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Raiders mailbag: Who has early edge in QB competition?

Updated June 14, 2024 - 2:00 pm

The Raiders wrapped up their first full offseason under coach Antonio Pierce this week. Next up is training camp in Costa Mesa, California, in late July.

Plenty of questions abound.

Here is a sample of what fans are asking about in this week’s mailbag:

Matt Berger (@matt_berger): Who would you say has the edge in the quarterback competition going into training camp? Are there any other position battles we need to keep an eye on?

Vincent Bonsignore: Not trying to evade the question, but it would be unfair to either quarterback to determine a true leader during a phase of workouts that prioritized installation over evaluation.

It was obvious throughout the organized team activity practices and minicamp that the offense was at the infant stage of learning and implementing the new scheme under Luke Getsy.

The Raiders began each OTA day by installing a segment of the offense in the classroom and then practicing it on the field. By the next day, they had moved on to a new segment. That doesn’t provide a lot of time to master anything. The result was an offense that played with a sense of uncertainty rather than confidence.

There will be a time to evaluate which quarterback gives the Raiders the best chance to win. OTAs and minicamp were not that setting.

Ian Myles MD/MPH (@lcdriammdmph): How much of the offensive struggles reported in camp are due to going against our defense? Are good days for the defense creating the offensive struggles?

Bonsignore: That definitely plays into it, as did what we discussed above. Ultimately, going head-to-head with that defense will benefit the Raiders’ offense. It is bound to improve by competing against a group that has a chance to be a top-10 unit in the NFL.

Shawn Johnson (@Godfather_JS): Can you give us three names that the Raiders could sign in free agency post-mini-camp?

Bonsignore: Cornerbacks Adoree Jackson and Stephon Gilmore. Offensive tackle David Bakhtiari.

Ricardo López (@RicardoL0305): How optimistic are you that quarterbacks Aidan O’Connell or Gardner Minshew will vastly improve by the season opener?

Bonsignore: Not just the two quarterbacks, but the entire offense. It’s a long way to go before the Raiders kick off against the Chargers, and plenty of time to create a solid foundation offensively.

OXNARD ROB (@RobertM08377562): What are the chances of the Raiders doing a joint practice with the Cowboys during training camp?

Bonsignore: Still possible, but right now there are no joint practices on the schedule.

Scott4Raiders (@Scott20808636): Listening to your podcast, I agree the Raiders need every moment of practice on the field to get the offense down. So, did it make sense to not use all three days of minicamp to do that, at least for the offense?

Bonsignore: The day off was a thank you from Antonio Pierce to his players for the totality of their work and attendance throughout the offseason. By all accounts, it was deserved.

Pierce checked with Getsy beforehand to make sure the entire offensive playbook had been uploaded to the players, which was one of the primary objectives this offseason. Getsy confirmed to Pierce that it had been, and that created more confidence with Pierce to cancel that last minicamp practice.

Let’s be frank: Nothing that would have happened Thursday would have changed anything at all, one way or another.

Raider Z (@RaiderZ11361754): Are you able to convey to the average fan how long it takes for an offense, let alone the first year of a new offense, to get into rhythm? Adding in the fact that there are almost no preseason games.

Bonsignore: The biggest issue is everyone understanding their role on any given play and executing with confidence rather than uncertainty. It’s the difference between having total command of something compared to an entry-level understanding. That takes time in the classroom and reps on the practice field.

The coaches will ultimately assess where the Raiders are, collectively, with that understanding and craft a season-opening game plan that reflects where they are on the learning curve. If they have a first-base-level understanding of the offense, the Week 1 playbook will reflect that. But wherever they are, it’s on the coaches to put together a game plan that gives them a chance to win.

Kenny Nauta (@kennynautajr): Will you be at the game at SoFi Stadium, Week 1 against the Chargers?

Bonsignore: Absolutely.

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

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