Joe Sandoval says..
"Nate Hobbs and Trevon Moehrig are exactly what our secondary was missing."
Both have done a good job of looking polished and making the most out of their opportunities. What I really appreciate from the two rookies is how instinctive they are on the field. The progression of these two players is great to witness, especially with Hobbs -- who caught an interception in the Rams win and was given a game ball by Coach Gruden. Both are in line to be starters going into Week 1 against the Ravens, and are continuing to earn the trust of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
"He's a guy that is really steady," Bradley said about Moehrig. "You know what you're going to get. Not too high, not too down, very consistent. For a young guy, he's got that pro mentality that we like, so we just got to keep continuing to see him play faster and faster."
Bradley is also a fan of the pro mentality and confidence Hobbs brings to the table.
"He's been pretty consistent for us, I think again, we're trying to figure out what he does well," said Bradley. "You can put a lot on his plate. He seems to be around the ball quite a bit, makes plays when we do call his number. So we're still learning about him, but he's been pretty consistent from the practice and the games.
"It's not too big for him, that's for sure."
Charles Morrow asks..
"Will Marcus Mariota get game time on the field?"
This a question that has been asked many times, yet with no answer.
Marcus Mariota has pretty much been set in stone as the backup quarterback behind Derek Carr going into this upcoming season. Yet he was unable to play in the Raiders' first two preseason games as a precaution to a minor injury he sustained before the Seahawks game. No. 8 has still been active and present at practices, however offensive coordinator Greg Olson said he's unsure whether Mariota will be allowed to get any snaps against the 49ers this Sunday.
"He was injured early and so we could not play him, and now this close to the season we haven't made the decision yet as of today," said Olson. "We had hoped that he would've gotten in early in the early games, but at this point we still haven't made the decision yet on whether he'll play Sunday. ... He's had some good practices out here so we like where he's at. It would've been nice to play him, but again you can't really do anything about that."
Regardless whether Mariota plays or not in the Raiders' preseason finale, keeping him healthy should be one of their top priorities.
Robert Baker says...
"Darius Philon needs a spot!"
Rob, I feel you on this one.
When the Raiders first signed Darius Philon, I assumed he'd just be a developmental piece they were bringing in with him having knowledge in Bradley's scheme from his time with the Chargers. Now, I truly feel Philon has a shot to be the starting three-technique tackle starting the season. Philon brings a great energy to the field and just genuinely looks happy to play football every day.
The defensive tackle hadn't played football in two years before coming to the Raiders and seems as if he hasn't missed a step. He looked dominate rushing the passer this past week in Los Angeles from joint practices to his on-the-field performance in the 17-16 win over the Rams.
Bradley told the media several weeks ago that Gruden was the key factor behind bringing Philon to Las Vegas.
"We were sitting there watching film and he brought up his number and name and said, 'Hey, whatever happened to him, that player that you had down there?' And we were talking about him and then [General Manager] Mike [Mayock] took a look into it and did some research and next thing you know he's here," said Bradley. "So, Coach Gruden was really the one that brought his name up to us and then we just evaluated him, and Mike saw where he was at.
"He's good, he's got really good initial quickness. He's tough, but he's another one that the consistency part of it, we need to see him just be more consistent."
This last preseason game will be very important for the Mobile, Alabama, native to put a stamp on his spot on this team going into the regular season. Based off what I've seen through Training Camp, I have confidence that he'll show up in a big way.
Take a look inside Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center as the Silver and Black prepare for their preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers.