Backup quarterback Marcus Mariota was a significant part of the Raiders’ big Thanksgiving victory over the Cowboys, scoring a rushing touchdown on a zone-read in the third quarter.
Mariota has been used as a sort of wild-card option for Las Vegas on offense this season, though he got hurt on his longest play — a 31-yard run back in the Week One win over Baltimore.
As the Raiders continue to be in the thick of the AFC playoff picture, interim head coach Rich Bisaccia said Las Vegas will continue to utilize Mariota in certain spots.
“I think you saw [offensive coordinator] Greg [Olson] do a great job of this week is, we had him in there multiple times and he ends up scoring a touchdown for us because of his athletic ability and what he can do in certain situations, but certainly what we are asking him to do,” Bisaccia said in his Monday press conference. “Without giving too much away, I think he is hopefully going to be a part of the packages as we go forward. He practices like he’s preparing to play all the time. And the other thing is, it’s really hard to take No. 4 [Derek Carr] out from behind the center as well, especially if he’s playing the way he played on Thanksgiving Day.”
But Carr didn’t seem to have any problem with Mariota taking a snap, especially since he was goading cornerback Trevon Diggs to press him at the line of scrimmage. Bisaccia also credited Carr for the way he supported Mariota, particularly on the scoring play.
“I think on the touchdown, you saw Derek might have been the first or second guy out there to congratulate him. So, I think Derek is about the team,” Bisaccia said. “Derek is about doing whatever we can do to put ourselves in position to win a game. I think you see it by the way in which he prepares, by the way in which he plays, and they certainly have a professional relationship with respect to each other’s job and what they are trying to do to help us win.
“So, I don’t feel like that’s an issue in any way. I just feel like they are certainly competitors, but I certainly think they want to do whatever they can do to help us win games.”
The Raiders will next have a chance to deploy the Mariota Package against Washington on Sunday.