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Del Rio: Let's let Aldon Smith 'get his life in order'

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Back on Nov. 4, suspended Raiders pass rusher Aldon Smith told the Associated Press that he would be back with his teammates in two weeks.

Head coach Jack Del Rio wants to pump the breaks on that just a bit.

"That's a wait-and-see, hope-for-the-best situations," Del Rio in his Monday press conference, via CSN Bay Area. "The way I've thought about it, and I haven't thought a whole lot about it since, is that let's let the young man get his life in order first. If he can do that, then we can talk about football. Let's make sure his life is in order, and I'm sure that's what the commissioner will do before he decides whether he's going to reinstate him or not."

Smith applied for reinstatement last month and is eligible for reinstatement on Nov. 17, though his application must be approved by Commissioner Roger Goodell.

It's nearly impossible for a coach to count on anything from a suspended player, even if the prospects are so enticing. Just ask Browns coach Hue Jackson, who spent the entire offseason downplaying the potential explosiveness of a Josh Gordon/Terrelle Pryor receiving tandem. Aldon Smith, who appears to be in excellent shape, would theoretically give the Raiders three of the best 10 speed rushers in football, but even Black Jack Del Rio knows it's not wise to count his chips before the end of the game. There is only one member of the Raiders staff who is allowed to keep in contact with Smith (player engagement director Lamont Winston) and Del Rio is not that person.

Oakland is currently 28th in passing yards surrendered per game and tied for second to last in sacks. Their opposing passer rating (93) is also among the worst in the league, though stats only tell a certain portion of the story. The team has rebounded nicely of late and seems to be putting the pieces together. Smith and Mario Edwards Jr., who is also nearing a return from a preseason hip injury, would help that process immensely.

In terms of name-brand talent in a front seven, an Oakland platoon that contained Bruce Irvin, Khalil Mack, Edwards and Smith could rival just about any in terms of on-paper talent, with the Giants, Seahawks, Panthers and Broncos also coming to mind.

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