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Raiders mailbag: Fans ask about Josh McDaniels and players

The Raiders have won two straight to improve to 4-7 and are showing signs of development — specifically as it relates to closing out close games after beating the Broncos and Seahawks in overtime. Those wins have left Raiders Nation in a much better mood but with no fewer questions.

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

Mas (@Mas_78): Did Josh McDaniels always have the locker room during all the losses?

Vincent Bonsignore: While the Raiders were frustrated during the darker parts of their season, there was always a sense that there was a belief in the plan McDaniels was pushing. They were competitive in every game but the loss in New Orleans. It wasn’t a situation in which things weren’t working, but more of a frustration over a handful of mistakes in key situations. As a result, there was more of a focus on simply being better in close-game situations and being cleaner throughout games rather than having misgivings about McDaniels.

PedroBoomin (@PedroBoomin69): What’s the Raiders’ version of “trust the process” that you’ve noticed?

VB: Without question, it is the slogan of “Just do your job,” which was exemplified Sunday by Josh Jacobs’ 86-yard touchdown run to beat Seattle in overtime. The play was a simple fullback lead, one that is generally used in short-yardage situations or to pick up 5 or 6 yards. It went the distance because all 11 players on the field carried out their assignments. To put it in perspective, if one or two players don’t do their jobs, the play can get stuffed for a loss. The Raiders preach a mentality of “Just do your job,” believing more big plays can come simply by every player living up to that responsibility.

SDJ @Mrblockbuster17: Josh Jacobs has been the Raiders’ MVP. Do you believe they sign him to a new deal if he continues to dominate? Or will they let him walk since contract-year players always seem to do well?

VB: The Raiders did not pick up the fifth-year option on the rookie deal Jacobs signed in 2019. But there was no sense at the time that the Raiders were closing the door on bringing him back. To his credit, he has demonstrated he is a player who reflects everything the Raiders are prioritizing as a leader, a hard worker and someone who is available and productive. It is hard to believe the Raiders would let Jacobs walk as a free agent given everything he means to the organization.

JK (@jdka97): When is Divine Deablo expected back?

VB: The second-year linebacker was put on injured reserve Nov. 8, and after Sunday’s game against the Chargers, he will have sat out the required four games in order to be eligible to return. He will have to be designated to return to practice, and from that point, the Raiders have three weeks to determine whether he is ready to return to game action. He can return at any point during that window.

Chef Marck (@CorcinoMarck): Hunter Renfrow in? Darren Waller out?

VB: Both are eligible to return from injured reserve next week, and neither has been ruled out for the rest of the season. The sense is that both will be back at some point.

Chris (@BourbonRaider): Will Nate Hobbs play Sunday?

VB: Barring any surprises, yes.

Beyond The Field (@b_t_f_podcast): How confident are you that the team finishes with a .500 or better record?

VB: Let’s revisit after the next two games — Sunday at home against the Chargers and Thursday at the Rams.

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

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