Oakland Raiders: C.J. Wilson

The most poignant Oakland Raiders plea leading up to the new league year last month?

No doubt it was Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece saying the weekend before free agency began that he wanted general manager Reggie McKenzie to make “Raider-ass moves” in signing players. As in, bold moves.

So, after signing 12 free agents, acquiring a new quarterback in Matt Schaub and jettisoning QB Terrelle Pryor, does Reece, the new voice of the Raiders, think McKenzie has followed through on his, ahem, advice?

“I do feel he did that,” Reece said Tuesday, the first day of voluntary offseason workouts for the Raiders.

“We weren’t looking for any saviors to come here and get in this locker room. We were looking for help. We were looking for help to bring this tradition, the winning attitude and a championship pedigree back to this organization and to the locker room and I think we did that.”

Consider: Defensive end Justin Tuck, offensive lineman Kevin Boothe, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, defensive lineman C.J. Wilson and receiver James Jones are toting a combined seven Super Bowl rings to Oakland from their time with the New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.

Surely that has to rub off on the Raiders, no? That’s the plan.

“Like I said, it’s a certain stature and pedigree that you have, only by winning a championship,” Reece said. “Things that even leaders like myself don’t have yet. I haven’t been able to experience the playoffs or a championship, and when guys like Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley, when you bring guys like that in here, especially on the defensive side of the ball, it really helps. It brings a different aspect of leadership into a locker room and into a team.”

Reece served as a recruiter for the Raiders and said left tackle Donald Penn told him Tuesday he was “tired of me texting him two or three times a day” before he eventually signed.

“Obviously, we lost out on a few guys that we wanted to keep,” Reece said, likely referring to left tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive end Lamarr Houston and running back Rashad Jennings. “But I think other than that, we were fairly successful.”

As was the turnout for the first day of workouts, even if there was no official tally.

“Very close to 100 percent,” Reece said. “A couple of guys that aren’t here, I know why they’re not here and when they’re going to show up. There’s always things that come up, it’s life. It is 100 percent in my eyes. It means a lot to me, especially the veteran guys.”

And Reece’s thoughts on Pryor being traded a day earlier to the Seattle Seahawks?

“Nothing surprises me at this point in time in my career,” Reece said. “I’ve seen a lot happen in my seven years here in the organization. Nothing surprises me. As a team, we just wish him the best and thank him for what he did here and wish him the best.”

Raiders re-sign DT Sims

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28
The Oakland Raiders stayed busy Friday with their third announced signing of the day, re-upping defensive tackle Pat Sims. The contract was for one year, per a Tweet from his agent Rick Smith.

Sims was a 16-game starter for the first time in his career last season, his first year with the Raiders after the Cincinnati Bengals drafted him in the third round of the 2008 draft out of Auburn. He had never started more than eight games in a season before and only once had played in 16 games.

How did Sims respond? With 49 tackles, 31 solo, and two sacks. He also had a career game in Week 16 at San Diego, where he had 15 tackles, 10 solo, with a sack. He never had more than five tackles in any game in his career before doing it to the Chargers.

“As far as the D-tackle, we don’t always have the major stats here and there but at the same time I go out there and do my job every week,” Sims said the week after that game. “The stats have picked up but I’m still playing with the same effort.”

The run-stuffing 6-feet-2, 310-pounder has played in 76 career games, 39 starts, and has 228 tackles, 129 solo, with seven sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, one interception and one pass defensed in his career.

His re-signing helps solidify the interior of the Raiders defensive line after Vance Walker left for the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency.

Earlier Friday, the Raiders signed running back Maurice Jones-Drew and defensive lineman C.J. Wilson.

Raiders add DL C.J. Wilson

March, 28, 2014
Mar 28
The Oakland Raiders have addressed the need for depth on the defensive line by signing free agent C.J. Wilson, the team announced Friday afternoon.

The 6-foot-3, 306-pound Wilson, who turns 27 on Sunday, was a seventh-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2010 out of East Carolina. In four seasons, he has played in 50 games, starting 11, and has 3 sacks.

"It feels great to be a Raider," Wilson said in a team-issued release. "I’m excited to help the team win and ready to come make some noise."

He was limited to eight games last season -- he missed three games with an ankle injury but was a healthy scratch the other times -- after having a breakthrough 2012, in which he appeared in 11 games, seven starts, and had 37 tackles (18 solo), with 2 sacks and a pass defensed.

Wilson also stepped up as a rookie during the Packers' four-game playoff run to the Super Bowl XLV title.

With the Raiders, Wilson is expected to be versatile enough to play both end and inside, though primarily as a run-stuffer on first and second downs.