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ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin were out at Raiders practice Wednesday for the stretching period. Both edge rushers left one-at-a-time during the individual period,
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open to the press, headed into the main building and did not return.
There was no reaction,
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, certainly no surprise,
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, from the coaching staff or players on the field. Irvin and new defensive coordinator John Pagano were seen joking around on the
field before practice began in earnest.
Both guys were given a day off,
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, one scheduled earlier in the day. A Raiders official called it a day off/rest-type day that was not injury related. The Silver and Black
typically practice in pads or shells on Wednesday,
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, but were in jerseys and sweats in the interest of recovery.
Wednesday marked the first practice Irvin has missed since training camp. Mack hasn't missed one in months.
Mack and Irvin's downtime comes a day after beloved defensive coordinator Ken Norton's firing.
Mack and Irvin especially were among those loyal to Norton. Mack and Norton developed a bond after the coach was named defensive coordinator in 2015. Norton and Irvin go way
back to their days together in Seattle. Irvin credits Norton for helping him get on the right path and stay there.
Neither player was happy Norton got the axe. Irvin made his displeasure clear,
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,tweeting "BULLS***" shortly after news of Norton's demise broke. Mack told ESPN "I like to keep my
It isn't immediately clear if the non-injury related day off was related to Norton's dismissal. Head coach Jack Del Rio won't speak to the media again until Friday. New
defensive coordinator John Pagano is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon.
Del Rio addressed the media before Wednesday's practice,
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,and was asked how he'll handle players unhappy with the in-season shake-up.
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,"I don't try and 'handle' them,
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," Del Rio said. "I think the biggest thing is to understand the relationship,
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, give him a little space and then at the end of the
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, we're going to get on with our work. But,
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, I'm human. It wasn't easy for me either."
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