Raiders mailbag: Can Marshawn Lynch still be productive at his age?

Updated August 16, 2018 - 8:25 pm

Send NFL writer Gilbert Manzano all your Raiders questions and hot takes. Tweet him @GManzano24 or email him gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Here’s the second Raiders mailbag heading into Saturday’s exhibition versus the Rams.

Marshawn Lynch hit the hole like a trailing anchor leg on the final curve of a 400-meter relay race during the Raiders’ preseason game against the Detroit Lions last week.

The only man left to beat was Lions safety Glover Quin. It was two 32 year olds sprinting to the end zone.

Beast Mode hawked him, as the saying goes in the track and field world.

Lynch sprinted past Quin for a 60-yard touchdown, but the big run was negated because of a holding penalty on rookie left tackle Kolton Miller.

But no one cared that the touchdown didn’t count. Suddenly, Lynch’s age didn’t matter.

Lynch’s speed was the hot topic, and his decision to sit during the pregame national anthem became an afterthought, at least for one night.

Many have asked me since the run, mainly for fantasy purposes, how Lynch has looked in training camp and what type of season can the football world expect from him entering his 11th NFL season.

Lynch is still doing Beast Mode-like things. The former first-team All-Pro is breaking tackles, making cuts, bursting through holes, and most importantly, being treated like a three-down back.

Expect Lynch to receive the bulk of the workload even with Doug Martin, DeAndre Washington, Jalen Richard and Chris Warren III on the depth chart.

Lynch was arguably the Raiders’ best offensive player last season and finished strong down the stretch. In the final five games, Lynch averaged 86.8 rushing yards, fourth best in the league, and 5.2 yards per carry, second highest in the league.

For the season, Lynch had 207 carries for 891 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Definitely not the numbers fantasy owners want to see.

But Lynch had former Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing last season.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden is now making the calls and he wants to take it back to 1998. The old-school method worked on Lynch’s memorable run that featured eight blockers and one motioning wide receiver to throw off the defense.

The signs are all there for Lynch to have a productive season, but father time isn’t kind to running backs over the age of 30 with 10-plus years of NFL experience.

Aftermath of Penn deal

When my colleague Michael Gehlken broke the news Monday that Raiders offensive lineman Donald Penn had agree to take a pay cut, many had the same follow up question.

“What about Mack?” @Raider_chucky tweeted.

Penn’s pay cut doesn’t mean more money for Raiders star pass-rusher Khalil Mack, who’s holding out for a new massive contract.

Gehlken explained it best: “Like canceling a Netflix subscription before purchasing a new car.”

Penn’s restructured deal helped the team in other ways. Mack’s extension wasn’t one of them.

Giving the team depth on the offensive line is one way the Raiders benefited.

Penn is now likely assured a starting position after rumors surfaced that he could be released to hand the left tackle job to Miller.

“Penn won. Kolton can sit back and learn from a great,” @RaiderAce562 tweeted.

Miller will continue to learn from Penn, but it’s looking like they’ll both be starting. Penn, a three-time Pro Bowler at left tackle, took snaps at right tackle this week with Miller lined up in quarterback Derek Carr’s blind spot.

It might be risky to give Miller such an important position this early in his career when one of the best left tackles in the league is on the Raiders’ roster.

Penn said this position change isn’t permanent. Maybe the Raiders are waiting to see how Miller does in the upcoming preseason games.

The Raiders are getting dicey but smart to be looking at all scenarios.

Average Raiders?

I encourage hot takes on this mailbag series. Everyone needs to vent at times. Ed Vovsi had a lot to say.

“This is a mediocre team at best,” Vovsi’s email read. “Carr is a pedestrian quarterback who doesn’t deserve the expectations that are being foisted onto his shoulders. The rest of the team is the usual disaster. … I’m looking at a 7-9 season record.”

Vovsi goes on to say he hopes he’s wrong, so he’s not a complete negative Raiders fan. Vovsi just likes to keep it 100, as the kids like to say.

To start training camp, I also saw 7-9 in the Raiders’ future. I’ve changed my tune a bit.

The Raiders will probably struggle in the secondary again, and the offense might need time to grasp Gruden’s game plans. But I’ve been impressed with the depth and competition Gruden has created in many areas, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.

Sometimes one great draft class can lead a team into the postseason in the same year. That’s what happened to the New Orleans Saints in 2017.

The Raiders might have something special with rookie defensive tackles P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst. Both stood out in camp and made plays versus the Lions in the preseason game and joint practices.

With training camp closing Thursday, the Raiders suddenly have plenty of upside.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Nugent Suffers Injury in Miami
Raiders reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Mike Nugent's injury in Miami and the Raiders poor turnover differential through the team's first three games.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Drop to 0-3 with Loss to the Dolphins
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio while Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Miami on the Raiders loss to the Miami Dolphins.
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
Vegas Nation: Leon Hall battles sickle cell illness
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Leon Hall's sickle cell illness that prevented the cornerback from flying home with the team last week in Denver.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Week 3
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano answer your burning questions about the Raiders and Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Practice After Loss To Broncos
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over how Jon Gruden is improving the team after the 20-19 loss to the Denver Broncos.
Gruden touts Carr's pocket presence
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hopes to get bigger plays from Derek Carr as the season rolls along, and the coach praises Carr's ability to feel pressure in the pocket.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Pass Rush Noticeably Lacking
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about another poor pass rushing performance by the Raiders defense as the team looks ahead to Miami.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To The Broncos
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and sports writer Gilbert Manzano goes over the Raiders 19-20 loss against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Kolton Miller prepares for Von Miller matchup on Sunday
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken previews the upcoming matchup between rookie left tackle Kolton Miller and Broncos linebacker Von Miller.
Vegas Nation: Bryant ready to play for Raiders immediately
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about Martavis Bryant's return to the Raiders practice field, as well as a potential suspension for the wide receiver.
Martavis Bryant "Very Surprised" with Raiders Re-Signing
Raiders wide receiver Martavis Bryant speaks with the media for the first time since the team cut and re-signed him within a ten day time frame.
Vegas Nation Mailbag
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano goes over Raider Nation's reaction to the Raiders loss to the Rams.
Vegas Nation: Martavis Bryant Returns to the Raiders
Bryan Salmond is in studio and Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda as Martavis Bryant returns to the Raiders and Oakland picks up to new defensive linemen.
Gruden, Carr Believe Bryant is in a "Good Place"
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and starting quarterback Derek Carr talk about Martavis Bryant returning with the team after being cut over a week ago.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium Progress
Construction at Las Vegas Raiders stadium as seen on September 11, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Las Vegas sports books will be Raiders fans in season opener
Las Vegas sports books will be big Raiders fans in Oakland's season opener. Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Raiders name 4 locations for stadium parking
Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney and business reporter Rick Velotta discuss the Raiders' four proposed stadium parking locations and what that could mean for tailgating and traffic to and from the stadium.
Vegas Nation: AJ McCarron Learns Gruden's Playbook
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over AJ McCarron learning Gruden's offense before the Raiders play the L.A. Rams on Monday.
Kolton Miller "excited", "a little nervous" for regular season debut
Raiders starting rookie left tackle Kolton miller talks about his impending regular season debut against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Khalil Mack trade
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over what Raider Nation thinks about the Raiders before their first game against the Rams.
Amari Cooper Ready for Monday Night Football
Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper looks forward to team's season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.
Vegas Nation 9.3 Alt
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken talks about the team's first practice after the Khalil Mack trade, and the player's reaction to the trade.
Raiders BBQ
On Friday, July 20, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden hosted — and paid for — a free barbecue for Raiders fans. Gruden teamed up with the Raiders and Ricky's Sports Theater and Grill in San Leandro, Calif. as a way to show thanks and gratitude for the support of the Raider Nation. Over 500 Raiders fans showed up to the event that had music, raffles, and appearances from Raiders alumni. This was the final event before the Raiders begin their training camp next week in Napa. Chris Booker Las Vegas Review-Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like