hudson on a seven yard touchdown pass, to bring the Outlaws to their closest mark at 49-34.

After the SaberCats recovered an onside kick and scored on Armstrong’s second rushing touchdown, the Outlaw’s answered when Poots climbed the ladder, snagged a one-handed reception, broke a tackle and raced into the end zone. The score cut the SaberCats lead to 56-41 midway through the fourth quarter. After Meyer returned to the lineup, the SaberCats extended their lead to 59-41 on the leg of 2014 AFL Kicker of the Year Nich Pertuit, who connected on a 25-yard field goal.

Despite being outscored 17-28 in the second half, San Jose held on thanks in large part to the arm of Erik Meyer and their havoc creating, opportunistic defense. .

ABOUT THE SAN JOSE SABERCATS
The ArenaBowl XVI, XVIII and XXI champion San Jose SaberCats finished their 19th season in the AFL with a Pacific Division Title after making their return in 2011. Fans and sponsors can go to thesanjosesabercats.com or call 408-673-3400 to sign up to receive the latest news and updates about the SaberCats, as well as to purchase 2015 season tickets. Make sure to follow the SaberCats on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the team.
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The Oakland Raiders Officially Announce Re-Signing of Defensive Lineman C. J. Wilson

March 30 1:49 PM

Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Photo By Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have re-signed DL C.J. Wilson, the club announced Monday.

Wilson returns to the Raiders after spending the 2014 campaign with the Silver and Black. In tying a career high with 16 appearances, he started seven games and totaled 34 tackles (22 solo), two sacks and one forced fumble. His career totals include 66 games played with 18 starts, 137 tackles (76 solo), 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed.

DSC09640Photo By Shawn Jonas 

The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder joined the Raiders last offseason after spending the previous four seasons with the Green Bay Packers, playing in 50 games for the team. Wilson played a key role on Green Bay’s defensive line during their Super Bowl run in 2010, playing in all four games – including starting Super Bowl XLV – and totaling six tackles (five solo) and one sack.

The Pinetown, N.C., native was originally selected by the Packers in the seventh round (230th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of East Carolina. He finished his four-year career with 192 tackles and 27 sacks and was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009, his junior and senior seasons.

Sacramento Republic FC Takes Down Los Angeles Galaxy II 3-2

March 28, 2015 10:37 PM

Courtesy of Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Photo Courtesy : The LA Galaxy II

Match Recap: Sacramento Republic FC 3, LA Galaxy II 2

Rodrigo Lopez scores match-winning goal late in stoppage time to propel Republic FC to their second straight stoppage-time win over LA Galaxy II, a 3-2 victory.

The match started quickly with both side coming out strong and pressing the defenses. In just the 8th minute LA Galaxy II would put themselves ahead on a free kick. Midfielder Raul Mendiola, on loan from LA Galaxy, squared up a 25-yard free kick from the right side of the pitch. The in-swinger found the head of defender Daniel Steres, who flicked the ball into the right side of the net to put Los Dos ahead 1-0.

Republic FC took no time in responding, quickly making plays on the counterattack in an attempt to equalize. In the 12th minute, Republic FC forward David Estrada was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty. Midfielder Octavio Guzman calmly stepped up to the spot, then sent an elevated shot into the left side of the net and past the outstretched hand of Los Dos keeper, Clement Diop, who had guessed right. The penalty evened the score 1-1.

12 minutes later, Republic FC earned a second penalty kick in the 24th minute when forward Cameron Iwasa was fouled in the box, earning Republic FC their second penalty. Guzman again stepped up to the spot and, after a quick stutter-step toward the left side, sent an elevated ball into the left side of the net, this time fooling Diop, who dove to the right. The half would end with Republic FC leading 2-1.

The match continued at a high pace in the second half, with both sides eager for another goal. In the 66th minute, Mendiola would again set up a Los Dos goal, this time in the run of play. Mendiola received a perfect pass up the right side of the pitch and send a low cross in front of the goal where it met the foot of Travis Bowen, who was able to poke the ball past the Republic FC defense and equalize the match to 2-2.

The final 24 minutes of the match were a flurry, with each side trying to find a winning goal and capitalize on mistakes in the other side’s defensive third. It wasn’t until the final minute of stoppage time that Republic FC would find their winning goal. A lofted pass ahead to Estrada set up the match-winner. Estrada, who streaked up the far side of the pitch with the ball with second-half substitution Rodrigo Lopez nearby. The pair exploited the two-on-one situation as Estrada sent a perfect square ball across the face of goal to an oncoming Lopez, who simply tapped the ball into the net from about three yards out to clinch the 3-2 victory for Republic FC.

The win is the first for Republic FC in the 2015 USL season and their fifth all-time against Los Dos. Republic FC won’t have long to think about the win however as they play Portland Timbers 2 on Thursday, April 2 in the first matchup against the former affiliates. The match will take place at Merlo Field on the campus of the University of Portland. Kickoff is 7:00 p.m.

LA Galaxy II 2:3 Sacramento Republic FC
USL Match
StubHub Center – Carson, CA
March 28, 2015 – Attendance: 1,292

Scoring Summary: LA – Daniel Steres (Raul Mendiola) 8, Travis Bowen (Raul Mendiola) 66; SRFC – Octavio Guzman (penalty) 13, Octavio Guzman (penalty) 25, Rodrigo Lopez (David Estrada) 90.

Misconduct Summary: LA – Alejandro Covarrubias (caution) 22, Andre Auras (caution) 35, Jason Bli (caution) 37; SRFC – Joaquin Rivas (caution) 54, Octavio Guzman (caution) 77, Ivan Mirković (caution) 84.

Sacramento Republic FC – Patrick McLain; Emrah Klimenta, Mickey Daly, Derek Foran, James Kiffe; Gabe Gonzalez (Adnan Gabeljic 69), Ivan Mirković, Octavio Guzman, Joaquin Rivas (Gabe Gissie 64); Cameron Iwasa (Rodrigo Lopez 58), David Estrada .

Subs Not Used: Dominik Jakubek, Agustin Cazarez, Alfonso Motagalvan

Stats: Shots: 17, Shots on Goal: 7, Saves: 1, Fouls: 18, Corner Kicks: 5, Offside: 7.

LA Galaxy II – Clint Diop; Daniel Steres, Lee Nishanian, Jason Bli (David Romney 81), Joe Franco; Andre Auras (Elijah Martin 58), Raul Mendiola, Jaime Villarreal (Ryo Fujii 45), Alejandro Covarrubias (Kainoa Bailey 73); Adonis Amaya (Jack McBean 58), Travis Bowen.

Subs Not Used: Nick Shackleford.

Stats: Shots: 6, Shots on Goal: 3, Saves: 2, Fouls: 4, Corner Kicks: 1, Offside: 1.