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Raiders mailbag: How can the team bulk up the pass rush?

A disappointing loss to the Bills has stirred Raiders fans’ emotions and raised plenty of questions.

A sampling of what arrived in this week’s mailbag:

Matt Berger (@matt_berger): With Chandler Jones on the Non-Football Injury list and Tyree Wilson being a developmental player right now, is the answer to bulking up the pass rush internal or external?

VINCENT BONSIGNORE: For now, internal. The Raiders obviously drafted Tyree Wilson to be the heir apparent to Jones. They understood that there would be a process in developing Wilson given the foot injury that sidelined him.

Unfortunately, the Jones’ situation has thrust Wilson into a much more prominent role sooner than anticipated. What it can’t change is Wilson’s developmental timeline, which was always going to be a down-the-line proposition. The Raiders drafted him with the next five years in mind, not the first month of the season.

Time will tell whether Jones is an option for this season, although it will be at least four weeks before he even has the chance to return to the field.

RaiderAL��‍☠️ (@theRaiderAL): Bilal Nichols: With mediocre play last year and rare impactful plays so far this year, why does he remain the starter with our depth at defensive tackle?

VB: No question the Raiders need more from their defensive tackle. Rookies Byron Young and Nesta Jade Silvera might provide some legitimate competition for playing time down the road. For now, though, the Raiders will remain patient with their veteran in the hopes that the entire defensive line finds its footing soon.

TheRaiderRoom (@TheRaiderRoom): Does it look like Tyree Wilson could be missing the home opener?

VB: Wilson was dealing with a flu bug that hit the Raiders’ locker room this week, but he returned to the practice field on Friday and is on target to play against the Steelers.

ErikTg (@ErikTGuerrero): After the defensive line’s performance, at what point will the Raiders address that?

VB: Barring some solid options surprisingly becoming available on the open or trade markets, there isn’t much the Raiders can do at the moment other than stick with the process and hope their veteran players start playing better.

In addition, there is an expectation that youngsters like Wilson, Young and Jade Silvera will contribute more as the season continues.

Jwill (@MrJwill79): When will Nesta Jade Silvera be on the active? Who will take Chandler Jones’ spot on the 53?

VB: It will be interesting to see if the Arizona State rookie is on the active roster this week. Jones’ spot on the roster remains open, so more than likely the Raiders will elevate someone from the practice squad to fill it for Sunday. Expect them to officially sign someone next week, if not sooner.

(@LVDavante): Why is Tre Tucker on a leash and why is Isaiah Pola-Mao not starting?

VB: Regarding Tucker, the more plays he keeps making when his number gets called, the more plays the Raiders will call for him. It’s a long season, but he’s on the right track.

The Raiders are sticking with their safety rotation for now, which means Pola-Mao coming off the bench in various personnel packages.

francisco zarate (@frankspeak1205): I know this is knee-jerky, but if Jimmy Garoppolo struggles, how long until we might see Aidan O’Connell?

VB: The Raiders knew it would take a few games before Garoppolo and the offense began settling in, especially after he missed all of the offseason recovering from foot surgery. There is no consideration at this point to make a change at that position.

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

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