OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-10)
OPEN CAMP: July 26 Youth Frank Ragnow Jersey , Napa, California
LAST YEAR: Raiders plummeted from 12 wins in 2016 to six last year as QB Derek Carr and offense regressed, defense struggled, and coach Jack Del Rio was fired. Oakland's offensive output dropped by more than seven points per game, takeaways fell from 30 to 14, and Raiders got almost no production from past three draft classes in becoming one of league's biggest disappointments. That led to move to bring coach Jon Gruden back for second stint with Raiders after spending past nine seasons in broadcast booth.
IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: Gruden, WR Jordy Nelson, WR Martavis Bryant, RB Doug Martin, LB Derrick Johnson, CB Rashaan Melvin, S Marcus Gilchrist, LB Emmanuel Lamur Marvin Harrison Jersey , LB Tahir Whitehead, WR Ryan Switzer, OL Kolton Miller, DT Maurice Hurst, DE Arden Key.
IMPORTANT LOSSES: Del Rio, WR Michael Crabtree, RT Marshall Newhouse, LB NaVorro Bowman, CB TJ Carrie, CB Sean Smith, CB David Amerson, P Marquette King.
CAMP NEEDS: Biggest priority is getting 2016 Defensive Player of Year Khalil Mack into camp after he held out entire offseason while seeking long-term contract. Mack is entering final year of rookie deal and Gruden and new DC Paul Guenther are eager to get most important defensive piece on practice field. Other main issues are learning Gruden's system and figuring out offensive tackle situation with LT Donald Penn coming back from foot injury and rookies Miller and Brandon Parker battling Breno Giacomini for time.
EXPECTATIONS: Owner Mark Davis has wanted to bring back Gruden ever since taking over team seven years ago. He's hoping move pays off in team's final two seasons in Oakland before move to Las Vegas in 2020. Gruden is being counted on to bring out best from Carr, who went from MVP candidate in 2016 to mediocre last season as he dealt with injuries. His protection got worse and his receivers were inconsistent. Even if Gruden does manage to spark offense Youth Arizona Cardinals Jerseys , defense will need to take big step forward for Raiders to get back into playoff contention.
When general manager Brian Gutekunst spoke on Sunday afternoon about his first cutdown as general manager, he described the Green Bay Packers' roster as "fluid."
He wasn't kidding.
Gutekunst continued tweaking the 53-man roster on Monday, adding running back Darius Jackson off the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad and signing linebacker Korey Toomer. Those are an effort to fill two obvious needs in advance of the team's regular-season opener Sunday night against the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.
"It took a little longer than normal," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said following the team's first post-training camp practice. "We had a lot of movement there on Saturday into Sunday, (and) we were juggling things. . Obviously, I think our transactions reflect that. So, it's been a long weekend. (But) we feel really good about the 63 players (including the practice squad) in our locker room and we'll move forward getting ready for the Bears."
To make room for Toomer, the Packers placed wide receiver Jake Kumerow on injured reserve. By having Kumerow, a Wisconsin-Whitewater alum who was the star of training camp earlier this summer, on the 53-man roster for a day, he is now eligible to return from IR later this season. NFL rules allow each team to bring a maximum of two players back from IR later in the season.
Kumerow injured his shoulder while crossing the goal line on an 82-yard touchdown Aug. 16 against Pittsburgh.
To accommodate Jackson, the Packers waived cornerback Herb Waters one day after he'd made the initial roster.
Before adding Jackson, a 2016 sixth-round pick from Eastern Michigan who has spent time with the Cowboys and Browns but has never played in an NFL regular-season game Mason Rudolph Color Rush Jersey , the Packers had only two running backs: second-year back Jamaal Williams, who is set to be the starter, and converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Aaron Jones, the team's most explosive running threat last season, will miss the first two weeks because of an NFL suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The Packers had four other running backs at the end of camp, but the team released Joel Bouagnon, LeShun Daniels and Bronson Hill, and waived/injured Devante Mays. Both fullbacks, Aaron Ripkowski and Joe Kerridge, were also released on the final cutdown. Bouagnon and Kerridge were re-signed to the practice squad Sunday.
McCarthy has said for years he doesn't like going into games with just two active running backs, but that could be the case against the Bears because Jackson didn't arrive at the facility in time to participate in Monday's practice.
"I think those guys are ready to go," McCarthy said of Williams and Montgomery. "They're healthy, they give us an excellent 1-2 punch. So Keith Yandle Jersey , I'm not concerned about that at all."
Said Williams: "I'm just grateful for any opportunity, and these are the opportunities you want - to get more carries and more responsibility in the offense. Really, you take it for what it is and not take it for granted. I'm doing everything I can to make sure the coaches know I'm going to keep producing at a consistent rate."
It's unclear what the Packers will have at inside linebacker alongside veteran Blake Martinez, who tied for the NFL lead in tackles last season. Third-round pick Oren Burks, who sustained a shoulder injury during pregame warmups at Oakland on Aug. 24, was with the rehabilitation group at practice and may not be ready for the Bears.
Gutekunst acquired Antonio Morrison in a trade with Indianapolis last week, and he or Toomer could start if Burks isn't cleared. Toomer, in his fifth season, has played 46 games (16 starts) and was in camp with the 49ers before being cut Saturday.
"This is always the big challenge when you get to that spot of finishing your 53," McCarthy admitted. "We've had a lot of change. And that's always the challenge.
"But we're set and ready to go with all our guys and we're looking forward to the week of preparation."
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