Raiders embracing extended 10-day road trip to Florida
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) For a team that hasn't had much success playing at home this season, the Oakland Raiders are embracing a 10-day road trip to Florida.
Rather than disrupt his team's normal schedule with a pair of 5,600-mile round-trip flights on consecutive weekends for games in Jacksonville and Tampa Bay, coach Jack Del Rio decided to have the Raiders take an extended stay on the East Coast.
They left for the first leg of their journey Friday following practice and won't return to the Bay Area until Oct. 30.
''I think it's going to be great, I really do,'' quarterback Derek Carr said. ''Just to be out somewhere different with everybody. When you get those times at the hotel to be around each other, to eat every meal together (and) do those things, I think it's nothing but good. Whenever you can spend as much time around each other as possible, it's really good.''
Considering how well the Raiders have played away from home this season, Carr has good reason to be optimistic.
Oakland is one of three teams that are 3-0 on the road this season, joining Dallas and Seattle. The Raiders have won in New Orleans, Tennessee and Baltimore, all three places where they've historically struggled to play well before this year.
At home it's been a different story. Oakland is 1-2 at the Coliseum this season and 4-7 since Del Rio took over.
Del Rio and his staff contemplated staying in the East earlier this year when they played the Titans and Ravens in back-to-back games but opted to do it this time around instead. The plan, Del Rio said, is to keep the players' daily routines as normal as possible in between the games against the Jaguars and Bucs.
That means everything from practice schedules to team meetings and meals. Some players will also have their families along, something Carr believes will help the players feel comfortable while on the road.
''If we bed check them here, we'll bed check them there,'' Del Rio said. ''All of the ways we operate, . what time they have, when we meet and how we meet and the material they get, when we feed them are going to remain as much on schedule as possible.''
Staying away for home for back-to-back road games has become a trend in the NFL over recent years. Jacksonville did it in 2013 when it played in Oakland in Week 2 and at Seattle in Week 3. The Jaguars stayed in the Bay Area and practiced at San Jose State in between the two games.
''Just having the team together for a week . you really limit distractions,'' Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley said. ''You're away from anything that can be a distraction at home. I think the guys spend a lot of time together. We just felt like it brought our team closer together.''
Del Rio said the extended trip has been more of an issue for football operations coordinator Tom Jones and equipment manager Bob Romanski than it has been for the players.
''It's similar to like going to training camp in what they have to do,'' Del Rio said. ''They take down the computers and some of the things like that. There's a lot of work behind the scenes. That's who has the real strain.
''For us, players and coaches, it's going to be very seamless. Basically football preparation as we know it, just doing it in a different environment.''
Notes: Running back Taiwan Jones (toe) remains questionable after being limited for a third straight day in practice but the Raiders are encouraged about his progress. Center Rodney Hudson (knee), right guard Gabe Jackson (knee), running back Taiwan Jones (knee), right tackle Menelik Watson (calf) and safety Brynden Trawick (shoulder) were all limited and are questionable. Rookie offensive lineman Vadal Alexander (ankle) did not practice and is doubtful.
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