18 Jun 19
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With about a month and a half until training camp (and Hard Knocks) kicks off in Napa, let’s run through one last mailbag before everyone goes on vacation.
In this edition we talk everything from rookies to potential surprise cuts to pass-rushing improvements.
Let’s have some fun.
1. @jobrelatedtweet: How does Tom Cable still have a job?
If he can’t get this year’s Raiders offensive line to be any good, then he’ll be shown the door. He had two rookie tackles and an array of injuries on last year’s line, so Cable gets a pass in Year 1. Second (and final) chance in 2019, though.
2. @lake_show88: Is it good value to take Raiders to win division at 16/1? Not likely, but still seems like solid value
Sure, why not. Just don’t put too much on it.
3. @Judah26: Does Worley start over the kid from Clemson?
Still too early to tell, but my guess is Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley are the top two outside corners to start the season.
4. @thekenlongman: Who are wr 4 & 5? Between ateman, Nelson, and Grant?
After Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, it’s a toss up right now. I’d say Ryan Grant, J.J. Nelson and Dwayne Harris (for his return skills) are receivers three, four and five right now. Last spot probably down to Hunter Renfrow, Marcell Ateman and Keelan Doss.
5. @GabeMDuran: What are the chances of Eddie Vanderdoes making the roster? Also, do you see the Raiders looking for additional MLB help or do they lean heavily on Burfict?
It’ll be tough for Vanderdoes to make the roster given the crowded group at D-tackle and the fact he didn’t play last season. Raiders already have Mo Hurst, P.J. Hall, Johnathan Hankins and Justin Ellis penciled in as the top four at the position. As for MLB, I think Marquel Lee could be the backup there, and he’s impressed in the past two seasons. I think he’s your additional help.
6. @pinkflounder99: How are doss and renfrow looking?
Hard to tell without pads and contact. Think we’ll only see one on the 53 man, and Doss is seemingly a longer shot than Renfrow.
7. @Raiderfan9909: Do you see evidence of Gruden and Mayock building a tougher team, one that wins games up front? Seems that a power running game is a bedrock of Gruden’s philosophy.
Definitely emphasis on winning the battle in the trenches. The offensive and defensive lines already look different than last year, both physically and personnel-wise. Players like Kolton Miller and Arden Key are visibly bigger and have a year under their belts, and guys like Trent Brown and Clelin Ferrell should boost their groups in their first year with the team. Now the Raiders have a new No. 1 running back to run behind that O-line, too, so we’ll see if Josh Jacobs’ combination of speed and power blends well with the five blocking in front of him.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
8. @Justin88484306: What day does Hard Knocks start filming?
Not sure when they start filming, but first episode is Aug. 6.
9. @Sh*tMyFoodMakes: The raiders have a total of 4 career sack at the DE position on the roster. I know Ferrell is expected to b great but if they don’t get huge production from the him I don’t see how they win more than a handful of games. Why no FA pass rushers this off-season?
Value wasn’t right on some of the big-name free-agent defensive ends, I guess. They really like Ferrell and they’re banking on a big Year 2 from Key. Maybe even a sack here and there from Maxx Crosby and Benson Mayowa off the edge. Hurst will get a couple, too, so maybe all that adds up to at least double the 13 sacks they had last season.
10. @chappy23us: Most surprising cut at end of camp?
Wild guess: Richie Incognito
11. @DrakeJackson4: Who do you think the Raiders starting safeties will be for the year and do you think they’ll be a substantial upgrade?
I think they’ll be Lamarcus Joyner and Johnathan Abram, with Karl Joseph sliding in when Joyner moves to the slot. And yes, that’s an upgrade over Reggie Nelson and Joseph.
12. @chaseshipman: I think the bears are gonna struggle this yr and finish 6-10(Vikings and packers will be better) and I feel like raiders are gonna surprise people, u think end of the yr raiders will be in playoffs while owning a top ten pick from bears?
No, I don’t think that. But anything is possible.
13. @ShaneJacob19: How’s kolton Miller looking? Did he do anything this offseason to help himself? What are the coaches saying about him? Thanks
He put on about 10 pounds since the end of last season. Ate a lot, and he’s visibly stronger. Jon Gruden has spoken very highly of him, and he’s backed up the praise by keeping him at left tackle so far. Most importantly, Miller is healthy after dealing with nagging injuries most of his rookie season. Expect a much better year from him.
14. @GuodKnowledge: Which UDFA are they high on at this point?
They’ve spoken highly of Doss, but maybe that’s just because we ask about him as the feel-good story about the local kid from Alameda. Think he has a shot at the 53 man, though, so let’s go with Doss for now.
15. @LeandroPiromal: Last year the team had lot of roster changes between training camp and start of season. Should we expect that again?
I wouldn’t expect as many, but you never know which veterans will show their age once things ramp up and the pads go on, necessitating some cuts. You always have to account for unexpected injuries, too. But with a younger team, I wouldn’t expect as many as last year.
16. @rthomps101: Hey Matt, lots of discussion regarding Dak’s new contract. With all of the successes of recent rookie QBs, do you think it’s worth dumping a proven vet in exchange for a cheaper option with more upside?
Not if you have a guy as talented as Derek Carr, which I think is what you’re getting at. If Carr still doesn’t produce at 2016 level this season, then maybe they give that method a try in the 2020 draft.
17. @jsmk20raiders: Which Tight End do you see coming out of the mix as our most consistent producer at the position?
Darren Waller. Could be a league-wide sleeper this year.
Raiders tight end Darren Waller. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)
18. @drewackermann1: Over/under 1000 all purpose yards for Josh Jacobs?
19. @TheBeauxShow: Poll type question: This coming season, do the #Raiders have more sacks or interceptions?
20. @TheeJustinM: What position will Raiders be scowering waiver wire to upgrade?
Wild guess: linebacker
21. @poewing: Who’s the Punter? Why not bring back the fun punter for Hard Knocks?
Johnny Townsend the favorite. Rookie AJ Cole the challenger. Marquette King? Nah.
22. @raider_chucky: Good Morning Matt, which rookie do you expect to make most impact in year 1?
Abram. Think we’ll see a lot of big hits and exciting plays, which the Raiders haven’t had from a safety in a while.
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23. @ChadMixon: Is Incognito really that much better than the rest of the Guards? Is he good enough to just plug in and go, when the youth movement needs reps?
I wouldn’t say he’s that much better, but good enough to start at left guard right now. We’ll see if a healthy Denzelle Good can challenge. And the Raiders don’t have time to give the younger O-linemen reps just to give them reps. They need to keep Carr alive.
24. @GSWinFour: In your opinion who do you think would win a fight Coach Gruden or Jack Rel Rio?
Easy. Gruden. You see his biceps these days? Plus Del Rio has really slimmed down. Credit to him, but I think Gruden has more brute strength right now.
25. @JCups45: Who going get more screen time Mike or Jon on Hard knocks?
Jon. David. Gruden.