10 Raiders Questions: Final Preseason Game Edition

Ten of your finest questions on the morning of the Raiders final preseason game and do you think Mack’s contract might have come up once?

Here we go…

1 – What’s the Raiders biggest concern? Mack’s contract extension, the RT position, or backup QB?

These are definitely the three biggest problems for Jon Gruden to solve at the moment, but the answer has to be Khalil Mack. He changes the game. What a disappointment it would be to not have Mack in uniform against the Rams. The next most important has to be Donald Penn and the situation at right tackle. If the Raiders can protect Derek Carr, hopefully they don’t have to find a backup right away. How many teams are around the league actually love their backup, anyway?

2 – Who will be our backup QB when the season starts?

Listening to Jon Gruden, it doesn’t sound like even he knows. Maybe if one of the quarterbacks plays well tonight there will be some clarity, but both quarterbacks look terrible right now. Hopefully there will be a better option hitting free agency soon.

3 – How can we get the message out that national sports media is nothing but click baiting crap?

The trade rumors have been a little over the top, but Mack’s holdout has been covered pretty well, actually. He’s definitely upset, his agent wants the message out there that he may miss real games, Gruden holds the keys to Mack’s new deal, and other teams are trying to see what it will take to pry Mack away from the Raiders. It might not be fun hearing about it all the time, but there’s no way to spin a messy situation. Just know that the two sides will get together soon and try to make something happen before the season opener.

Honest opinion, though? Mack signed with one of the premier agents in the league and right now he’s getting crushed. And the Raiders are, too.

4 – What’s the holdup with signing Mack?

The Raiders approach to Mack’s contract seemed to change when Gruden showed up, but obviously the holdup is over money. The sides aren’t close on Mack’s valuation and Gruden is willing to let the standoff run right up to the season opener. Deadlines spur action and the do-or-die deadline on Mack’s new deal is down to just 11 days away. Who do you think will blink first?

5 – How good do you think this Raiders defense is?

The defense is going to be much improved. We’re used to seeing the Raiders score points (excluding last year, of course), but they haven’t played sound defense in more than a decade and that’s going to change this year. Maybe not a top-10 defense, but not far from it. The new coaching staff and the young defensive linemen are going to make the defense unrecognizable – in a good way.

6 – Who are a couple fantasy sleepers on the Raiders roster?

The defense, actually. Jordy Nelson is going to be better than advertised (by national media at least) and watch for Jalen Richard to carve out a significant role for himself by the end of the season.

7 – Who do you predict will be our starting safeties? I’d love to see Gilchrist and Joseph.

It was telling that Erik Harris started the third preseason game, but there will probably be a rotation at safety most likely. Joseph hasn’t shown great ball skills and he’s a liability against bigger tight ends. The team’s official roster says Harris 5 inches taller than Joseph and that’s significant.

8 – Does Ateman make the 53 and if so, what kind of impact can he provide?

His chances certainly got a lot better when Ryan Switzer and Griff Whalen disappeared from the equation. Still not sure he’s a lock, but smart people covering the team seem to think he is.

9 – Was all the fuss about not having NaVorro Bowman a waste of time?

Yup, and no one was pushing harder for Bowman than yours truly, but Marquel Lee looks like the truth. Not an every down linebacker yet, but he’s moving in that direction. No one is even talking about what the Raiders are going to do at linebacker and that’s a good thing.

10 – Raiders season record prediction?


twitter: @raidersbeat


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