Holler at the Hosts: Raiders opinions from the Black Hole Banter Podcast co-hosts

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07: Oakland Raiders quarterback Connor Cook (8) hands off to Oakland Raiders running back Latavius Murray (28) during the NFL AFC Wild Card game between the Oakland Raiders and Houston Texans on January 7, 2017, at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire)

Time for the first ever “Holler at the Hosts” question and opinion session with the two hosts of the Black Hole Banter Podcast: James Arcellana and Your Boy Q. Periodically, these two founding members of Black Hole Banter will field questions from Raiders fans on Twitter and provide out opinions here on the blog.

So let’s not waste any time and get right to the questions!

I believe the CB the Raiders have on the roster are decent, but an upgrade during the draft is what I would like Reggie McKenzie to do and to prioritize. FA’s should only be used to fill voids for the short term but through the Draft you can get some solid pieces for years to come.

I don’t believe CB is nearly as urgent a need as some others. But that belief is also party founded upon the idea that Sean Smith is not as bad as he looked this season. The problem with that foundation is that I believe Smith was misused by Ken Norton, Jr. and I have no reason to believe that will be fixed. So I wouldn’t mind an upgrade at CB but also don’t think it’s absolutely necessary.

I don’t know if the Raiders should get bigger at LB, but I do know they need to get better. The LB corps for the Raiders in paticular the MLB position has been the Achilles heel of the Raiders defense for the last two seasons. Every year the Raiders find a guy that is good for a couple games, then its an issue again. Needs major upgrade, prob 1st Rd. of the Draft.

It’s not about bigger, it’s about better. The age of massive middle linebackers who are run stuffing specialists has all but come to an end. Today’s MLB needs to be able to drop into coverage as often or more often than he has to be a run stuffer. I’ll take just an all around better linebacker play in the middle.

To be 100% honest I didn’t know a ton about him until I did some research and this is what I found. He is highly respected as a QB coach and was actually awarded QB of the year in 2015, he also worked closely with Matt Stafford in 2011-13 in 2011 Stafford was over 5,000 yards in 12 and 13 he was just under 5,000 so shows good production. He’s also very close with Derek Carr and most people out believe he will be more aggressive than Musgrave was. Also one more thing to think about is that he is 36 and many teams were reaching out to interview him for their OC position which made the Raiders feel the need to promote him and keep in house. Then look at the fact that Musgrave as good as he was (at times) did not even get a OC position from Denver, that tells me he was not in demand. I think Raider Nation will be pleased with Downing as OC.

I’m not entirely sure how much there is to really know. Downing has spent his career in the NFL working as a quarterbacks coach or assistant quarterbacks coach. This will be his first attempt at calling plays. Downing is fairly young but has already proven to be one of the better quarterbacks coaches in the league having worked with both Matt Stafford and Derek Carr and with both quarterbacks having some of their best performances come under Downing. He is a bit unknown as a coordinator but is a known and valuable commodity as a quarterback coach.

This is a tough question because I’m behind on my Draft research since the Raiders had a very successful season, so as much as I hate to punt on a question I will say with the 24th overall pick the Raiders go Defense. I will update that at some point soon, I’m in the process of breaking down the guys I would like at that spot. Early in my process I’m thinking Quincy Wilson DB Florida, Jarrad Davis LB Florida or Sidney Jones DB Washington and honestly not sure any of the three will be there at 24.

You won’t like this answer but it’s the same answer I give every year to this question around this time. I have no idea. Partially because my draft study doesn’t begin until the season ends. But also partially because the value of these guys as far as where they will be picked, can change dramatically between now and the draft. That being said, I believe the Raiders need to pick the best player available at one of the following positions: DT, OT, MLB, CB or S.

I don’t and I know that’s not what Raiders fans want to hear but I think JDR is committed to KNJ and his scheme. Hopefully with another year of work under their belt they can continue to build and get more guys in who fit the scheme better.

I don’t know why they would. If anything, I could see the scheme getting even more vanilla. In 2015, when the Raiders did not believe they had the necessary players, you saw them get creative with things like a 5-2 formation. But after adding talent, KNJ went crazy conservative and ran a very basic defense. With more talent he might simplify things even more.

The Franchise Tag for RB will be a little bit above $12 million so that’s where you start or at least I do, is Murray a franchise RB ? My opinion No but he’s a guy I would like to be back in the fold. I think Reggie can offer him a 4 year deal with some decent $ up front possibly 10 mill guaranteed, Doug Martin received 5 years 35 million last offseason with 15 guaranteed from Tampa Bay.

A good price to pay for Murray? I would love to bring him back on a deal that averaged about $3-4 million a year. Problem is, that would put him somewhere around the 20th highest paid runningback in the league and I believe other teams would offer more. If they do, I’d let Murray walk as I do not believe he is worth an investment higher than that.

It would have to be a 3rd WR and some more depth along the offensive line. Those have to be addressed for sure, I like Seth Roberts but he is very inconsistent. The Offensive Line is an obvious need after seeing the turnstile at RT and the injuries suffered late.

I think you may have actually missed the biggest need of them all, a pass rushing interior defensive lineman. We;ve got some big boys at defensive tackle but the injury to Mario Edwards, Jr. last season revealed how limited the Raiders are as pass rushers at the defensive tackle position.

They have a lease with the Raiders signed through the 2018 season. If I’m Oakland and especially season ticket holders I may want to kick them out. This will be a very weird ending to a relationship if that is how things end up playing out.

I don’t know to be honest. It depends on the wording found in the lease that the Raiders signed and I don’t know what it says. But, even if the City of Oakland cannot kick the Raiders out, I would not be surprised if they jacked up the price of rent.

Based off the teams the Raiders play in 2017 and the hope the team builds on the success they had this year, I don’t see why they are any less that 10-6 and capped off at 12-4 just like this season.

The schedule next season in terms of teams the Raiders are playing is not very easy. But at the same time, one would hope that this team improves next season and will be better than what we saw this year. If that’s the case, I would imagine this is a team that gets at a minimum 10 wins and potentially 12 or more.

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