This blur of an offseason keeps on rolling, as we’re now just a week out from the Oakland Raiders first of 10 Organized Team Activities [OTAs].
You always have questions surrounding the Silver and Black, so once again, I’ll do my best to answer them in another edition of the Raiders.com Mailbag.
Shout-out to everyone who sends in questions using #RaidersMailbag on Twitter, I’m immensely entertained by them, and I read every, single one.
Alright, let’s get to it.
*EP: *Well, in a perfect world, Martin acts as another, strong, running back to pound the rock in Head Coach Jon Gruden’s offense. Gruden has been pretty out in front of the fact that he wants to dominate the line of scrimmage, and I don’t know if there’s a better way to do that than to have myriad guys who can take care of business out of the backfield really well. Let’s not forget that while Martin’s past two seasons haven’t been all that impressive statistically, the former Boise State Bronco did run for over 1,400 yards in 2015. Marshawn Lynch seemed to get stronger as the year went on last year, so if you add a resurgent Doug Martin, and then Jalen Richard and DeAndré Washington to the mix, that running back corps is looking pretty, pretty nice.
*EP: *After the Silver and Black released Josh Johnson last week, the team currently has three, familiar faces in the quarterback’s room: Derek Carr, Connor Cook and EJ Manuel. That trio is the same group of guys the team took to training camp last year, so there’s certainly an air of familiarity among the group of signal-callers. Look, we all know that Carr is the quarterback of today, tomorrow, and hopefully the next decade, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on the battle between Cook and Manuel for the right to own the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. Year after year, the NFL shows us the importance of having depth at the quarterback position, so it’s imperative to have quality players up and down the roster. Competition is the name of the game this year for the Raiders, and that goes for the team’s quarterbacks too.
*EP: *Death, taxes, and people asking about NaVorro Bowman…. Anyway, conventional wisdom suggests that with Derrick Johnson on the roster the Raiders wouldn’t necessarily need another middle linebacker, but Coach Gruden certainly didn’t close the door on Bowman’s return when asked about him a few weeks back. I assume he’ll get asked about it again next week during his media session, so that answer will certainly be telling, but the theme of this offseason has been roster turnover, so at this point, nothing would really surprise me. I’ll tell you what though, adding good, veteran pieces to either side of the ball is never a bad thing.
*EP: *Herein lies the beauty of the Mailbag; you begin it talking about Doug Martin, and you finish up in a discussion about Johnny Lawrence. First things first, as of this instant, I have not had a chance to get back in the dojo and watch Cobra Kai, but it’s for sure on the list. You know how it is though, there’s only so much time in the day to binge watch TV shows. Anyway, Cobra Kai peaks my interest for two reasons: 1. I’m a big fan of the Karate Kid and its characters, and 2. It looks like Ralph Macchio aka Daniel LaRusso is now evil? Shout-out Billy Zabka one time too. I’m hoping I can sit down, and do a deep dive at some point this offseason.