Raiders Mailbag: Derek Carr starter, CB solutions, defensive scheme and more


With so much to talk about on Wednesday, I decided to push back our weekly mailbag to Thursday. So as you kill time waiting for tonight’s preseason game, check out what was on the minds of some other Raiders fans:

That is an incredibly tough question. My best guess is threefold. Either he plays no games, 12 games or two games. If Schaub is able to impress the coaching staff, he will hang on to the starting job and Carr will never see the field during his rookie season (the ideal way for things to play out). If Schaub is horrific, he will likely be out by the bye week and Carr will take over for the remaining 12 games. If Schaub is not bad enough to justify benching him, but not good enough to take the Raiders anywhere, I would not be surprised if Allen gave Carr a couple of games at the end of a lost season to get his feet wet before hopefully becoming a starter in his sophomore season.

Carlos Rodgers definitely makes the team in my opinion. He has played much better this preseason than I expected and likely better than almost anyone expected. He has been the best corner on the team truth be told. Now if we are talking about his partner in crime, Tarell Brown, now we have a real conversation. I still do not think Brown gets cut only because there is really no one to replace him with. But I could see him getting demoted from a starting role and relegated to being a back up. But cutting either guy doesn’t make a lot of sense. You can keep them on the roster for depth and still give the young guys more reps.

Pretty simple answer that is two fold. First of all, it’s Allen’s plan. He has said all along that he wants to start Matt Schaub and allow Derek Carr to sit as a rookie, an idea that has more of a basis in sitting Carr than it does in starting Schaub. The second reason is that Allen simply does not believe that Schaub has played that badly. If you listen to some Raiders fans, who let’s be perfectly honest are a group that get excited/upset rather easily, Schaub had the worst preseason known to mankind. But that is simply foolish. Has he impressed? No, not at all. Has be been horrible? No, not at all. He has not been good and needs to improve, but “looks like an infant” is the exact kind of hyperbole that Raiders fans are prone to and that commonly causes those outside of Raider Nation to mock them.

I would expect to see a little of everything. When it comes to the front seven, I would expect guys to be playing from all kinds of different positions, forcing the offensive line to re-assess the defense and where people are playing. That is why he got guys on the defensive line and in the linebacker group who are versatile and can play multiple positions. It will allow Tarver to confuse offenses by constantly showing them something different. And not just in the formations, but in terms of where different guys are going to be coming from. Imagine on a pass play needing to figure out and remember where Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith, Sio Moore and Khalil Mack are coming from. Because guess what? It won’t be the same place every time. Obviously, I would also expect to see a good amount of blitzing. Not quite to the level we saw in 2013 when the defensive line could not get any pressure without the blitz, but still a good amount. And for the blitzes to come from all over and from all kinds of players. Mack, Moore, Roach, Charles Woodson and Usama Young are all guys who excel at blitzing the passer and Tyvon Branch and the corners could also be utilized for blitzes.

I would say there is about a 99.9% chance that Reggie McKenzie adds someone after the final roster cuts are made. There is a lot of talent that gets cut on the final day, and with the Raiders absolutely struggling with depth at tight end and along the defensive line, I would actually be very surprised if McKenzie did NOT add anyone after final cuts are made this weekend.

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