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.

Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Did the Weather slow down construction?
The Raiders stadium in Las Vegas has made significant progress over the past month, and Review-Journal writers Ed Graney, Rick Vellota and Mick Akers go over all the updates including what name of the stadium may potentially be.
Kelsey Martinez no longer listed on Raiders’ coaching staff
Kelsey Martinez, the first female assistant in Raiders history, is no longer listed as with the organization, according to the team’s website. Martinez joined the club in March 2018 under Tom Shaw, the department’s then-coordinator who was dismissed in December. Before joining the Raiders, Martinez worked for 4 years at Tom Shaw Performance at ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando. The Raiders did not return requests for comment on Martinez’s status.
Monorail extension will likely not be finished for Raiders 2020 opener
The planned extension to the Las Vegas Monorail system, has not even broken ground yet, and will likely not be completed in time for the Raiders season opener in 2020. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Limo Driver Dan Holmgren Fired
Dan Holmgren was terminated as a Las Vegas limousine driver for leaving his car to chat with Raiders owner Mark Davis and president Marc Badain in front of Caesars Palace on Jan. 28. Dan gives his story to Elaine Emerson in the RJ Studio.
Raiders Stadium Roads
A bevy of road projects that will impact travel to and from the Las Vegas stadium are planned to occur even after the stadium opens in 2020.
Roger Goodell Addresses Media About Raiders Next Season - VIDEO
Roger Goodell addresses media about where the Raiders will play next year and the controversial Rams vs Saints game. Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto go over the details.
Senior Bowl a valuable scouting opportunity for Raiders - VIDEO
The Raiders are looking for better defensive prospects at the Senior Bowl due to the results of the 2018 season. Michael Gehlken goes over what the Raiders general manager and head coach are looking for at this years Senior Bowl.
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Senior Bowl Practice Moved Inside Due To Weather - VIDEO
Day three of the Senior Bowl was moved inside for practice due to weather in Alabama. Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over what players the Raiders are looking out for at the Senior bowl.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Retractable Field Update - VIDEO
Much like the Arizona Cardinals field, the Raiders will also be playing on a field tray that can be retracted in order to maintain real grass. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto and Las Vegas Review- Journal reporter Rick Velotta discuss the latest updates regrading the Las Vegas Stadium as well as the groundbreaking of the Raiders headquarters in Henderson.
Raiders Henderson Practice Facility Render - VIDEO
Video of the Raiders practice facility that will be built in Henderson Nevada.
Raiders Headquarters Groundbreaking Ceremony - VIDEO
The Raiders make Henderson their new home with a groundbreaking ceremony. Derek Carr and many other players past a present came together to celebrate the new location. Cassie Soto and Ed Graney report from Henderson, Nevada.
Former Raider James Harris says fans will follow the team "to the moon" - VIDEO
The Oakland Raiders will play in Las Vegas when their team's move is completed in 2020. Former Raiders' defensive end and Las Vegan, James Harris, says fans will follow and support the team "to the moon".
Jim Plunkett on the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, changes under Gruden
At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Raiders new headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, former quarterback Jim Plunkett gave his thoughts on the new facility, the team's move to Las Vegas and what the future holds for the team with head coach Jon Gruden.
JT The Brick says where he thinks the Raiders should play in 2019
At the Raiders headquarters groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson, Nevada, radio host J.T. The Brick gave his take on where he thinks the team should play in 2019 and provided his thoughts on their three, first-round draft picks and more.
Raiders Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony For Henderson Practice Facility
The Raiders hold a groundbreaking ceremony in Henderson for the new practice facility for the teams move to Las Vegas.
A quick look at the Raiders HQ in Henderson
The Raiders held a groundbreaking ceremony for their Las Vegas headquarters, which is based in Henderson, on Monday, Jan. 14th.
Designers of Raiders Field Learn Lessons from Cardinals
The retractable grass in the future home of the Raiders will look largely like an updated and improved version of the field tray system used at State Farm Stadium, home of the Phoenix Cardinals. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Mahomes Throws his 50th TD in Victory over the Raiders
The Oakland Raiders lose the last game of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs 35-3. Pat Mahomes throws his 50th touchdown and the Chiefs take first place in the division. Cassie Soto is in studio and Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Kansas City.
Raiders look ahead to next season after loss to Chiefs
After the Oakland Raiders' 35-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, players analyze their play and look ahead to what they can do better in the next season.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hire Mike Mayock as new GM
Raiders beat reporter describes newly-hired general manager's opening press conference.
Vegas Nation: Players receive signing bonuses
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains why four players received roster bonuses and what that means for their respective futures on the roster.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Will the Raiders play in Oakland next season?
The Raiders get an emotional win against the Denver Broncos. The game was potentially the Raiders last time playing in the colosseum due to a lawsuit from the city of Oakland. Elaine Wilson and Ed Graney go over the Raider Nation reaction to the game an news.
Vegas Nation: Miller and Parker draw praise
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken takes a look at Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker's Monday Night Football performance against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders to face Chiefs in season finale
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes how the team is doing after their emotional win over the Denver Broncos, and how they're preparing for the last game of the year in Kansas City.
Raiders Win Emotional Game Against Broncos - Vegas Nation
The Oakland Raiders win their Monday Night football game against the Denver Broncos. This game is potentially the last time the Raiders will play in Oakland before coming to Las Vegas. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney go over the emotional win.
Carr, Gruden reflect on what could be the last game played in Oakland
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr comment on what could be the the last home game the team played at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Raiders locker room after victory over Broncos
Raiders players Jalen Richard, Lee Smith, Karl Joseph, and Erik Harris react to defeating the Denver Broncos in what could be the final game at the Oakland Coliseum.
Raiders fans react to possible final game in Oakland
Raiders fans from around the country respond to the team potentially playing their final game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum prior to Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold final practice before MNF
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes the trouble Von Miller and Bradley Chubb bring to the Raiders offensive line, as well as who's questionable for Monday night's game against the Denver Broncos.
Vegas Nation: McCarron returns to practice
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that back up quarterback AJ McCarron returned to practice on Friday following the birth of his son.
Vegas Nation: Nathan Peterman practices with Raiders
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken unveils the reaction Jon Gruden received after signing quarterback Nathan Peterman to the practice squad.
Vegas Nation Mailbag - December 19, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Ed Graney go over all burning Vegas Nation Raiders questions
Vegas Nation: Raiders prepare for potential final game in Oakland
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports on how Christmas Eve could be the final game in Oakland for the Raiders, and how Jon Gruden will handle it with himself and the players.
RJ columnist Ed Graney goes in-depth to find out if an NFL team would have success in London
While London's Cray Wanderers may be the one of the oldest football clubs in the world, could an NFL team have the same success overseas? (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal @HeidiFang)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing