Raiders.com Mailbag: Which specialists will reign supreme in 2018?

Happy training camp eve, Raider Nation.

While half of the Oakland Raiders roster (quarterbacks, rookies, and select injured players) are already here in Napa, the rest of the veterans are due to report tomorrow by noon.

It’s arguably one of the most exciting times of the year, so let’s get to this week’s Raiders.com Mailbag.

Once again, thanks to all of you for tagging your questions with #RaidersMailbag on Twitter, I’m routinely amused by your queries and colorful language.

Alright, to the mailbag!

EP: Okay, so here’s the deal. The Raiders did indeed put a trio of players – P.J. Hall, Donald Penn and Eddie Vanderdoes – on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform aka PUP list Tuesday afternoon, so what exactly does that mean?

Well, let’s start with the obvious, as of right now, those three guys just aren’t physically able to hit the field and practice with the rest of their teammates. However, that’s not a death sentence to their seasons in the least, any of these guys can come off the PUP list at any day, it’s not like they have to stay there for X days or anything like that.

Likely for that reason, any player on the PUP list counts towards the team’s 90-man roster, so that’s certainly something to be mindful of as we progress through camp.

But, back to the trio of Raiders currently on the PUP list, with Penn and Vanderdoes coming off injury, it’s not too surprising, and I wouldn’t lose too much sleep on P.J. Hall being there either just yet, we still have over two weeks until the first week of the preseason.

EP: Jesse, you have come to the right place, my friend.

Following every Raiders’ game this year – including the preseason – you can catch all your postgame coverage on one – if not more – of our digital properties.

Just like last year, every postgame press conference will be live streamed to Raiders.com, along with Periscope, Facebook, as well as YouTube, so you really have no excuse not to see what Head Coach Jon Gruden, Derek Carr and the rest of the fellas have to say.

Also, per usual, we’ll have comprehensive coverage of the game itself on Raiders.com too, so be sure to check out everything there as well.

Our Digital Manager Dave Griffin is also in regular season form as far as the live streams are concerned, so he won’t let you guys down.

EP: Short answer, no.

Yes, I understand that much of the special teams brigade has undergone a complete overhaul this offseason, but change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Andrew DePaola has proven to be a reliable long snapper since he entered the league, and even though a rookie will be handling the punting duties for the Raiders in 2018, Johnny Townsend has all the ability in the world.

As far as the kickers, Eddy Piñeiro and Giorgio Tavecchio will push each other all training camp, so whichever of them emerges as the victors for Week 1, he’ll certainly have earned it.

I know there are a lot of new faces to get used to on that particular area of the Raiders’ roster, but with Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia leading the way, there’s no reason to worry too much.

EP: It sure looks like it.

Nick told our very own Kyle Martin earlier today that he feels “100 percent,” and while we won’t get a full picture of where Nelson is at until the pads come on, he has definitely been moving around pretty well over the past few days.

The Raiders’ cornerbacks have been completely retooled this offseason, and I’m excited to see how the former Wisconsin Badger progresses over the next six weeks, and possibly competes for time.

We still have a long way to go, but starting off camp healthy is a great place to begin.

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