Mailbag: Discussing Derek Carr, additions to the pass rush 

Sunday was a tough one, no two ways about it.

The Oakland Raiders were oh so close to notching their first win of 2018 – like really close – but a 36-yard Brandon McManus field goal with six seconds left in regulation caused the Silver and Black to fall to 0-2 and 0-1 in the AFC West.

But, we've now shifted our attention to Week 3 and a matchup against the Miami Dolphins in South Florida, in what has now become a very important game for the Raiders in the early goings of the year.

The team will be back on the field Wednesday; on to your questions.

From Charles Robert Mull: Do you think we would have been able to close it out if they would have gotten to Denver earlier and acclimated to the altitude?

EP: Honestly, Charles, I don't think that coming in a day earlier would have played a huge role in what transpired at the end of the game in Denver. Was it hot at Broncos Stadium at Mile High? Absolutely, it was a record-setting day temperature-wise. Was that heat likely exacerbated because of the altitude? Probably, but at the end of the day, the Broncos were playing in the same conditions that the Raiders were. Playing in elevation is always a challenge – regardless of what time you come in for the game – but in this instance, I don't think 24 hours on either end would have made too big of a factor.

From Amanda Bustos: With the addition of Jordy, how much are they going to apply him this week since he was covering on special teams?

EP: First things first, a big shout-out to Jordy for being willing to field punts and play special teams, since I doubt that was what he expected heading into the week, but without the services of Dwayne Harris and Nick Nelson, the veteran wide receiver returned one punt for seven yards, and fair caught two in Denver. On a serious note though, it's cool to see guys like Jordy and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who are willing to contribute on special teams, when that's not likely the role they envisioned for themselves in Silver and Black. Back to your question though, if either Harris or Nick Nelson are able to go in Miami, I doubt we'll see Jordy fielding punts. Through two weeks, the veteran wide receiver has five catches for 53 yards, but I wouldn't be too concerned just yet. I think Jordy will have a big week against a Dolphins secondary that ranks No. 24 against the pass.

From Robert Barragan: I believe Fadol Brown and Shilique Calhoun should get some run to rush the passer and show what they got.  Johnson is over the hill and has no impact on the field...

EP: A lot going on there, Robert, so let's start at the beginning. Well, you'll be pleased to hear that the Raiders signed Calhoun back to the active roster from the practice squad Tuesday, meaning that the former third-round draft pick will likely get a chance to get after the quarterback sooner than later. Head Coach Jon Gruden said earlier this week that his team needs to find a way generate more of a pass rush, and this is likely a move to help in that regard. As far as Derrick Johnson is concerned, the man was one tackle away from tying Tahir Whitehead for the team lead Sunday afternoon; I'd call that an impact…

From Robert Warren: When is Carr going to throw the long ball again?

EP: Boy, what does Derek have to do to keep you guys happy? I joke, I joke… But seriously the man was a machine against the Broncos connecting on 29 of 32 passes – eight of which went for 20-or-more yards. That said, I have a feeling you're asking about when we'll see D.C. lean back, and launch a 65-yard dart like we've seen him do throughout his career. Well, I think No. 4 is going to get his chances to do that; stay tuned.

From Jerald Meadows: How can u take any guy wearing pink sock seriously talking about football?

EP: Jerald, I'd like to first thank you for watching "Raiders Live" – it airs every Tuesday afternoon on Facebook – but come on, man, I know you don't mean that about the socks.

Life needs a little color; make sure you bookmark next week's episode for a special treat.

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