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Raiders mailbag: Questions about Mike Mayock, Rich Bisaccia

Updated October 21, 2021 - 2:02 pm

The Raiders got back on track with their win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, and their fans have plenty of questions about what it might mean for the futures of interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and general manager Mike Mayock.

Here is a sampling of what showed up in this week’s mailbag:

Or Ham Bro (@TkLvr): If the Raiders make the playoffs after all of this turmoil, does Rich Bisaccia have a chance to stay on as head coach? I think if he can do that, he deserves a chance to keep the chemistry going.

VINCENT BONSIGNORE: Talking to some people in the NFL about that scenario, the consensus is: Why not bring Bisaccia and the rest of the coaching staff back?

Besides the practicality of it, keep in mind there are financial considerations as well. It is likely there are some long and expensive contracts on the coaching staff. If it’s working, it makes little sense for Raiders owner Mark Davis to pay off an entire staff to bring in and pay a new one to completely start over.

Again, it is all predicated on how the Raiders play over the course of the rest of the season. But with nearly everything in place, save for some tinkering and upgrading at specific positions, starting over with a completely new staff seems counterproductive.

Surfer Bob (The original Surfer Bob) (@Surfer_Bob1): What’s the future looking like for Mike Mayock? Does he really even want one with the Raiders?

VB: Much like Bisaccia, the interim head coach, Mayock’s Raiders future could be predicated on what happens from this point forward.

From a roster and salary cap perspective, the Raiders are in pretty good shape. Assuming things don’t fall apart, one would think continuity would take precedent over starting over.

Long way to go, though.

Big BenSkull (@Pitz73): Any insight on Marcus Mariota? Do we see him in a sub-package like Jon Gruden tried to do vs. Baltimore?

VB: It would make sense to utilize Mariota in certain situations, and the sense is that time is coming. As well as the Raiders played on Sunday, they were still just 4 of 11 on third downs. That is a situation where Mariota can provide help.

GFY (@GfyGfy7777): Speak on the different Cory Littleton and Johnathan Abram from last year to this year.

VB: Littleton has clearly settled down after a disastrous first season with the Raiders in which he never looked comfortable. His Pro Football Focus grades in run, tackling and pass rush are all significantly higher this year, although his pass coverage grade is down from the mark he posted last year. Littleton’s 55 tackles are second on the team. Has he been what the Raiders hoped? No. But he’s playing at a higher level on a much better defense, so for now, it’s working out well.

Abram has benefited from the additions of defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and secondary coach Ron Milus, who have put him in a much better position to succeed, playing a box safety position. He lines up closer to the line of scrimmage and is able to utilize his physicality in the run game while mitigating his weaknesses in pass coverage.

Whereas Abram was rated as the worst safety in the NFL last year by PFF, he is now ranked a much more respectable 37th.

The improvement of both players has helped solidify the Raiders’ defense.

Tom Giles (@TommyGMedium): Is Richie Incognito’s return on schedule — they were saying the Giants game — and will he play guard or will he play center if he returns?

VB: One of the last updates Jon Gruden gave was to say Incognito was improving and that the Raiders were targeting the Giants game as a potential return. There have been no updates since. If and when Incognito does return, he will play guard.

SeanH (@H_Sheppard_Jr): Any chance D.J. Fluker and Desmond Trufant play on Sunday?

VB: Trufant, who the Raiders signed this week to provide depth at cornerback, is expected to be active for the Eagles game. Fluker, who was signed to the practice squad this week, is still working his way back into shape. The hope is he’ll provide depth at either tackle or guard when he’s up to speed.

Maino (@Maino03): Why don’t the Raiders use K.J. Wright as much as one would think?

VB: It’s mostly a match-up situation. As the Raiders’ strong side linebacker in base defense, Wright typically comes off the field when the Raiders turn to nickel or dime packages and add one or two defensive backs. When he is on the field, Wright has played well. His PFF grade ranks 18th among linebackers.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on Twitter.

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