Personal note: This will be the last time I write this Raiders mailbag column. I’ve enjoyed socializing with the passionate Raider Nation fan base this season.
In the past two years, I’ve seen Raiders fans support the team from Napa, California, for training camp and in Los Angeles twice for games against the Chargers and Rams. And even in Mexico City, Raider Nation made its presence felt for last year’s game against the Patriots.
I’m confident Las Vegas will continue the proud traditions of the silver and black when the team arrives in 2020. Last week, my plane from Phoenix to Las Vegas was packed with Raiders fans. So I know Raiders fans in Southern Nevada are itching to welcome the team.
I’m going to miss interacting with Raiders fans, but let’s keep this mailbag column going strong. Also, don’t forget about our Raiders mailbag show on Facebook Live that airs weekly on the Review-Journal sports account.
So send all your Raiders questions and hot takes to Elaine Emerson’s email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also comment on Facebook under the Raiders mailbag show. Keep it clean, keep it fresh and feel free to vent.
OK, enough with the sappy stuff. Let’s get to the mailbag:
“(Raiders) still have a shot at the No. 1 pick. 49ers need to win another one.” — Alex Chisholm (Facebook)
Daniel Carlson’s game-winning field goal to give the Raiders their second win made the top of the 2019 draft order complicated.
The Raiders, 49ers and Cardinals are tied for the worst record in the NFL with 2-8 records, but the 49ers currently have the No. 1 pick based on weakest strength of schedule. The Cardinals are second and the Raiders select third.
Imagine being 49ers general manager John Lynch and explaining to people the reason why he got the top pick is because his team couldn’t beat the weakest teams in the NFL.
So there’s a sense of pride if the Raiders don’t end up with the No. 1 pick. But many Raiders fans don’t want pride. They want Nick Bosa.
The Ohio State defensive end probably won’t be there at No. 3. But admit it, Raider Nation. You were thrilled to see Carlson make that field goal. Winning feels good.
Good karma heading the Raiders’ way for not tanking. A lot could happen with six games to go.
“It was refreshing to see Gruden chew Carr out. Toughen him up.” — David Mckinney (email)
Raiders coach Jon Gruden didn’t snap on Derek Carr to toughen him up. It was exactly what Gruden called it, a mild disagreement.
It just didn’t look mild because Gruden’s face turned red like he had just shallow the hottest pepper in Phoenix.
Whenever “Chucky” gets mad it becomes a story. Many have never seen Gruden explode. It’s like an urban legend because his sideline death stares happened before social media.
Coaches and quarterbacks argue often. The story was overblown by halftime and became an afterthought after Carlson’s field goal.
Carr playing with a fractured back is tough. Taking an earful from Gruden is just another day at the office.
“If they aren’t going to pay their own, they aren’t going to pay Bell.” — Ray (email)
I might have hit a nerve among Raider Nation when I suggested last week the Raiders should consider signing Le’Veon Bell in the offseason.
The Khalil Mack trade wounds must still be fresh because not many wanted to hear me out. The thought of the Raiders paying someone not named Mack big money didn’t sit well.
But I hate to break it to you, Ray. The Raiders will one day open the checkbook for an outsider and that probably will happen this offseason.