RaiderRamble.com checks in with Matt Schneidman of The Mercury News

RaiderRamble.com checked in with Matt Schneidman to briefly discuss some this week’s events regarding the Raiders.

Before we begin, a big thank you to Mr. Schneidman for taking the time to talk Raiders with us this week.

What was the mood in practice yesterday and why did Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin have the day off?

It seemed a little tense, not only because of where the team sits at 4-6 but also because of the staff change in firing Ken Norton Jr. I think the mood is more of a reflection of the team’s record obviously because this was a team that expected to be among the elite of the AFC and the NFL. But they’ve fallen short of that, there’s also a sense of optimism because of how bad the AFC has been this year and the fact they’re only two games out of 1st place,

As far as Mack and Irvin, the team spokesman said it was a rest day for both of them. People have their speculations if it had to do with Norton’s firing as he was Irvin’s linebackers coach in Seattle and was close to him and right after Tweeted an expletive in all caps. Neither one was talking about it in the locker room as expected. There’s room for speculation since Irvin hasn’t missed a practice all season, definitely some tense times around the organization.

What exactly do you think has happened with the offense? It seems this offense has regressed so much under Todd Downing, is he the long-term answer at offensive coordinator?

I don’t think Downing is going to be gone next year, given that former offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is now the offensive coordinator with the Broncos, it’s kinda of timely the Raiders are going thru staff changes as they’re about to face their former offensive coordinator.

We spoke with Derek Carr who stated how much he loved Musgrave and professed about his great relationship with Downing as some people speculate how much say he had with the change at offensive coordinator. But the main the reason for the drop-off is that Carr hasn’t been as great as last year, whether it’s the injury or his receivers dropping balls, but it’s not all on him. For whatever reason it may be; its been a combination of a little bit of everything that has kept Carr from elevating this offense.

At this point, given the teams’ struggles, firing their defensive coordinator in November, do the Raiders still make the playoffs?

I don’t. I’m hesitant to say 8-8 will get them into the playoffs but 9-7 will. I see more than two losses on the schedule; Kansas City and playing at Philadelphia, those are two losses that could knock them out. They beat Dallas (who’ll be without Ezekiel Elliot) and the Chargers, finishing 8-8 just outside the playoff race. If I had to guess, they’ll miss out on the playoffs this year.

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