Category Archives: Bay Area Sports

The San Jose SaberCats Remain Unbeaten Take Down The Jacksonville Sharks 68-48

April 17, 2015 8:13 PM PT

Courtesy Of The SaberCats Media Relations

Jacksonville, Florida – The San Jose SaberCats (4-0) remained undefeated after taking down the Jacksonville Sharks (0-4) 68-48, Friday at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.
AFL All-Time leading rusher, fullback Derrick Ross bulldozed his way into the end zone on the first drive to give the Sharks an early 7-0 lead. Ross, who was acquired for the Philadelphia Soul this off-season, continued to be focal point for the offense. He finished with 11 rushes for 35 yards and a season-high four touchdowns. Ross continues to be the go-to player within the five yard line of the red zone for Jacksonville. On the night, he also eclipsed a milestone with his 150th rushing touchdown for his AFL career.

Continuing his impact play, jack linebacker David Hyland snuffed out a pass play and picked off the Tommy Grady pass at the Jacksonville seven yard line, his second interception of the season. Hyland continues to excess at the jack linebacker spot for San Jose and led the team in tackles with 14. Reggie Gray was able to extend the San Jose lead to 14-7, after hauling in a five yard touchdown reception. As the SaberCats leading receiver this season, “Big Play” Reggie Gray finished with nine receptions for 80 yards and three touchdowns.

As the Arena Football League’s leading receiver, Anthony “Tiger” Jones demonstrated his abilities early an often. Jones finished with seven receptions for 100 yards, but was unable to add to his league-high 10 receiving touchdowns.

SaberCats quarterback Erik Meyer threw for a season –high eight touchdowns, completing 19-of-30 completions for 246 yards.

Odie Armstrong, an avid Madden video gamer, pressed the B-button on the Xbox (O on the PlayStation) and spun into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown run, to give San Jose a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. Armstrong added to his rushing touchdown total with five on the season.

With his return to the starting lineup, SaberCats’ receiver Adron Tennell, the 2013 AFL Wide Receiver of the Year, made an immediate impact. He finished with five receptions for 65 yards and four of those going for touchdowns.

In the Second quarter, Sharks’ receiver Joe Hills hauled in multiple receptions, matriculating the offense down to the goaline, with Ross able to do what he does best and rumble in for a one-yard touchdown run to cut the SaberCats lead to 21-14. Hills led the Sharks with 14 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown.

After a great performance in his first game as a SaberCat last week, receiver D.J. Stephens continued to shine for San Jose. Stephens caught a 33-yard pass from Meyer and was brought down just a yard shy of the end zone. Unfortunately, defensive end Joe Skyes, a member of the SaberCats last season, jumped in on a botched snap and forced a fumble that was eventually recovered by Jacksonville. Following the fumble recovery, Jones sacrificed life and limb to haul in a 30-yard reception while flying over the boards to set up a Ross touchdown run.

With a Darius Reynolds reception bringing the SaberCats down to the four yard line, Meyer found Gray in the end zone on fourth down, as San Jose led 28-24 at halftime.

Following a Joe Hills touchdown reception by the Sharks, Gray was able to grab the kickoff and returned it 58-yards for a touchdown, the first on the season for San Jose, who responded immediately and pushed out to a 48-38 fourth quarter lead.

It did not take long for Jacksonville to answer, as receiver Jerod Harvery grabbed an 18-yard touchdown, his first touchdown reception of the season to make it a 48-45 San Jose lead.
With eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Meyer found Stephens in the back of the end zone. In his second game with San Jose, Stephens finished with three receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown.

On the ensuing kickoff, SaberCats defensive end Donte Paige-Moss was able to recover the ball off of the uprights to provide the San Jose offense with the ball at the eight yard line. The recovery was culminated by a Gray touchdown reception to give the SaberCats a 62-45 with 3:46 remaining.

A late interception by defensive back Erik Crocker sealed the win for San Jose, who will be back at home in the SAP Center to host the Portland Thunder on Saturday April, 25th.

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 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.

San Jose SaberCats VS. Jacksonville Sharks Preview

Apri 16, 2015 9:00 AM

Courtesy of The San Jose SaberCats Media Relations

San Jose, California – The San Jose SaberCats and Jacksonville Sharks are two teams separated by over 2,700 miles of road and while they will meet on Friday, they are both heading in opposite directions.


The SaberCats (3-0) have cruised to victory in their first three games of the 2015 season, winning by an average margin of 17.7 points per game. On the contrary, the Sharks (0-3) have yet to win a game this season, losing all three of their games this season by a combined 13 points, including the first two games by one point each.

After a slew of acquisitions to bolster its offensive attack this off-season, Jacksonville was an early pre-season favorite in the American Conference. Despite their record, the Sharks are a formidable opponent for any team and have a chance to prove it on Friday night. The Sharks made a splash in free agency with the acquisition of the 2012 AFL MVP, quarterback Tommy Grady. As the signal caller for the Pittsburgh Power last season, Grady set a franchise record with 4,717 passing yards and 115 touchdowns.

Through three games in 2015, Grady has thrown for 845 yards and is ranked second in the league with 19 passing touchdowns.
As expected, Grady’s favorite target this season has been Anthony “Tiger” Jones. After spending the past three seasons with the Philadelphia Soul and earning First Team All-Arena Honors in 2013, Jones is leading the AFL in receiving. Jones brought his league leading receiving touchdown total to 10 on the season, after hauling in five touchdowns against his old team last week. The duo of Grady and Jones will be the biggest test thus far for the SaberCats stout defense.

Derrick Ross, the all-time AFL rushing leader, has gotten off to a hot start as well. He is the only player to have eclipsed the 100 yard rushing mark (113) and is tied for second in the AFL with four rushing touchdowns. Like Jones, Ross spent the last three seasons with the Soul and was acquired in a trade with the Las Vegas Outlaws during training camp last month.

San Jose also boasts a former league MVP (2013) in quarterback Erik Meyer. Through three games, Meyer has completed an efficient 59.8-percent of his passes for 695 yards and 13 touchdowns. With the SaberCats lockdown defense providing ample field position, Meyer’s numbers do not tell the whole story.

Coming into the season, the SaberCats already possessed one of the league’s top receiver corps and added to it last week with the acquisition of D.J. Stephens. In his first game with San Jose against the Tampa Bay Storm, Stephens totaled six receptions for 80 yards and two touchdowns. Along with Reggie Gray, Darius Reynolds and Adron Tennell, the offensive attack for San Jose has yet to peak.

Despite averaging 52.0 points per game and ranking second in total offense, Jacksonville’s offensive attack has yet to overcome their deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball. However, Joe Sykes, former AFL Defensive Player of the Year, has been a bright spot for the Sharks’ defense. Sykes, a member of the SaberCats last season, has totaled 9.5 tackles with four tackles for a loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. While the San Jose offensive line has protected Meyer well this season, only surrendering four sacks, Sykes ability to rush the passer will be duly noted.

One cannot mention the SaberCats without reference to their defensive prowess. San Jose has four players with two or more sacks this season, including defensive end Luis Vasquez, who has a team-high 3.5 sacks on the season. In the secondary, the addition of Virgil Gray and Eric Crocker, as well as the return of David Hyland and Ken Fontenette, has resulted in much of the success on defense. A proven playmaker over the years, Gray has registered a team-high three interceptions and 10 pass breakups, while Fontenette leads the team with 17.5 total tackles. Enough cannot be said about the efforts of Hyland, who has recovered three fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown in his first full season as the teams jack linebacker.

This will be the third meeting between the two franchises, with San Jose winning both matchups. The SaberCats defense leads the league, surrendering an average of 32.0 points per game. Look for a showdown of the Sharks prolific offense against the vaunted SaberCats defense in this week’s matchup. With their second game at home, Jacksonville will look to right the ship and get in the win column against a formidable foe. Meanwhile, San Jose has a chance to go on the road and prove that their early season success is no fluke.

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 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.

Oakland Raiders Sign Veteran Wide Reciever Michael Crabtree

April 13, 2015 8:57PM PT

Photo By Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent wide receiver  Michael Crabtree, the club announced Monday.

Crabtree joins the Raiders following six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, during with he helped the team to an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII. Crabtree’s career totals include 79 games played with 77 starts, 347 receptions for 4,327 yards (12.5 avg.) and 26 touchdowns. Additionally, he has posted 40 catches for 516 yards and four touchdowns in eight postseason games.

Last season, Crabtree started all 16 games, producing 68 receptions for 698 yards and four touchdowns. In San Francisco’s Week 3 game at Arizona, Crabtree posted a career-high 10 receptions.

In 2012, the 6-foot-1, 214-pounder set career highs with 85 receptions, 1,105 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, helping the 49ers capture the NFC Championship. In Super Bowl XLVII, he posted five receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown.

The Dallas, Texas, native was originally drafted the 49ers in the first round (10th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech. Crabtree was at two-time winner (2007-08) of the Fred Biletnikoff Award, given the nation’s top wide receiver. The two-time All-American finished his two-year career at Texas Tech with 231 receptions for 3,127 yards and 41 touchdowns.

Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Raiders Announce Preseason Opponents

April 9, 2015 1:01 PM PT

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders’ preseason schedule will feature home games against the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals, and road contests at the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks, the National Football League released Thursday.

Date(s)                                       Opponent             Time (PT)        TV
Aug. 13-17                     ST. LOUIS RAMS          TBA         KTVU/KICU
Aug. 20-24   at             Minnesota Vikings     TBA         KTVU/KICU
Sun., Aug. 30      ARIZONA CARDINALS     5:00 p.m.     NBC
Thurs., Sept. 3 at Seattle Seahawks              TBA          KTVU/KICU

The Raiders will open their preseason slate at Coliseum against the St. Louis Rams, marking the first time since 2007 that Oakland will play St. Louis in the preseason. Oakland will travel to Minnesota for the second consecutive season, playing at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota’s campus in Week 2.

The Silver and Black’s third preseason game will be on national television, as they face the Arizona Cardinals on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. It will mark Oakland’s first preseason meeting with Arizona since 2012. The Raiders round out their preseason slate with a road contest at the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. The game will mark the 10th straight season that the Raiders have concluded their preseason against the Seahawks, with eight of those 10 games coming in Seattle.

Non-nationally televised preseason games in 2015 will again be produced in-house by the Emmy-Award-winning Silver and Black Productions, and will air locally on KTVU FOX Channel 2/KICU Action 36. provides additional program listings and carries exclusive year-round coverage of the organization.

Preseason times and specific dates will be announced at a later date.

Photo By Shawn Jonas

Oakland Raiders Announce Free Agent Signings

April 8, 2015 2:52 PM PT

Photo By Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA– The Oakland Raiders have re-signed the following 10 free agents, the club announced Tuesday.


Player                         Pos.    Ht.    Wt.     Exp.      College

Asante, Larry            S       6-0    210       4        Nebraska
Holmes, Andre      WR    6-4    210       4        Hillsdale
King, Marquette     P       6-0    190       4        Fort Valley State
Ross, Brandian         S       6-1    190       4        Youngstown State
Streater, Rod          WR    6-3    195       4        Temple


Player                            Pos.    Ht.    Wt.     Exp.     College

Autry, Denico            DE     6-5    275       2       Mississippi State
Leonhardt, Brian     TE      6-5    255       2       Bemidji State
McCants, Matt           T        6-6   310       3       Alabama-Birmingham
Olawale, Jamize  FB/RB  6-1   235       3       North Texas
Thorpe, Neiko          CB       6-1   200       3       Auburn

Streater: Enters his fourth season with the Raiders after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2012…Missed the last 13 games of 2014 after being placed on the reserve/injured list with a foot injury…Posted 84 yards on nine receptions and one TD prior to the injury…Career totals include 35 games played with 19 starts, 108 receptions for 1,556 yards (14.4 avg.) and eight TDs…Led the team in receptions (60) and receiving yards (888) in 2013, setting career highs.

Asante: Enters second season with Oakland after playing in six games, starting two, in 2014 before suffering a season-ending injury…Career totals include 23 games played, two starts, 34 tackles (28 solo), one INT, one pass defensed and two forced fumbles…Tallied 23 tackles (18 solo) and one forced fumble last season…Appeared in five games with the Indianapolis Colts in 2013…Debuted with Tampa Bay in 2010, playing in 12 games for the Buccaneers over his first two NFL seasons…Originally drafted in the fifth round (160th overall) by the Cleveland Browns in 2010.

Autry: Returns for his second season after making the squad as an undrafted free agent in 2014…Spent six weeks on the practice squad before appearing in 10 games last season, totaling 13 tackles (eight solo)…Also notched two special teams tackles and one blocked punt…Blocked a punt against Seattle (11/2/14), resulting in the Raiders’ only special teams TD of the season.
Holmes: Enters third season with the Raiders after leading the team in receiving yards in 2014, posting career highs with 47 receptions for 693 yards (14.7 avg.) and four TDs…Career totals include 33 games played with 17 starts, 74 receptions for 1,135 yards (15.3 avg.) and five TDs…In 2013, appeared in 10 games, starting four, and caught 25 passes for 431 yards (17.2 avg.) with one TD…Played in seven games with the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie in 2012, catching two passes for 11 yards…Originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 2011.

King: Begins his third season as Oakland’s punter after signing with the Silver and Black as an undrafted free agent in 2012…Has appeared in 32 games with 193 punts for 9,037 yards (46.8 avg.), placing 54 punts placed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and only 14 touchbacks…Set franchise records in 2014 with 109 punts and 4,930 yards…In 2013, became third punter in franchise history to lead the NFL in punting with a 48.9 average…Missed the 2012 campaign due to a foot injury.

Leonhardt: Enters his second year with the Silver and Black after making the team as an undrafted free agent in 2013…After spending his entire rookie campaign on the practice squad, played in 12 games, starting three, for the Raiders last season…Recorded six receptions for 35 yards (5.8 avg.) with one TD…Season cut short due to a concussion, landing him on the reserve/injured list for the 2014 season finale…Also contributed significantly on special teams, notching four tackles and one forced fumble.

McCants: Has appeared in 24 games, starting three, for the Raiders since joining the team’s practice squad prior to the beginning of the 2013 season…Originally selected by the New York Giants in the sixth round (201st overall) in the 2012 NFL Draft…Contributed primarily on special teams and as an extra offensive lineman in 2014, seeing action in 11 games…Made 13 appearances and started three games at right tackle in 2013…Spent majority of his rookie season on the Giants’ practice squad after being waived at the end of training camp.

Olawale: Rejoins Oakland for his fourth season with the club, contributing on offense and special teams…Career totals include 35 games played with one start, five carries for six yards (1.2 avg.), and 12 receptions for 81 yards (6.8 avg.) and two touchdowns…Appeared in all 16 games for the Raiders in 2014, posting five receptions for 18 yards (3.6 avg.) and his first two career touchdowns…Also finished second on the team with seven special teams stops…Originally entered the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 2012.

Ross: Returns for his fourth season with the Raiders…Has played in 43 games with 24 starts for Oakland over the last three seasons…Career totals include 183 tackles (119 solo), two INTs, two sacks, 14 passes defensed and two forced fumbles…Appeared in one game with the Miami Dolphins in 2014 after being waived by Oakland following training camp…Re-joined the Raiders prior to Week 4…Finished 2014 with 68 tackles (47), two INTs, eight passes defensed and one forced fumble in 13 games…Originally joined the Raiders after being signed off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad in September 2012.

Thorpe: Re-joins the Raiders for his second season with the team…Played a key role on the team’s special teams unit in 2014…Posted two tackles (one solo) and three passes defensed on defense and six special teams stops…Career totals include 23 games played, six tackles (five solo) and three passes defensed…Joined the Raiders as a reserve/future signing in 2014…Played for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012 after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent.

The Oakland Raiders Sign Veteran Tackle J’Marcus Webb

April 2, 2015 11:07 AM

Courtesy of The Oakland Raiders Media PR

ALAMEDA, California – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent T J’Marcus Webb, the club announced Thursday.

Webb joins the Raiders following stints with the Chicago Bears (2010-12) and Minnesota Vikings (2013-14). His career totals include 55 games played with 45 starts, and two postseason starts. As a rookie, he started 12 games at right tackle before switching to left tackle in his second season, where he started all 32 games for the Bears from 2011-12.

In two seasons with Minnesota, including the 2013 campaign under Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave when he served in the same role with the Vikings, the 6-foot-7, 333-pounder appeared in nine games with one start. Following the 2013 season, Webb signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an unrestricted free agent. He was released by the Chiefs following their 2014 training camp, later rejoining the Vikings in November of last year and playing in one game for Minnesota last season.

The Fort Worth, Texas, native was originally drafted by Chicago in the seventh round (218th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. Webb’s collegiate career included stints at three different schools, beginning at the University of Texas in 2006, where he helped the Longhorns to a 10-3 record and an Alamo Bowl victory. Webb then spent one season at Navarro College in Corsicana, Texas, before transferring to West Texas A&M, where he started 24-of-25 games at left tackle from 2008-09.

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 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.

The Oakland Raiders Add Free Agent Running Back Trent Richardson

March 17, 2015 10:03 AM PT

Shawn Jonas

Alameda, California – The Oakland Raiders signs free agent Running Back Trent Richardson. In old-school Raiders fashion, the former third overall draft pick, Richardson gets that much needed fresh start. This is an Al Davis type of move, nothing to lose.

A native of Pensacola, Florida, Richardson was originally selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round (third overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama. In helping the Crimson Tide capture national championships in 2009 and 2011, Richardson played in 38 games, totaling 3,130 rushing yards on 540 attempts (5.8 avg.) with 35 touchdowns. He left Alabama near the top of the school’s major rushing categories, including rushing yards (fifth), rushing touchdowns (third) and rushing average (second).

Richardson, 24, has played in 46 games with 37 starts over three seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. His career totals include 614 carries for 2,032 yards (3.3 avg.) and 17 touchdowns to go along with 113 receptions for 912 yards (8.1 avg.) and two touchdowns.

Last season in Indianapolis, Richardson played in 15 games with 12 starts and finished with 159 carries for 519 yards (3.3 avg.) and three touchdowns. He also added 229 receiving yards on 27 receptions.

The 5-foot-9, 225-pounder rushed for 950 yards on 267 carries with 11 touchdowns as a rookie with the Browns in 2012. His 950 rushing yards set a Cleveland single-season rookie franchise record, passing Jim Brown’s previous mark of 942 set in 1957. Richardson did so by playing the majority of the year with broken ribs.

Richardson entered the NFL as one of the most heralded running backs in years after a successful college career at Alabama. Richardson is one of three backs since 1996 to go in the top three picks in the draft, joining No. 2 overall picks Reggie Bush in 2006 and Ronnie Brown in 2005.

Cleveland traded Richardson to Indianapolis after just two games in the 2013 season for a first-round pick. Thought to be the final piece needed to solidify an offense led by star quarterback Andrew Luck, Richardson never fit in with the Colts.

Richardson was inactive for a divisional playoff game against Denver and was suspended for the AFC championship game against New England because he didn’t contact the team when his girlfriend had pregnancy complications, and he missed mandatory functions.

That suspension voided his contract, the Colts argued. Richardson has filed a grievance to recover $3 million in salary.

”From the beginning, trying to fit into their program, it was different for me,” he said. ”For me, it was more of me being an all-time blocker. There’s nothing wrong with blocking, but I still want to be able to help the team in different types of ways. I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I just think it was a bad marriage.”

The Raiders needed to upgrade a running game that was the least productive in the NFL in 2014. Richardson was brought in to compete with Latavius Murray, who showed promise last season by rushing for 424 yards on 82 carries (5.1avg.) in limited action. The Raiders won three of their last six games with Murray getting the bulk of the carries, over Darren McFadden.

Last week Oakland added free-agent acquisition Roy Helu. Helu is expected to be more of a third down back and he’ll be used in passing situations.

One of the most needed upgrades for the Raiders this off season is to get Derek Carr more weapons, and to bolster the running game.  Former Chiefs Center Rodney Hudson was alsobrought in to help improve the offensive line.

Carr put this out on twitter to his new teammate.


It looks as if Jack Del Rio is creating that three headed monster that many NFL teams do in this modern era of the game. Thunder and Lightning so to speak. Richardson is that physical runner possible short-yardage goaline back between the tackles. Murray is a big back, but has that 4.4 speed which is deceiving. An upright runner with subtle moves that gets him into the open field. Helu is a very good receiver and does well in pass protection. The knock on Richardson with the Colts, he wasn’t good in pass protection and he didn’t have enough of a burst to get thru the hole.

With Murray and Helu never being the featured back in their young NFL careers, Richardson will push the competition at the position. If Richardson can be the back he was his rookie year, the three headed monster looks complete.

Richardson believes he can earn the starting role in Oakland after going over the playbook with coach Jack Del Rio on Monday night. Richardson said the offense is similar to what he ran in college at Alabama.

Richardson: ”He just said there is just a lot of opportunity out here,” Richardson said. ”He said he isn’t going to promise me anything, but if I come in and work, I can be that bell cow.”

The Oakland Raiders Media Conference Call Q & A

Q: When you got cut from the Colts, you had some quotes saying that you expect to be the starter elsewhere. Is that the mindset coming into Oakland?

Richardson: “Most definitely. If a guy is coming in and doesn’t expect to be a starter, why is that guy here? For me, I expect to be a starter wherever I’m at. I just can’t wait for the opportunity.”

Q: Why didn’t it work out in Indianapolis?

Richardson: “From the beginning, trying to fit into their program, it was different for me. For me, it was more of me being an all-time blocker. There’s nothing wrong with blocking, but I still want to be able to help the team in different types of ways. I don’t look at it as a bad thing. I just think it was a bad marriage. With that, I don’t blame the O-line or anybody else. At the end of the day, I can still get better and I’m going to be working my tail off and trying to be the best running back now.”

Q: When did all of this start to happen with the Raiders?

Richardson: “Really, I got up here last night, yesterday. I had a real good chat with them. We went over the offense and saw a lot of stuff that I saw in college. I know this playbook already, especially when it comes to the run. I know what they expect and how they’re going to spread the field, putting me in a position to be successful. With that, in talking to [Head] Coach [Jack Del Rio], he just said there is just a lot of opportunity out here. He said he isn’t going to promise me anything, but if I come in and work, I can be that bell cow.”

Q: After not averaging four yards a carry over your NFL career, do you think that this is a system that can change that?

Richardson: “Most definitely. In my first season, I think it was something close to it, but it is what it is. I played the whole season with broken ribs, and I rushed for like 950 and I played 14 games. Last year, just in Indy, that system just didn’t fit me. When I got there, started off kind of early this year, it was going good and then I ended up getting hurt and then stuff just kind of bagged off. Just looking back on it, that’s a taste that you never want to get in your mouth again. Hopefully this is my last stop, and I’m going to do whatever I can to make this my last stop. Until I’m ready to walk away from the game, I don’t want to leave here.”

Q: After having so much success in college, have the last few seasons been humbling for you?

Richardson: “Most definitely. The very first humbling experience I had was getting traded. I spent the whole year, just wondering, why in the world and how in the world did I get traded. Looking back at it, even if they said it was a business move, in my head, it’s still some type of, ‘OK, you still got traded.’ With that, these last few years, it’s been very humbling, being able to play with Ahmad Bradshaw and be able to play with guys like Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis and Andrew [Luck]. It just takes you back to the basics, you’ve just got to be able to just perform, no matter what. With that, I just go back to my old pedigree. I had the Julio [Jones], the Mark Ingram, the AJ McCarron and the Eddie Lacy all on one team. It’s just big for me to get back to the basics.”

Q: Are you aware of the Raiders reputation of being a place where guys come to jump start their careers and is that appealing at all?

Richardson: “Yeah, I didn’t really look at it like that though. I’m just coming in and looking for this opportunity. Not saying that I’ve got to start over, but right now, it’s just a fresh start for me. It’s something that I can build off of and know that I can lose. With my mindset and the chip that’s on my shoulder, it’s no looking back.”

Q: Does it blow you away that a guy, Chris Borland, your age would retire?

Richardson: “Yeah, it does, but in some ways, it doesn’t. Mental-wise, that’s all this game is. Physically, I think that when you get to this level you can play it, but mentally, when you sit and think about stuff or your mind is not into it, that can tear you down as a man. A lot of football players don’t realize stuff until it’s gone. Once you realize that – I’ve been playing football my whole life. I’ve been playing football since I was six years old. Coach asked me this yesterday, he said, ‘Trent, how long have you been playing football?’ I said, ‘Coach, I’ve been playing since six years old.’ He said, ‘So, what would you do without football? At your age, what would you do without football?’ It kind of hit me to where, ‘Yeah, you’re right, coach.’ That’s something that you don’t expect, that you don’t hear from everybody.”

San Francisco 49ers Rookie Linebacker Chris Borland Is Retiring

March 16, 2015 8:33 PM PT

Berkeley, California – Rookie linebacker Chris Borland,  of the San Francisco 49ers, announced that he is retiring because of concerns about the long-term effects of repetitive head trauma. Borland, one of the NFL’s top rookies last season, told “Outside the Lines” on Monday.

Borland, 24, said he notified the 49ers on Friday. He said he made his decision after consulting with family members, concussion researchers, friends and current and former teammates, and studying what is known about the relationship between football and neurodegenerative disease.

“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” Borland told “Outside the Lines.” “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”

Borland: “I feel largely the same, as sharp as I’ve ever been, for me it’s wanting to be proactive,” said Borland. “I’m concerned that if you wait till you have symptoms, it’s too late. … There are a lot of unknowns. I can’t claim that X will happen. I just want to live a long healthy life, and I don’t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.”

After the retirement last week of All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis. Borland was expected to be a key part of the 49ers defense this season.

Borland had a four-year contract with the 49ers worth just under $3 million.

The decision to retire had nothing to do with the 49ers, Borland said. He said that his feelings toward the team and his teammates marked one of the hardest aspects of the decision.

“It’s an incredible organization, and they truly looked out for players’ best interests,” he said.

Borlands’ move to retire is a shocking one and it adds to a long list of quality 49ers players that have moved on from the team since  Jim Harbaugh’s departure.

Photo By Shawn Jonas