|Raider News From Yahoo|
|Raiders brimming with optimism at start of camp (The Associated Press)|
|The start of training camp is a time for optimism all around the NFL - even for a team that has gone 11 straight seasons without a winning season. To change that recent past that includes back-to-back four-win seasons under general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen, the Raiders spent much of their offseason adding veteran players with a winning pedigree. While adding players in their 30s is not the usual path for a rebuilding team, the Raiders believe it can be a winning formula in Oakland where teaching players how to win was almost as needed as adding talent.|
|Team Report - OAKLAND RAIDERS (The SportsXchange)|
|Hayden out with injury again for Raiders|
|Team Report - GREEN BAY PACKERS (The SportsXchange)|
|McCarthy guarantees improved Packers defense|
|Team Report - NEW YORK GIANTS (The SportsXchange)|
|Giants' Beason taking 'baby steps' in rehab|
|Team Report - DALLAS COWBOYS (The SportsXchange)|
|Garrett not in make-or-break situation|
|Injured G Carl Nicks, Bucs agree to part ways (The Associated Press)|
|Carl Nicks has abandoned his bid to get back on the field with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. General manager Jason Licht declined to discuss details of the split, calling Nicks a ''very prideful athlete'' who did everything he could to try to put his injuries behind him and rejoin the team. ''He wanted what we best for the Buccaneers. We were honest with Carl.'' Nicks didn't miss a game in four seasons with the New Orleans Saints, however a left toe injury two years ago and the recurrence of a MRSA infection in his left foot kept him off the field for most of his stay with the Bucs.|
|NFL roundup: Lynch a no-show at Seahawks' camp (The SportsXchange)|
|Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch officially started his contract holdout Friday by not attending the first day of training camp. General manager John Schneider addressed Lynch's absence on ESPN radio in Seattle but would not say if the team would restructure the final two years on his contract. ---Andre Johnson spent months away from the team, but when it came time for the Houston Texans to report to training camp, the All-Pro wide receiver was back in formation. The 33-year-old wide receiver requested a trade and said he would not report to training camp after skipping offseason workouts and minicamp.|
|Giants' Beason taking 'baby steps' in rehab (The SportsXchange)|
|Jon Beason admits he is taking "baby steps" in his recovery from the foot injury he suffered during the offseason program in June, but still hopes to be manning the middle linebacker spot when the New York Giants begin the regular season. Beason suffered a ligament tear and a small fracture to the sesamoid bone in his right foot, and began training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list. Beason has also spent significant time in the film room with Jameel McClain, his replacement in the middle of the Giants' defense. He signed with the Giants on March 15, and likely will slide outside once Beason is healthy.|
|Houston WR Andre Johnson reports to camp (The Associated Press)|
|Andre Johnson had some issues with the Houston Texans. He's looking to move past an offseason where he skipped workouts and a mandatory minicamp after wondering in May whether Houston was ''still the place for me.'' ''I love playing this game of football,'' Johnson said Friday.|
|Cowboys LB McClain sentenced to jail (The SportsXchange)|
|Dallas Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain was convicted of two misdemeanor charges from a 2013 incident in his hometown of Decatur, Ala., and was sentenced to 18 days in jail, according to Al.com. McClain's lawyer filed an appeal for a jury trial, which will allow McClain to return to the Cowboys' training camp. McClain was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he allegedly yelled "(Expletive) the police" at a crowded park. His lawyer disputes if it was McClain who actually is the one who said it.|
|Battered Bengals rejoin team in practice (The SportsXchange)|
|Three Cincinnati Bengals who sustained devastating season-ending injuries in 2013 were back on the field for the first practice of training camp Thursday, and a fourth may not be too far behind. Punter Kevin Huber's return from a broken jaw and fractured vertebrae -- the result of a vicious, illegal hit by the Pittsburgh Steelers' Terence Gavin in Week 16 -- was expected, and cornerback Leon Hall's recovery from a second torn Achilles' tendon in three years was predicted. But Clint Boling surprised everyone when he lined up at left guard for the first snap of 11-on-11 drills less than seven months after surgery to repair an ACL tear he sustained in his right knee Dec. 1 at the San Diego Chargers. "That was always the goal I had in the back of my head, to be ready for the start of training camp," said Boling, who has played in 33 games with 31 starts in three seasons in Cincinnati.|
|Mum is the official word on Jets' QB job (The SportsXchange)|
|For those keeping stats, after one day of training camp for the New York Jets, the tally is Geno Smith 1, Michael Vick 0. Of course, the Jets' quarterback competition is a competition in name only. Smith is expected to get 75 percent of the first-team reps in training camp, and the interception Vick threw Thursday was largely a result of the wrong route being run by rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders -- somebody Smith probably won't be throwing to a whole lot this summer. It is an open secret -- one some suspect may fester into an open sore as is often the case with the Jets -- that Smith merely needs to avoid face-planting over the next six weeks in order to open the season behind center when the team hosts the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 7.|
|Team Report - WASHINGTON REDSKINS (The SportsXchange)|
|RGIII excited Redskins coaches 'believe' in him|
|Team Report - NEW YORK JETS (The SportsXchange)|
|Ryan pumped for Jets season to start|
|Punished Priefer: 'I went way below the bar' (The Associated Press)|
|The Minnesota Vikings could hardly hold training camp without some kind of controversy or sideshow. This version came with quite the twist: special teams coordinator Mike Priefer in the spotlight. As players unpacked their vehicles carrying necessities and diversions for the three-week stay at Minnesota State University, signing autographs for clamoring purple-clad fans in this annual rite of reporting day, the usual prominent figures stepped to a makeshift podium for questions from the media outside the team's temporary residence. This time, Priefer and long snapper Cullen Loeffler were among the interview subjects.|
|Giants RB Jennings remembers "fat kid" (The Associated Press)|
|Rashad Jennings never made fun of the fat kid with asthma who couldn't keep up with everyone else: Jennings was that kid. Now he's the likely starter at running back for the Giants, and he credits his difficult childhood for much of his success. ''I've had the opportunity to overcome so much, and that's really where my drive is from,'' Jennings said Thursday. ''At a point in my life, I did a 180,'' added Jennings, who runs a camp in Lynchburg, Virginia called, yes, Camp 180.|
|Batman fan Houston says if Raiders were comic book, there'd be violence (Shutdown Corner)|
|BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Defensive end Lamarr Houston feels like he left for greener pastures when he signed with the Chicago Bears after spending his first four years with the Oakland Raiders.
The 6-3, 300-pound edge setter was brought in for his ability to wreck blocking schemes, his physical strength and his toughness. Houston spoke to the media about the Bears' new-look defense, and he did some with some interesting superhero flare.
[ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! ]
Can you see the Batman earring on Lamarr Houston? #Bears pic.twitter.com/6dfjNbLCyS — Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) July 24, 2014
Well, can you? The picture was as big as I could make it (with one hand while the other held a digital recorder), but trust us: Houston had two small discs, one in each ear, brandishing the famed yellow-and-black Batman logo.
So is Houston trying to bring a dark edge to the defense?
"No," Houston told Shutdown Corner, laughing, "I am just a fan of comics, especially Marvel."
Oh. Makes sense.
Houston wears several different kinds of earrings, but he loves his Batman ones.
"They're my favorites," he said. "And it's my favorite comic, along with Thor. Had to break them out for the first day [of training camp]."
Several NFL players are fans of comics, and Houston said he talks to players from other teams about them. He's even trying to turn some of his new teammates onto them, and he thinks he might have a few new fans by the end of his first season in Chicago.
"They are turning a lot of comics into movies now, there are a ton now," he said. "They are taking cartoons and comics and making movies, and that's how a lot of [new] fans are coming on board. I'm OK with that, as long as you like the good ones."
So if they made a comic series based on the Raiders, what would it be like?
"Oh man," Houston said, laughing. "Whatever it would be, it would have a lot of violence."
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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm|
|Raiders CB Hayden to start camp on PUP (The Associated Press)|
|Oakland Raiders cornerback DJ Hayden will open training camp on the physically unable to perform list because he has not recovered from surgery for a stress fracture in his right foot. Hayden originally rolled his ankle during the first week of organized team activities in late May. An MRI at the time showed no complications but one taken later at the end of minicamp in June showed the stress fracture. Coach Dennis Allen said Thursday that Hayden could miss up to the first four weeks of camp. He's a young player and he needs reps.'' It's just the latest setback for Hayden, who has struggled to stay on the field after being drafted 12th overall by Oakland in 2013.|
|Re-Watching Andre Holmes (Rotoworld)|
|Nick Mensio charted Andre Holmes' 2013 snaps and provides his observations, as well as fantasy expectations.|
|Raiders start to arrive for start of camp (The Associated Press)|
|Shortly after checking in a day before the Oakland Raiders begin training camp, Charles Woodson packed his family into a white SUV for a quick afternoon drive. It was the only time during his NFL career that Woodson held out, and although he didn't land the lucrative deal he had hoped for, Woodson did have one of his most productive seasons in Oakland.|
|Attention to defense when Packers open camp (The Associated Press)|
|When Aaron Rodgers, Clay Matthews and the rest of the Packers are healthy, they might be able to beat anybody in the NFL. Coach Mike McCarthy is preparing for the worst, just in case, after 2013's injury-plagued season. So come training camp, Green Bay will be getting used to schemes that have been simplified a bit - particularly on defense - in hopes of gaining more roster flexibility. ''We've learned some hard lessons here of late,'' McCarthy said.|
|Shutdown Countdown: Pittsburgh Steelers ready to build off strong finish (Shutdown Corner)|
|Andre Johnson's holdout could cloud Texans camp (The Associated Press)|
|As the Houston Texans prepare for the start of training camp on Saturday, their biggest question mark involves a player who probably won't be there when they take the field. Disgruntled receiver Andre Johnson skipped offseason workouts and mandatory minicamp after wondering in May if Houston was ''still the place for me.'' A holdout by the face of the franchise and the team's longest-tenured player could cast a pall on the beginning of coach Bill O'Brien's first season. Johnson joined the franchise in its second season and has said that playing on just three teams with winning records in 11 seasons ''can become very frustrating.'' The Texans were among the favorites to reach the Super Bowl entering last season after reaching the playoffs the previous two years. The 33-year-old Johnson, whose 1,407 yards receiving in 2013 ranked second in the AFC, is unhappy at the prospect of enduring another rebuilding project after seeing the moves the Texans made in the offseason.|
|Seahawks start atop AP Pro32 rankings (The Associated Press)|
|The Seattle Seahawks start the preseason right where they ended last season, as the No. 1 team in the AP Pro32 NFL power rankings. In balloting by 12 media members who regularly cover the NFL, the top three teams in the AP Pro32 were the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos. The Super Bowl champion Seahawks grabbed 11 first-place votes on Tuesday and had 383 points. ''The world champions are still intact and have the ability to repeat, but that's a long way off,'' said Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com.|
|AFC West Preview: Broncos, Manning stay on top (The SportsXchange)|
|With record-smashing Peyton Manning at quarterback and a revitalized defense, the Denver Broncos are the best in the AFC West according to a survey of The Sports Xchange football staff.|
|49ers start fresh after forgettable offseason (The Associated Press)|
|The San Francisco 49ers are eager to move forward from a forgettable offseason. They made nearly as much news off the field as in free agency and the draft, although they accomplished their top priority by re-signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of the franchise. Distractions were everywhere in the days, weeks and months after San Francisco's season ended in the NFC championship game against biggest rival Seattle, the eventual Super Bowl champion. On the defensive side, linebacker Aldon Smith and cornerback Chris Culliver each dealt with offseason arrests and court appearances.|
|Raiders enter camp with 'chip' on shoulders (The Associated Press)|
|There was a common theme to the players the Oakland Raiders brought in this offseason. Discarded or unwanted by their former teams, players with a history of success in the NFL talked about the motivation of having a ''chip on the shoulder'' when they arrived in Oakland. ''Everybody here has something to prove and they're going to work and we all know we have something left,'' new running back Maurice Jones-Drew said. He's joined by quarterback Matt Schaub, run out of Houston;|
|Romo ready, has large task leading Cowboys in 2014 (The Associated Press)|
|Tony Romo probably won't have to sneak into competitive situations when the Dallas Cowboys hold their first training camp practice Thursday. The 34-year-old quarterback tried to get some unauthorized reps in a jersey swap with Caleb Hanie during minicamp in June, about six months after a herniated disk knocked him out of the season finale and resulted in back surgery. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says he expects Romo to be ''full go'' for the first workout in Oxnard, California. ''He is chomping at the bit to do more,'' said coach Jason Garrett, who sniffed out Romo's trick last month and kicked him out of the huddle.|
|Shutdown Countdown: St. Louis Rams still one (important) piece away (Shutdown Corner)|
|Shutdown Countdown: Arizona Cardinals ... good team, wrong division (Shutdown Corner)|