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Isaiah Johnson Oakland Raiders Jersey

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The Morning After: Post Khalil Mack era edition If there ever was a situation in sports that required a cool off period Frostee Rucker Jersey , it’s now during the immediate aftermath of the Khalil Mack trade. Now that we are a little over 24 hours after the fact, maybe it’s time to have a less emotional look at what the Raiders just did. It’s still awful to think about having had such a great player and to have jettisoned them instead of paying for their services but it doesn’t have to mean the end of the world for this year’s Raiders.Clearly this was a move designed to give Oakland more financial flexibility in the future for multiple positions instead of loading the deck at the one spot that Khalil Mack would have manned. There is rhyme to this reason, even if it stinks of the moneyball philosophy that Oakland A’s fans know so well and despise.Whether you like the trade or not, the $23M per year contract that he signed with the Bears can be spent to improve several positions instead of just dominating the one. The Raiders defense is in need of help in several places with aging veterans playing key positions and a questionable secondary, and they did not improve their receiver corp like they had intended to do this past off-season either.Jon Gruden was brought in here for the long haul, this is just year one of a ten year contract and with that type of commitment comes the building of the roster to match his vision. That is a terrifying proposition if you are a pessimist and/or are looking back at the roster moves he made in Tampa Bay as the coach of the Buccaneers, but it’s the commitment that Mark Davis has already made to Gruden.The thing with only looking at Gruden’s time in Tampa and the failed moves since he took over like the Ryan Switzer, Martavis Bryant failures and this Mack trade is that it disregards that the Raiders did make some significant improvements too. As hard as it is to be positive, they did have what appears to be a hell of a draft with Maurice Hurst, P.J. Hall and Arden Key all looking like solid draft picks. If Kolton Miller or Brandon Parker manage to become starter quality offensive linemen then the impact of this past draft is already arguably larger than losing Mack to the Bears.That’s not to say I’m alright with this trade, because I most definitely am not. Yesterday was a bad dream that had me looking like the walking dead for most of the day, but I do believe that the Raiders can still be competitive this year without Khalil Mack. It’s a punch to the nether regions losing him, but Oakland’s defense was a hot mess the last few years even with having him. They are in position to be a better defense this year without him than they had been last year with him. They added some huge pieces to the defense to improve the overall quality of it, along with a defensive coordinator whose defensive scheme has been exciting to watch even just in preseason. The interior pass rush is night and day better than it’s been the past decade and it’s not like they don’t have anybody decent as edge pass rushers. They don’t have Mack anymore, but they do still have a pissed off Bruce Irvin and a lot of potential in rookie Arden Key along with a much improved Shilique Calhoun and Fadol Brown.It’s sad because with Mack this defense was starting to look like it could have been scary good, but I firmly believe they are going to be a better defense than they were last year. Couple that with a reinvigorated Derek Carr whose connection with Jon Gruden has gotten rave reviews so far and this team can still compete. They are not likely to be a powerhouse team or Super Bowl bound Maxx Crosby Oakland Raiders Jersey , but they weren’t that even before this trade happened.The value of two 1st round picks in the rookie wage scale era is huge, they are more valuable than they have ever been. The scary part is it all depends on who they use those picks on, but if they use them well the impact could be amazing. Yeah, the pessimist in me wonders if they will pay those guys even if they do hit big on the picks but even that would be 5 years after their selections.Those picks have the potential to improve the overall quality of the team very quickly with the players that Gruden envisions fitting into his plan. The impact of adding that many young, top draft picks in a short span is intriguing even if it did cost more than I’d ever have been willing to give up.No doubt it’s a huge risk, but it’s already finished and it is time to adjust to the new reality. I do think they never should have had to trade down in the 2020 draft by giving up their 2nd for a 3rd round pick in the process though. Khalil Mack is the best defensive player to ever be traded in his prime, including anything else that benefits the Bears was completely absurd and I will never back down from that.Oh well now though, it is what it is. It’s time for the new reality of the 2018 Oakland Raiders, it’s time for the post Khalil Mack era to begin. It still hurts to write that but it hurts a little less than yesterday and it will hurt a little less still tomorrow. That’s just life as a Raiders fan, we should all be used to being uncomfortable by now anyway. Last Thursday, the Raiders made Josh Jacobs the top back selected in the draft at 24 overall in the first round. They touted him as the complete package who could stay on the field all three downs..."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Raiders StoriesScheduleRosterStatsYahoo Raiders NewsYahoo Raiders Team PageYahoo Raiders ReportYahoo Raiders Depth ChartYahoo Raiders TransactionsYahoo Raiders PhotosOdds About Masthead Community Guidelines StubHub ✕Raiders Draft 2019Jon Gruden says Raiders ‘comfortable’ with Doug Martin as three-down back, rookie first rounder Josh Jacobs has got to beat him outNew,72commentsPDTShareTweetShareShareJon Gruden says Raiders ‘comfortable’ with Doug Martin as three-down back, rookie first rounder Josh Jacobs has got to beat him outOakland RaidersLast Thursday, the Raiders made Josh Jacobs the top back selected in the draft at 24 overall in the first round. They touted him as the complete package who could stay on the field all three downs due to his ability to block and catch passes out of the backfield as well as be a power runner.True, Jacobs did display all those skills at Alabama Maxx Crosby Oakland Raiders Jersey , but he never did so as a workhorse back and Jon Gruden wasn’t going to go all in and say the young back was ready to take on a full load or even if he was capable of it due to Jacobs being a part time back for the Crimson Tide.Already on the Raiders was Isaiah Crowell who is a proven NFL starter who fell into their laps essentially when he was cast off by the Jets after they spent big money to sign Le’Veon Bell to a free agent deal. Days after Jacobs was drafted, Crowell tore his Achilles in offseason workouts and was lost for the season, ending what could have been a nice one-two punch with him and Jacobs.“Isiah [Crowell] came in here on a one-year contract and I was hoping this would be a launching pad for him to really showcase what he can do,” said Gruden. “And it’s very unfortunate and we wish him the best. I mean the way he got hurt was amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it. It was a freak injury.”With Crowell down, predictions for Jacobs’ rookie season shot up. Fantasy gurus began licking their chops at the possibilities of him being a workhorse, churning out yards and points. The Raiders had ‘break glass in case of emergency’ option sitting on his couch though. They simply phoned up last year’s starter Doug Martin and said come on back in.“Fortunately Doug Martin has been very interested in coming back,” Gruden continued. “He led out team in rushing and Doug will be able to I think be a great mentor to Jacobs. He knows the system, he produced in the system. Doug’s had some real highs and some real lows in this league. And he’ll be a great resource for our young back and he can also still play. So, we’re happy to have Doug back and obviously disappointed for Isaiah.”Mentor, yes. But starting ahead of the back who Gruden was reportedly so excited to draft at 24 that he supposedly wanted to trade up to make sure he got him and had to be calmed down several times by Mike Mayock? Starting over that guy? That’s what Gruden would like us to believe.“Doug Martin was a three-down back last year,” Gruden said when asked if Jacobs would be the team’s three-down back right away. “He finished the season quite well. We’re comfortable with Doug.“We’ll see what happens with [Josh] Jacobs. Jacobs has got a lot to learn in our system and he’s gotta beat out some good backs.”All right. So, not handing the youngster anything. Making him feel like he has to work for it. And asking last year’s starter who averaged 4.3 yards per carry as the starter to step back into that role may not be the choice you’d expect from a team that just spent a first round pick on a running back, but it isn’t terribly far-fetched.But, wait, did he say “Backs”? Plural? As in more than one? Come on now.“I think Jalen Richard is really exciting. He wants to be a three-down back Maxx Crosby Jersey 2019 ,” Gruden added. “We just paid him a lot of money because of his skills. And I think DeAndre Washington who was hurt most of last year is also going to contribute.”Uh, yeah. Ok.Oh, and let’s not forget about last year’s preseason phenom Chris Warren III now. Gruden said he left him out, joking he tries “not to give Chris any sugar.”“I like Chris Warren,” Gruden said. “He’s 260 pounds, he can run, he had a very good preseason for us, and he’s learned a lot about our offense and about this profession and he’s got some pretty good genes. His dad was one hell of a back for the Seahawks, so we’ll see where he is. We’re anxious to put him back in circulation as well.”It’s certainly that time of year. When Gruden keeps his players’ hopes up that they can all be the guy while trying to keep us guessing about what he will do at certain positions. Hey, who knows, maybe Marshawn Lynch will be back too? He said he would come back if they want him. So, why the hell not. Let’s really make this a competition. Follow @LeviDamien



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Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:16 am