Welcome to the Week 13 mailbag. God bless those of you who are still reading these with your team at 2-9.
Several of you asked if/when Jon Gruden will fire offensive line coach Tom Cable and if quarterback Derek Carr will be back next season. I condensed those answers to one question, so apologies to those who asked about Cable and/or Carr who don’t see their names.
Without further ado, let’s get rolling.
@jsmk20raiders: Should the Raiders ask Carr to take a pay cut? He currently makes more $ per year than Brady, Big Ben, Manning, Rivers, Brees, Newton, Wilson, and Luck to name a few.
Nah, they shouldn’t.
@Raider7597: You think Carr has one more year to prove himself with Gruden? No weapons and poor O Line play didn’t help this year
Yes, I do. You’re right, give him two tackles with a year each under their belts and a true No. 1 receiver for an entire season, whether that player is acquired via free agency or the draft. I don’t think Carr will return to 2016 form next season, but I do think we’ll get a more clear idea of whether No. 4 is the right QB for Gruden in 2019. Because Gruden is staying into Vegas. There’s no guarantee Carr is.
@XXXX23_: Miller hurt, guards look off…parker is BAD..hudson is a stud…how early does oakland draft another RT? Bears pick?
They won’t draft an offensive tackle in the first round next year. They need an edge rusher, linebacker and wide receiver (in my mind), if they choose to keep all three picks. Brandon Parker will have the majority of one season under his belt. Remember, he battled an ankle injury most of training camp and was thrown into the fire after Donald Penn’s injury. Whereas the Raiders have future pieces on their offensive line (two of which just don’t have the experience), they don’t seem to have all the future pieces at the three aforementioned positions, hence why they should draft there.
@TimMarburger62: Where will the FA focus be centered, defense or offense? Draft, same question?
You never know with Gruden, but I figure there will be more of a defensive emphasis this offseason, in addition to one at wide receiver.
@Rene68941900: Being that we stashed Warren III on IR does he get a fair shot next year? Do we draft WR from Arizona? Lastly is Josh Allen from Kentucky on our radar?
I think Chris Warren will get a shot at the starting running back spot, yes. I’d think N’Keal Harry is definitely an option if the Raiders draft, let’s say, third or fourth and miss out on Nick Bosa. Josh Allen, the linebacker from Kentucky, would probably be on the Raiders’ radar if he slipped to their second first-round pick (via the Cowboys).
@DJAI_InTheMix: Greg Olson’s first stint as Raiders OC was lackluster. I know this is mainly Grudens offense, but does Olson play any role now with the O underachieving?
Not really. Gruden is the play-caller and will/should take any blame if the offense fails, which it has for the most part. Olson is merely offensive coordinator by title.
@CL_AudioRaider: Why is Tom cable considered a good one line coach?
You’ll have to ask Gruden that one.
@SweetzJr: Do you think gruden will actually fire cable after this season?
No, I don’t. I think Kolton Miller’s injury and Donald Penn’s injury will buy Cable another year. They were supposed to be the two starting tackles, healthy, but injuries to both threw a wrench into the situation. If Miller and Parker are equally as shaky when healthy in 2019, then we can revisit this question.
@Big_Shirk: Bill Callahan is a coaching FA after this season. Think Gruden would be interested especially since his son is on staff?
I didn’t think the Raiders would be interested in Gruden in the first place. I have learned to not make predictions about coaching decisions because I will probably always get them wrong.
@BrianNYC30: I wouldn’t trade down. We need an impact player. Sitting at 3 we’re not getting bosa. Could always hope but Devon white LB out of LSU is a beast. We need a stud LB. it’s been too long
I don’t think the Raiders are trading their top first-round pick. If they trade any, it would be one or both of the latter first-rounders. Maybe at No. 3 the Raiders go for Harry, the wideout from Arizona State, maybe White, but I tend to think that first pick will be someone who can get after the quarterback, even if it’s not Bosa. Someone like Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell.
@chappy23us: What is best case scenario in allowing Gruden to return team to relevance quickly? What are realistic expectations for 2019 season?
Best-case scenario is the Raiders have a winning team their first year in Vegas with Derek Carr back to MVP form with a sturdy offensive line and an established No. 1 wideout, in addition to Mo Hurst, Gareon Conley, Arden Key, Daryl Worley and Marquel Lee anchoring the defense. Do I think that happens? Not quite, but that’s best case. Realistic expectations for next season? Probably only a little bit better than this one.