Matthew asks: Will our front 7 be able to compensate for the deficiencies of the secondary? In other words, will we be able to stop the run at the line and pressure the QB adequately?
Stop the run? Yes. Pressure the QB? That is far less certain. They have two large, lane cloggers in the middle in Dan Williams and Justin Ellis, added Mario Edwards, whose strong suit is stopping the run, and we know Khalil Mack can help stop the run from his linebacker spot.
The pass rush is far more concerning. Tuck led the team last year with 5.0 sacks. That's pathetic. And he's now 32 years old. Mack should take the next step and begin turning those pressures into sacks, but it's anyone's guess where else the pressure will be coming from. So, I would say no, they probably won't be able to mask the deficiencies of the secondary.
Vanrick asks: Do u think they will use [Amari] Cooper as a kick returner (like Tim Brown) or was that just an experiment?
I wouldn't say it's an experiment per se. While I don't expect they currently intend on using Cooper as a kick returner, it isn't out of the realm of possibility. They draft Andre Debose for that job, but he was lost to an Achilles injury. They replaced him with Trindon Holliday.
Also remember about Tim Brown, he was a return man first. He was named to his first Pro Bowl as a returner and his return abilities at Notre Dame helped him win the Heisman. Cooper did not return kicks at Alabama because he was so vital to them as a receiver. For all these reasons, I think they stick with him as a wide receiver only.
Mark asks: How much of a distraction, if any, do you think the stadium/city uncertainty will be for the team this year?
Jack Del Rio was asked this question during OTA's and he said "In this building, it's all about football." I believe that to honestly be the case. All these guys want to play their best and win. They are focused on 2015 in Oakland right now.
Tony asks: Where will the Raiders be playing in 2017? Any chance they stay in OAK?
Sure, there's a chance. All the reports and details coming out have not offered a lot in the way of hope for the Raiders staying in Oakland. But that doesn't mean all is lost in that regard. Keep in mind, the proposals being made have not appeared to be ideal, but that doesn't mean they are impossible. If you are in Oakland, you absolutely should be concerned. Burying one's head in the sand and denying the possibility the Raiders could leave won't do anyone any good. But all is not lost until they're packing up the moving trucks. As to your billion dollar question about where they will play in 2017 (or 2016), it cannot be answered definitively at this time. No one knows that. Though the current status leans toward Carson as having the most potential.
Sammy asks: Do you think the Raiders will use more of a multiple TE offense like New England?
I sure do. Bill Musgrave is known for his multiple tight end sets. After being drafted, Clive Walford said he models his game after Rob Gronkowski. And while that's kind of a "Well, yeah" type moment as Gronk is the best in the game, the interesting part is I expect he will be used in much the same way as Gronk with Mychal Rivera in the H-back role formerly held in New England by Aaron Hernandez. Rivera has always had the skillset of an H-back and in this offense I expect he will get to utilize it. Lee Smith will also see a lot of time due to his blocking skills.
Bridge keeper asks:
.@LeviDamien pic.twitter.com/0ZfdhHw9VV— Chris McClain (@ChrisMcClain) July 3, 2015
Ooh, that's a tough one. Well, growing up red was my favorite color for sure. Being a Blazers fan helped with that. At some point I was really into teal, but that was more of a 90s trend. I have been told I should wear blue as it brings out the color of my eyes. I do have a lot of blue in my wardrobe, but I find mostly I have a lot of greys. I wish you'd have just asked what the capital of Assyria is. That's a much easier question.