Friday Mailbag: Training Camp Underway

071715-mailbag-2-cp.jpg Senior Editor Jerry Knaak answers the questions you submitted via social media as Training Camp 2015 gets underway in Napa.

It's an exciting time Raider Nation. Training Camp kicked off today. Let's get to your questions.

From Nikolaus M: What is the Raiders starting D and O line probably gonna look like???

JK: Large, angry men. Guard Gabe Jackson looked fast and nasty in the first practice today. We'll see what the starting lineup looks like soon. The front seven on defense looks to be improved already from what I saw today. Linebackers Khalil Mack and Curtis Lofton made nice plays behind the line. Sunday's first padded practice will be a better indication.

From Mason C: Who will be the backup to Latavius Murray??

JK: This is a competition I will be watching intensely. Preseason will be very important. Trent Richardson is starting camp on the Non-Football Illness list and Michael Dyer took advantage of the extra reps in the first practice. Roy Helu, Jr., is a jack-of-all-trades type player.

From Mark L: Will Del Rio switch to a 3-4 Defense or at least use it more?

JK: Head Coach Jack Del Rio has said that he doesn't want to do his opponent's scouting for them. That being said, Coach Del Rio has primarily employed a 4-3 set during his career. However, just like with the offense, I think you just might see everything, including the kitchen sink, thrown at opposing offenses. I fully expect the defensive staff to utilize their players' strengths and scheme to what they do best.

From Chris G: People are really excited about rookie TE Walford but Rivera has been solid for the Raiders. Will we see lots of 2-TE sets?

JK: Clive Walford didn't participate today. Lee Smith was used as an inline blocker and Mychal Rivera made some nice catches over the middle. That was today. It'll be interesting to see how this unfolds during camp. I can't speak to formations, but quarterback  Derek Carr makes it sound like you'll see anything and everything.

From Alan P: What is one position battle to watch that people aren't talking about?

JK: Alan, that's a good question. Kick and punt returner intrigues me. If you look at last year, Latavius and Murray and TJ Carrie were the primary return men, and by the end of the year, Charles Woodson was returning punts. Trindon Holliday has started camp on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. Taiwan Jones came out today and looked as fast as ever. Competition all along the defensive line has been a bit quiet as well. Keep an eye on the draft pick, Mario Edwards Jr.

From Dwayne L: who starting in the slot or who is the #1 guy right now?

JK: Again, talking about the "slot" gets more into situational football. With Rod Streater still on the shelf, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Andre Holmes are getting the three-wide looks. All the receivers are working hard and catching the ball well.

From Michael R: How do the Raiders see Benson Mayowa now and into the future, as a career role player or potential starter down the road? Does he have a shot at the DE spot?

JK: Benson played well after coming over from the Seattle Seahawks last year. He has a high-motor and doesn't seem to give up on a play. He has as good as shot as anyone. You can never have enough pass rushers.

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