Tonight, the Raiders play the Green Bay Packers in Oakland. More importantly, this game brings the season opener that much closer. For Oakland and its rabid fanbase, preseason is unavoidable, filled with waiting, and hot takes. These provide even less entertainment than watching fourth-stringers compete. Yet, this week, a collection of odd exists.
So Long, Obi
Yesterday, the Raiders released second-year safety Obi Melifonwu. While Melifonwu possessed phenomenal physical traits, his health betrayed him. The best ability remains availability. To that end, Melifonwu could not get necessary reps. In that case that, should hold the blame. Frankly, injuries remain the most arbitrary. However, Reggie McKenzie drafted Melifonwu. In that case, fault should reside there. While Melifonwu played well at UConn, his NFL career in Oakland never took off. When the Raiders did play him, he lined up as a corner. As a result, the Patriots tortured the Raiders in Mexico.
Although Khalil Mack and Von Miller play on division rivals, mutual respect exists, Miller commented on the Mack/Aaron Donald situation. (Credit Mike Klis, Denver9)
“In the National Football League, if you come in and produce, you get a contract. Both of those guys have gone above and beyond the call their team has demanded from those guys. Both of those guys deserve to be the highest-paid defensive player.’’
In essence and reality, Miller speaks the truth. Khalil Mack deserves a raise. With that said, he will be paid. Despite various reports of team interest, the Raiders will pay him his money.
Perhaps, no other position coach boasts the tasks of Derrick Ansley. In his first season in Oakland, the secondary coach must work with a complete revamped roster. Moreover, the mix of veterans and young players should keep him on his toes. For every Gareon Conley, a veteran mentor can jump in and advise. For Ansley, that should eliminate the stress of coaching a large position group.
When the Raiders host the Packers tonight, the focus of the game needs to be health. In preseason, injuries remain the scariest part of the games. Yet, by sitting some starters, Jon Gruden seemingly has the right approach. Look at the litany of early injuries here.