Henderson, Nev. -- As the Las Vegas Raiders venture out of the bye week, they are itching for a fight with future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Each week, we at Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven answer your emails and questions that you send to us at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and here is this week's edition.
Hondo, I was puzzled by the way you seemed so excited about the bye week. What can come from that when we are playing at a high level? Damion Lopez
Great question. I agree that the Raiders were peaking after an upset of the Kansas City Chiefs, but as injured as they were, the break was a blessing.
Remember this, Damion: you want to improve every week, so each week, they should be peaking from the last. This team needs rest, and they got it.
Hondo, you called it early that Marcus Mariota was not going to take out Derek Carr. You also said you thought he was the third-best quarterback on the team. I am not calling for Derek to lose his job, but do you think the Raiders could use Mariota and his unique skill set somehow? Michael Thomas
Hi Michael, thank you for the email and question. I did say there was no competition. There isn't. I did say that I think he was the third-best quarterback on the team. Still feel that way. But it was not a slam on Marcus. He is a great player and person and has truly been blessed with a unique skill set. I could totally see Jon Gruden putting together a package of plays to utilize his skills for sure.
Hondo, how is signing David Irving a big deal? Adam Herrington
First, the Raiders get a proven producer. Secondly, they get him for next to nothing. Thirdly he knows Rod Marinelli and has a relationship with him. Lastly, he signs to the practice squad until he is in shape and ready to produce. You can't have enough lineman, and when you get one for a bargain price, who is a proven producer, that is all a big deal.
Hondo, with the offensive lineman sent home because of contact tracking, can you tell me what that means? Kait Donald
Great question. Contact tracing is attempting to identify players who have recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with an infectious disease such as COVID-19.
Hondo, when do you think we will get word on our offensive line possibly returning? Pat Claypool
I expect nothing today, and I do expect something later this week. The Raiders are optimistic about their return. The offensive line starting unit and safety Johnathan Abram won't be practicing today.
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