NFL Football

Lynch comically addresses 'elephant in the room'

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- NAPA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders Running back Marshawn Lynch talked for the first and only time on the final day of training camp, but did not elaborate on his decision to remain seated on a cooler, eating a banana, during the national anthem.

Asked about addressing the "elephant in the room" with regard to his actions, Lynch said, "I think the elephant left the room because a little mouse ran in here. Didn't they say elephants are scared of mice or something? That (expletive) left the room."

Later, Lynch was asked about fans wearing his jersey and if he had any thoughts on whether they should sit or stand during the anthem.

His response was to answer a question that wasn't asked.

"When we run 74 or something like that, where I have to scan and read on both sides, that is pretty difficult," Lynch said. "For the most part, I'm a veteran so I can make it work."

--With left tackle Donald Penn a no-show because of a contract holdout, offensive line coach Mike Tice was taking the pragmatic approach to being without the blind-side protector of quarterback Derek Carr.

"Where I'm at right now is I have to get us ready to go out and beat Tennessee (on Sept. 10)," Tice said. "Right now, I have Marshall Newhouse on the left and Vadal Alexander on the right and David Sharpe doing a little bit more each day, playing both sides.

"I can't sit here and wonder when DP is going to come back ... that's reality right now. I can't think that there's going to be something else there until it's there."

--Shalom Luani, a seventh-round draft pick out of Washington State, appears to be a core special teams player and could figure in the defensive secondary plans before long given his nose for the ball.

"I think there is something called instinct," Luani said. "Preparation is something, but add instincts to it and you become a better player ... just got to find the ball. See ball, get ball, that's all it is."

Assistant head coach John Pagano, who does most of his work with communication on the back end, is coaching Luani up as much as he can without taking away his natural ability.

"You never, ever want to over-coach a guy that has great instincts," Pagano said. "You want to let him see ball, go get ball and have the ability to do that. He has a great knack right now for getting around the football and it's been going on since OTAs and rookie camp."

--For the third straight year, head coach Jack Del Rio opted to keep all training camp workouts in-house rather than work with another team.

While the 49ers were scrimmaging the Denver Broncos nearby, the Raiders stayed among themselves.

"I think it just depends on where you are in your development," Del Rio said. "I made a decision the last three years to do it this way and not seek an opponent."

The Raiders last scrimmaged with an opponent in 2014 with the Dallas Cowboys in Oxnard, a one-day practice that included fights both on the field and in the stands.

The 49ers were visitors to Napa in 2008 and 2009.

--The homecoming of Marshawn Lynch may not include even a cameo appearance from the Oakland native son when the Raiders host the Rams in Week 2 of the preseason.

"We're going to get our squad ready to go for the first game," Del Rio said. "We've got work to do and we'll have a plan deciding how long and who and when and all that kind of stuff. The idea is to be strong and healthy and fit and conditioned as possible for the regular season."

Updated August 17, 2017

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