As he squares off against first-round draft pick Kolton Miller almost daily in training camp Authentic Kareem Hunt Jersey , Oakland Raiders rookie defensive end Arden Key rarely uses the same move twice.
On one play, Key takes a jab-step inside then spins around to Miller's outside shoulder and speeds past the big left tackle. A few moments later, Key bull-rushes his way between Miller and another offensive lineman with little resistance.
It's not an indictment of Miller so much as it is a credit to Key, the Raiders' third-round draft pick who has been one of the early stars in training camp.
"We love Key," Oakland coach Jon Gruden said Monday. "We've liked Key ever since the draft process. We felt lucky to get him where we got him. There's some things this kid can do that are very special. Hopefully, we get full strength someday at the defensive end position and we can show our true colors."
Gruden was referring to defensive end Khalil Mack, who is entering the final year of his contract and is holding out for a new deal.
Mack, the 2016 defensive player of the year, has been the Raiders' best pass-rusher for the past four seasons. In hopes of giving him some help up front, the team used three of it first six draft picks to acquire Key along with defensive tackles P.J. Hall (second round) and Maurice Hurst (fifth round).
Oakland also moved Bruce Irvin from outside linebacker to right defensive end, the same position as Key. The two men formed a close bond, with Irvin serving as a mentor to Key.
Irvin compares Key to Aldon Smith, the talented but troubled former Raiders linebacker who had 33 陆 sacks in his first two NFL seasons before off-field issues forced him out of the league.
Like Smith, Key wears jersey No. 99.
"He's a really natural rusher," Irvin said. "He reminds me a lot of the old 99 that was here. If he keeps his head on straight Nick Foligno Jersey , which he will, he's going to be a hell of a player and a hell of a player for the Raiders. Can't wait to see what he's going to do this year."
Irvin is among a number of Oakland players and coaches who have repeatedly praised Key during camp.
The 22-year-old has tried to keep it all in perspective. Key buries his head in the playbook and has been pouring over film of other pass-rushers, trying to find new tricks to add to his arsenal of pass-rush moves.
"I look at a lot of pass-rushers to try to steal some of their moves and try them in one-on-one," Key said. "If it works it works and if I like it, it's going to stick with me."
Getting around an offensive tackle, Key said, is much like a chess match.
"I always work on one move first and see if he beats it," Key said. "If he beats that then I'm going to counter with something else. If he beats my counter move then I've got to counter with another counter."
The Raiders have also had Key lining up in the three-technique over a guard, giving the defense more speed for the interior rush.
"He's a stud, I'll put it that way," linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. "He's big, he's strong, he's athletic. He can go inside, he can go outside. I'm excited to see him go out there in the first game and let it rip."
As for his ongoing battles against Miller, Key said the competition has been heating up between the two rookies.
"Kolton gets better every day Youth Jaden Schwartz Jersey ," Key said. "From the first day we went against each to now, it's just gotten so much better. Now I have to dig in my tool box to try to pick different moves to use on him."
Notes: The Raiders will host two joint practices with the Detroit Lions beginning Tuesday. . RB DeAndre Washington has left the team for personal reasons but is expected back soon. . The team waived defensive back Shaquille Richardson and signed cornerback Raysean Pringle. . Gavin Newsome, a candidate for California governor, attended practice and chatted with owner Mark Davis.
PHOENIX — Crack the door, and these days the Arizona Diamondbacks will blow right through.
Three times in their last four games, Arizona has made an opponent pay and pay and pay for a blunder here or a miscue there.
The Diamondbacks did it again Tuesday, when they took advantage of three throwing errors in a six-run first inning for the impetus needed for a 13-8 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Chase Field. The game was not decided until Jon Jay’s three-run homer in the seventh inning, but the decisive first inning helped them build an 8-0 lead.
“Those are some of the characteristics of a good team, that when they sniff a little blood, they are going to go out there and execute,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “When you get second chances in this game, you have to take advantage. Our guys are ready for that.
“We talk about them (opponents) being in their most vulnerable state when they are making mistakes, and we have to be ready. It’s not a good feeling when you are on the (other) side of it and it is not going well. But when you are executing and fighting back a little bit, it is very gratifying.”
Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke, who has lost only one of his last 25 starts at Chase Field Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jersey , will oppose Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon in the final game of the series Wednesday.
The Pirates have lost eight straight series, and a failure to execute has hurt in the first two games of this series. They blew a 5-0 lead entering the seventh inning in a 9-5 loss Monday, when the Diamondbacks combined timely hitting and extra benefits, including hit batter, an infield error, two wild pitches and a balk.
First baseman Josh Bell and second baseman Josh Harrison had throwing errors and pitcher Trevor Williams made an errant pickoff throw in the first inning Tuesday around two singles and Ketel Marte’s two-out, two-run triple. Five of the six runs were unearned.
“We didn’t handle the ball like we needed to handle the ball,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “We weren’t able to execute defensively the way we needed to execute defensively. We’ve got work to do. We are not playing at the level we are capable of playing.”
Arizona scored six runs in the eighth inning of a 12-7 victory at Colorado on Saturday, capitalizing on a double-error by reliever Bryan Shaw early in the inning. Only one of those six runs was earned.
“That’s what you have to do,” said Jay, who had his first three hits in his fifth game with the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. “When you have chances, you have to make the most out of the opportunities. We’ve been able to do that the last couple of days, and we just have to keep it going.
“I think that’s the mentality they have here. I saw that last year playing on the other side. That’s just the mentality you have to have.”
The Diamondbacks have scored 51 runs in their five-game winning streak, with heavy contributions from Paul Goldschmidt and Marte. Goldschmidt is hitting .477 with five homers and 12 RBIs in the last 11 games, with six multi-hit games. Marte is hitting .389 with 11 extra-base hits and 11 RBIs in the last 11. He hit his NL-leading seventh triple Tuesday.
Greinke (5-4 http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/jordan-wilkins-jersey , 3.53 ERA) has won his last two decisions and is 3-2 with a 2.96 ERA and a .229 opponents’ batting average since beating the Dodgers at Chase Field on April 30. He is undefeated at home this season, going 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in seven starts while continuing the success he had at home last year. Greinke was 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA in 18 home starts in 2017.
Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth inning of a 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh at Chase Field last season, losing it when Gregory Polanco led off with a homer down the right-field line. Greinke struck out 11 and walked one in that game, his lone start against the Pirates last season. He is 7-3 with a 4.59 ERA in 11 career starts against the Pirates, about half of those games coming when he was with Milwaukee in 2011-12.
Taillon (3-5, 4.08) has been effective for the most part, but a few rocky outings this season caused his ERA to jump over 4.00. He has given up three runs or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts, but has given up five, seven and six in the other three.
After winning his first two decisions and giving up two earned runs in his first 20 2/3 innings, Taillon is 1-5 with a 5.36 ERA. He has not faced the Diamondbacks in his three seasons.