Thursday, August 6, 2020

Will Raiders’ Derek Carr be looking over shoulder at Marcus Mariota?

Who stated Los Angeles NFL followers can root just for the Rams and the Chargers?

The Raiders’ transfer from Oakland to Las Vegas means there may be one other staff inside a four-hour drive from L.A. It’s no secret that the Raiders have a powerful fan base in Southern California, and it’s affordable to consider the trustworthy will make weekend journeys to Sin Metropolis when followers are allowed inside Allegiant Stadium.

They in all probability can be anticipating extra success after the staff completed 7-9 final season. It’s the third consecutive yr the Raiders had a dropping season. To show that round, the Raiders might want to discover solutions to some key questions as they enter coaching camp:

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How quick will Derek Carr’s leash be?

The Raiders signed quarterback Marcus Mariota to a two-year, $17.6 million-deal in March to again up starter Derek Carr.

Mariota, a former No. 2 general draft choose, began 4 full seasons for the Tennessee Titans, however was benched in Week 6 final yr in favor of Ryan Tannehill, the previous starter for the Miami Dolphins who had signed with Tennessee within the offseason. Tannehill led the Titans to the AFC championship sport and signed a long-term deal.

Carr threw for greater than 4,000 yards and had a 70.Four completion proportion, however handed for less than 21 touchdowns. Regardless of making three Professional Bowls, Carr has just one profitable season because the Raiders’ quarterback.

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Carr would be the presumed starter, however coach Jon Gruden may plug in Mariota, who’s extra cellular and athletic, if Carr doesn’t produce within the win column.

How will the Raiders’ receiving corps carry out?

Gruden and basic supervisor Mike Mayock thought that they had solidified a No.1 possibility at vast receiver final offseason after they signed Antonio Brown.

However we know the way that ended. Brown is now and not using a staff and suspended.

To handle that want, the Raiders drafted Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III in April with their first-round choose. Ruggs ran the quickest 40-yard sprint on the NFL scouting mix, clocking at 4.27 seconds. His velocity ought to complement the group and pressure defenses to respect the lengthy ball.

The staff additionally signed free agent Nelson Agholor, the previous USC standout, to a team-friendly one-year deal value simply greater than $1 million. The five-year veteran may add management to the group and has a Tremendous Bowl-winning resumé with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017. He struggled final season, nonetheless, with accidents and drops.

Hunter Renfrow proved reliable within the slot final season as a rookie, accumulating 605 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tyrell Williams posted comparable numbers, with 651 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. The Raiders additionally drafted two rookies, Lynn Bowden Jr. and Bryan Edwards, this spring.

Can Josh Jacobs construct off his rookie season?

Working again Josh Jacobs set a excessive bar in his inaugural marketing campaign final season.

In 13 video games, the No. 24 general choose from Alabama rushed for 1,150 yards, rating 13th within the league. He was a reliable possibility for the Raiders, averaging 4.eight yards per carry and fumbling solely as soon as. He broke the staff’s rookie speeding yards file and produced 5 100-yard video games.

Defenses must sport plan round Jacobs in his second season, however in the event that they focus closely on the run it would current extra alternatives for receivers, particularly with Ruggs’ velocity spreading the sphere.

Will the new-look secondary be up for the problem?

In a convention with go catchers equivalent to Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Keenan Allen, the Raiders’ defensive backfield undoubtedly can be challenged.

Up to now two seasons, the secondary was utterly overhauled. No starters stay from 2018. Camp for this group can be stuffed with new faces and must be very aggressive.

The Raiders signed three veterans in free company — cornerback Prince Amukamara and safeties Damarious Randall and Jeff Heath. Within the draft, they chose cornerbacks Damon Arnette and Amik Robertson within the first and fourth rounds, respectively.

Mayock stated he can pay particular consideration to the defensive backs at camp, particularly these latest additions.

“I’m most anxious to see the secondary. … We’ve acquired some good younger expertise and I’m anxious to see who competes,” Mayock instructed the Athletic.

Can the defensive entrance enhance?

The Raiders have been attempting to redefine their go rush since they traded Khalil Mack in 2018. Rookie defensive ends Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell mixed for 14.5 sacks final season, providing glimpses of what might be a vibrant future. The staff collected solely 32 sacks, nonetheless, and Crosby accounted for 10 of them.

It’s unrealistic to anticipate the secondary to cowl elite receivers and not using a constant go rush. Offenses will shift protections to cease Crosby too in the event that they really feel he’s the one menace.

Look to see how offseason additions Maliek Collins and Carl Nassib, together with third-year participant Maurice Hurst, are used alongside the line of defense to use stress.

Can the staff regulate to a brand new metropolis and strange circumstances?

All the Xs and O’s might need been considerably overshadowed by the staff’s relocation to the Sin Metropolis, if it wasn’t for the pandemic.

The coronavirus forcing the NFL to cancel preseason video games means the earliest the Raiders will play of their $1.84-billon new stadium can be Sept. 21 on “Monday Evening Soccer” towards the New Orleans Saints, and there won’t be any followers current.

Making an attempt to acclimate to a brand new metropolis with no visible assist can be fairly a problem. Plus, the Raiders definitely had anticipated followers to make journeys to Vegas, however as camp begins — as with every thing else within the NFL — there may be a number of uncertainty on and off the sphere.



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