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Raiders.com Mailbag: Talking defense, additions to the roster

The Mailbag never rests, even on a short week.

Monday Night Football didn’t go quite to plan for the Oakland Raiders, but with a road trip to Denver coming up fast, there’s not too much time to marinate on the loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

It’s been a busy week around here at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway; on to your questions.

From Rob Saucedo: Are we going to see more linebacker blitzing or even safety blitzing to put pressure on the qb and play man to man with Melvin and Conley and Rodgers-cromartie?

EP: I think we’re going to see Paul Guenther get creative with ways for his defense to get after the quarterback going forward. Head Coach Jon Gruden has said on multiple occasions that there are a ton of ways to put pressure on the opposing signal-caller aside from the traditional rush, and while I think we got a little taste of that Monday night, I expect to see a lot more of it going forward. Leon Hall blitzed off the edge against the Rams, and while he didn’t get home, forcing an offense to account for the possibility of a blitz is something that could play to a defense’s strength as the game wears on. But to answer your question, yes, I think we’ll see some creative ways to force pressure in the coming weeks.

From Anthony Lovato: I believe in Carr and know he will continue to get better. I liked how we pounded the rock in the first drive, are we gonna continue that way? Also Jared cook is a beast! But we just need to execute better to cooper and Jordy. Don't know if who'd fault it lands on but Carr and cooper and Jordy are all way too good of players to not get better in week 2.

EP: A lot going on there, Anthony, but let’s dissect it together. You believe in Derek Carr still? Cool, me too… Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way; do I think the Raiders will continue to pound the rock like they did in the first half of Monday night’s game? Short answer, I do. Coach Gruden has been open about his desire to control the line of scrimmage, and the best way to do this is to establish a running game, and keep going back to it. Now, I certainly think D.C. is going to get his chances to air it out, but I think establishing a presence on the ground is going to be huge. Also, I agree with you on the rest of your entry; it’s been one week, r-e-l-a-x.

From Jesse Dewald: Why was Karl Joseph not starting?

EP: This is a question we’ve gotten a lot this week, particularly considering that Karl only played seven defensive snaps against the Rams, which came after Marcus Gilchrist was forced to leave the game because of injury. Well, I’ll echo what Coach Gruden said Tuesday, and say that I expect to see a lot more of No. 42 out on the field in the coming weeks.

“It’s just a matter of time, it’s our first game,” Gruden said. “I don’t want to read too much into it. The Rams are a diverse, complex offense and we chose to go with a unit that we felt gave us the best chance but you will see more and more of Karl here in the coming weeks.”

So, there you have it; while Joseph didn’t start last week, I would be pretty surprised if we didn’t see an uptick in the physical safety’s playtime Sunday afternoon in Colorado.

From Brian Stegman: Any new look my snappers in mind? Heard he is out for the season.

EP: Brian, unfortunately, you are correct, Andrew DePaola was indeed put on the Reserve/Injured List Wednesday, and the new guy will be Trent Sieg. The former Colorado State Ram was signed by the Baltimore Ravens after the end of this year’s draft, and it looks like he’ll be handling the long snapping duties going forward.

Since we’re talking about Mr. Sieg, be sure to follow him on twitter @tsieg58.

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