Tag Archives: Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders Select Alabama Wide Receiver Amari Cooper Fourth-Overall In The 2015 NFL Draft

April 31, 2015 9:58 PM PT

Alameda, California– With the fourth-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected WR Amari Cooper (Alabama). The 2014 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner and Hesiman Trophy finalist joins the Silver and Black after a three-year career with the Crimson Tide (2012-14), totaling 228 receptions for 3,463 yards (15.2 avg.) with 31 TDs. Here is some more information on the Raiders’ first-round selection, as well as a closer look at some highlights from Cooper’s illustrious collegiate career.

In three years at Alabama, Cooper emerged as one of the nation’s most explosive and polished receivers. Below is a look at his offensive totals at Alabama.


Year      School       Games     Rec     Yds       Avg    TD

2012   Alabama       14             59    1,000    16.9   11

2013   Alabama       12             45      736     16.4      4     

2014   Alabama       14          124    1,727   13.9     16

 TOTALS                       40          228    3,463   15.2    31


2014 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner — Nation’s top wide receiver –

2014 Unanimous All-American and Preseason All-American

2014 SEC Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-SEC
Third in 2014 Heisman Voting (1,023 points)

2012 Consensus All-American (FWAA, Sporting News, CBSSports.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and Scout.com)

2012 SEC All-Freshman (selected by coaches)


Two-time SEC Champion (2012, 2014) – BCS National Champion (20

He had 228 catches for 3,463 yards and 31 touchdowns in three seasons. That includes a standout junior season where he had an NCAA best 1,724 receiving yards.
Here is a brief look at where Cooper’s offensive exploits ranked among his peers in the SEC and NCAA, along with some other notables from his Alabama career:

Receiving Touchdowns

• Ranks first in SEC annals (since 1956) with 31 career TDs
• Finished first in the SEC, and second in the NCAA, with 16 TDs in

• Second in the SEC with 11 TDs as a freshman in 2012, an Alabama freshman record


• Ranks third in SEC history (since ‘56) with 228 career receptions
• Topped the SEC and NCAA in 2014 with 124 receptions, setting the

SEC record
• In 2012, finished with 59 cathces, second all-time among Alabama


Receiving Yards

• Second all-time in SEC history (since ‘56) with 3,463 yards
• Led the SEC, finishing second in the NCAA, with 1,727 yards in 2014 • His 1,000-yard season in 2012 was good for fifth in the SEC that season, and the third-best yardage total among Alabama freshman

Jack Del Rio, ” Polished”

“The repetitions that he’s had playing the position, running the route tree and doing all the things that he’s done to develop himself, makes him a guy that has that label of being polished,” Del Rio said. “That’s why. He’s earned it.

“It’s rare when you find guys that come into the league and they have that kind of polish on them coming out. Typically, guys have something they haven’t done. He has pretty much done all those things. He knows how to get off press. He knows how to attack defenses, find the soft spots and run the full complement of the route tree. So that sets him apart in terms of the rest of this (draft) class.”

Jack Del Rio answers a question about if you ink Amari Cooper in as a starter from day one.

“I think the way we like to do things is to come in and earn your role and compete,” Del Rio said. “But the expectation level should be high for a young man that comes in that is selected that high in the draft. But he’ll need to prove it on the field and earn it. That’s how, really, it is with everybody. There certainly is a high expectation that goes along with somebody selected that high.”


General Manager Reggie McKenzies Comments:

“Cooper was high on our board from the start,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “Honestly, it didn’t matter about the position. It was about the player. We thought we had a chance to get a really good player.

“It’s nice when it goes hand in hand, when you have a player that fits one of your needs. It was great when that fell into place.”

Raiders only meeting with Amari Cooper was at the combine. They didn’t bring him in for a workout. They learned about Cooper by talking to people around the Wide Receiver.   They also had some inside knowledge of the player. Linebackers coach Sal Suneri’s son Vinny was a defensive at Alabama with Cooper from 2012-13.

He’s a character player supremely focused on football, but McKenzie also lauded Cooper’s on-field ability, which the Raiders have studied for some time.

“It seems like he can run a route with his eyes closed,” McKenzie said. “He’s exceptionally quick. He’s fast and he understands the game. You can tell the guy’s been playing football and playing that position all his life. You can tell that. He’s an extremely hard worker and you don’t hear any negatives about this guy, so it’s no wonder he’s as good as he is because the intangibles outside of his skill set are extremely high.”

“When Cooper was there, we were excited,” McKenzie said. “We had an idea of kind of how the draft would go, but when Cooper was officially there, it wasn’t a whole lot of debate.”


Amari Cooper’s Conference call Q & A

Q: Considering the Raiders weren’t one of the teams that brought you in for a visit, how shocked were you to hear your name called when they were on the clock?

Cooper: “I wasn’t that shocked. I kind of knew they liked me.”

Q: How did you get that feeling that they liked you?

Cooper: “Just talking to them at the combine.”

Q: You were targeted 170-something times last year. As an NFL rookie, you might not be targeted that many times. Is that going to be frustrating for you?

Cooper: “No. I’m just going to work as hard as I can and whatever results yield from that, I’ll be fine with it.”

Q: People talk about how polished you are. What are some of the things that you think you still need to work on most?

Cooper: “Just being consistent in my performance. Looking the ball all the way through every single time, so that I can catch the ball as many times as it’s thrown to me. High-pointing the ball every time. Just the small things to make me a better player.”

Q: Do you know anything about Derek Carr?

Cooper: “From what I’ve heard, he’s a really great, young quarterback. To be honest, I didn’t watch many NFL games last year. What I’ve heard, he’s a really good quarterback and I can’t wait to build a rapport with him.”

Q: How much did Lane Kiffin help you to develop to the player you are?

Cooper: “He wanted to see every player reach their fullest potential. He harped on the small things with me, like looking the ball all the way through and high-pointing the ball so that I can be the best player that I can be.”

Q: How did you develop your approach? Where did that come from?

Cooper: “Just being diligent and conscientious as a receiver. Just trying to be the best I can be. I think for the most part, it’s come because I’ve played this position all my life. Usually when you get a wide receiver at the college level, they haven’t played wide receiver their whole life.”

Q: How young were you when you started playing wide receiver?
Cooper: “Third grade. From the time I started playing football, I’ve always played the same position.”

Q: How did you choose to play wide receiver in the third grade?

Cooper: “I didn’t choose it. I wanted to play running back because when you’re young, all teams really do is run the ball. We had two great running backs, one was the coach’s son and the other one was really good, but they knew I was a great athlete, too, and they used me at receiver.”

Q: One thing that you are better at than most prospects is your route-running. How much of that have you focused on?

Cooper: “I’m a wide receiver. There are only two ways you can get open at wide receiver, your releases and the top of your route. The whole route-running process is really important. I just focused on it and try to be the best that I can at it so I can create as much separation I can for my quarterback.”

Q: Did you watch any specific wide receiver on film to pattern yourself after?

Cooper: “When I started playing wide receiver at a very young age, my coaches tried to teach me how to run a route. I was already good at it because I had been doing it already in my backyard, I just didn’t know what the routes were called. I was pretty good at cutting so it came pretty natural and pretty easy.”

Q: What’s your experience level with California and the Bay Area?

Cooper: “I’ve been there twice just recently. I went there for a Nike shoot and for [ESPN’s] Sports Science. My first time being there was in the past month.”

Q: So, in fourth or fifth grade, you’re in your backyard running routes?

Cooper: “No it was before that. It was when I was like five or six before I started playing organized football. Me and my friends were in the backyard just playing football.”

Q: So you’d just run the routes and they’d throw to you?

Cooper: “Yeah, we would just play against each other. We’d try to guard each other. We had to find ways to get open, that’s what I mean when I say I was already running routes. I was just finding ways to get open. When I had to run a slant route or a comeback route, which the coach called it, I was already familiar with running and getting open so it came easy.”

Q: Would you say it was perfecting your route running that led to your breakout season last year?

Cooper: “It was a combination of different things. I think my mindset is probably the most important thing. Being able to stay positive through whatever injury I had or whatever situation I was going through and focusing on the best player I can be and the best teammate I can be.”

Q: What drew you to football as a kid?

Cooper: “Probably this place called The Barnyard, it was my after school program.”

What They Are Saying







Oakland Raiders 2015 Schedule Announcement

April 21, 5:04 PM PT

Courtesy Of Oakland Raiders Media Relations

ALAMEDA, California – The Oakland Raiders’ 2015 regular-season schedule is below, as the National Football League announced Tuesday.

DSC06132Photo by Shawn Jonas

Date Opponent Time (PT) TV

Sun., Sept. 13 CINCINNATI BENGALS 1:25 p.m. CBS
Sun., Sept. 20 BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Sept. 27 at Cleveland Browns 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 4 at Chicago Bears 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 11 DENVER BRONCOS 1:25 p.m. CBS
Sun., Oct. 18 Bye Week
Sun., Oct. 25 at San Diego Chargers 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 1 NEW YORK JETS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 8 at Pittsburgh Steelers 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 15 MINNESOTA VIKINGS 1:05 p.m. FOX
Sun., Nov. 22 at Detroit Lions 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Nov. 29 at Tennessee Titans 10:00 a.m. CBS
Sun., Dec. 6 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Dec. 13 at Denver Broncos 1:05 p.m. CBS
Sun., Dec. 20 GREEN BAY PACKERS 1:05 p.m. FOX
Thu., Dec. 24 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 5:25 p.m. NFL Network
Sun., Jan. 3, 2016 at Kansas City Chiefs 10:00 a.m. CBS

Oakland Raiders – New Players, New Numbers

April 20, 2015 3:00 PMPT

New season, new players, new numbers. Find out what jersey numbers players will be rocking for the voluntary veteran mini-camp.

It’s a new season with new players and new jersey numbers at Raiders HQ.

While these numbers are not necessarily permanent for the season, the following are what you’ll see when the players take the field for voluntary veteran mini-camp this week.
No. 2 – P Steven Clark
No. 6 – K Giorgio Tavecchio
No. 9 – QB Christian Ponder
No. 10 – WR Seth Roberts (previously wore No. 15)
No. 15 – WR Michael Crabtree
No. 16 – WR Jeremy Gallon
No. 20 – S Nate Allen
No. 23 – S Jonathan Dowling (the second-year player is switching from No. 41)
No. 26 – RB Roy Helu, Jr.
No. 30 – RB Terrance Cobb
No. 33 – RB Trent Richardson
No. 40 – DB Vernon Kearney
No. 41 – CB James Dockery
No. 46 – LB Justin Jackson
No. 48 – LB Spencer Hadley (switching from No. 50)
No. 50 – LB Curtis Lofton
No. 53 – LB Malcolm Smith
No. 61 – C Rodney Hudson
No. 64 – DT Kona Schwenke
No. 76 – J’Marcus Webb
No. 86 – TE Lee Smith
No. 90 – DT Dan Williams

Who’s next? The 2015 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away!

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 O.co 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. Raiders.com 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.”