With the Rich Bisaccia era officially starting for the Las Vegas Raiders, the coach is starting to make some roster moves. We’ve already seen quarterback Kyle Sloter let go and now the team is adding a couple of players. The Raiders announced that they’re bringing in defensive back Tony Brown and offensive lineman Dan Skipper to be part of the practice squad.
Brown is an interesting player to sign right now as he does have experience. He’s played in 33 career games for the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals, including four starts. Brown played his college ball at Alabama and has blistering speed. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the Combine in 2018. Notably, Brown spent a little bit of time under Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in 2018. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Los Angeles Chargers but didn’t make the regular-season roster. He should have a bit of familiarity with Bradley’s defense.
Skipper has been in the NFL since 2017 but has had limited success on the field. He’s played in nine career games for the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions. He’s not going to be the solution for the Raiders at right tackle but does provide veteran depth. Sloter and defensive back Robert Jackson were the players let go to make room for Skipper and Brown.
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Marcus Mariota Designated for Return
The Raiders also announced that backup quarterback Marcus Mariota is designated for return after a brief stint on the Injured Reserve. Normally a backup quarterback returning isn’t significant news but Las Vegas has already had two injury scares with starter Derek Carr. Last week against the Chicago Bears, Nathan Peterman even had to come in a play a few snaps. There’s no doubt the Raiders would prefer to have Mariota out there than Peterman.
With Gruden gone, it’s hard to know if the team will try out another Mariota package like the one we saw in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens that went for 31 yards. That could be the jolt of life the offense needs right now. We’ll just have to wait and see how creative offensive coordinator Greg Olson will be now that he’s running the play calling.
Bisaccia Not Giving on Season Already
Gruden’s departure came at the worst possible time for the team. The Raiders are 3-2 and one game out of the top spot in the AFC West. Bisaccia is now tasked with taking over a team with enough talent to get into the playoffs. He has no head coaching experience but is one of the most respected coaches on the staff. In his first press conference as the Raiders head coach, Bisaccia made it clear that the team needs to continue to fight.
“We have a good team,” Bisaccia said Wednesday. “We have high expectations. We have high standards. … There’s a bump in the road; it’s not the end of the road.”
Gruden was the man in charge of the Raiders but that doesn’t mean they can’t win without him. It’s time for the players to rally around Bisaccia and win some games.