The Las Vegas Raiders lost their head coach this week when Jon Gruden resigned amid controversy on Monday, October 11. However, the NFL season doesn’t stop for them. Interim head coach Rich Bisaccia has to move on and try to salvage a once-promising season.
In the first roster move of the post-Gruden era, the Raiders are releasing quarterback Kyle Sloter, per NFL reporter Tom Pelissero.
Sloter was on the practice squad and had not played in a game for the team. He was mostly around to replace the injured Marcus Mariota. The former Denver Broncos quarterback spent some of the offseason with the Raiders before getting cut prior to training camp. He was brought back once Mariota got hurt but was never part of the active roster. Despite being in the NFL since 2017, Sloter has never played in a regular-season game.
Sloter actually made some headlines in early October when he was caught mocking Dr. Anthony Fauci on Twitter over a video of Fauci talking about COVID-19 data. He deleted the tweet and nothing serious came from it but the Raiders certainly don’t need to be worrying about a fourth-string quarterback stirring controversy considering the team’s current situation.
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Mariota Likely to Return Soon
With Sloter getting cut, this almost guarantees that we’ll be seeing Mariota come off the injured reserve soon. The Raiders’ backup quarterback was hurt on his first play of the season in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. The team had plans to play him in certain packages but had to abandon that once he was hurt.
Prior to his resignation, Gruden indicated that Mariota could return this week. Now that the coach is gone, it remains to be seen if the team will use the quarterback in any creative ways. The Raiders have already had two injury scares with Derek Carr so could avoid putting Mariota on the field to ensure he stays healthy. With so many new variables getting thrown at the team, it’s anybody’s guess what the Raiders will look like going forward.
What Will the Raiders Offense Look Like?
Gruden was an offensive-minded head coach and ran the show on that side of the ball. He called all the plays, wrote the playbook and spent most of his time working on the offense. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson will now take over the offense and playcalling.
Though he’s never been an elite offensive mind, he’s coached a lot of years in the NFL and has spent over four years coaching Carr. He also has plenty of experience calling plays. Olson is not the offensive mind that Gruden is but the Raiders still have access to all his plays and Carr was given a lot of freedom to operate the offense. How the offense performs going forward will likely be dictated by Carr.
There’s a lot of pressure on the quarterback right now to keep the team afloat. One thing that could work in the Raiders’ favor is that Gruden can be one of the most conservative play-callers in the NFL. Perhaps the team can be more aggressive as there isn’t much to lose this year. Who knows, perhaps that could be a recipe for success?