The Raiders are about two weeks away from the start of training camp, and their fans still have plenty of questions.
From wondering about breakout players to scheme fits to training camp philosophy, here is a sampling of what arrived in this week’s mailbag:
Scott Glass (@saglass92): Is defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s 3-4 defense style going to translate with the veterans of this team? We always hear about how some players don’t adapt well when switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 or vice versa. Is that still relevant or not so much anymore?
Vincent Bonsignore: The Raiders actually caught a break as so many of last year’s defensive linemen were on one-year contracts. That made it much easier to move on from players who didn’t fit the defensive front skill-set, and technique needs and freed them up to add players that did.
How does Cle Ferrell adapt — and maybe flourish — moving from defensive end to defensive tackle? Can Maxx Crosby expand his game from being just a hand-in-the-ground defensive end, to one who can play out of a two-point stance? Can Denzel Perryman be an adequate inside linebacker in this formation? It’s easy to assume everyone will adapt and thrive, but that might be presumptuous.
Aaron (@aaronbeastmode0): Who do you think is going to have a major turnaround year?
VB: Very good question. There is no guarantee this happens, of course, but second-year offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood could be in a position to take a big step forward. The Raiders really need Leatherwood to solidify either right tackle or guard position, and if it’s the former that will go a long way toward solidifying the offensive line.
Ricardo Peña (@Ricardo31768549): What differences do you foresee in this year’s training camp with the new staff?
VB: We’re curious to see if the new coaching staff creates a more physical training camp. That is one in which tackling becomes slightly more emphasized. Also curious to find out how much — if at all — starters play during the preseason.
psychedelic Raider (@Epona_117): All I keep hearing is Hunter Renfrow’s production is going to drop back down because of the Davante Adams acquisition. I don’t believe that’s necessarily true in Josh McDaniel’s’ offense. That being said, I think he’s going to have 100-plus catches this season. What do you think?
VB: It’s not a foregone conclusion Renfrow’s numbers decrease. They might increase thanks to all the focus on Adams and Darren Waller. Without question, all three will put up big numbers is they stay healthy.
Actually, your prediction looks really good.