Raiders.com Week 2 Mailbag Questions Answered

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From Jim T: What do you expect to be the biggest change from Week 1 to Week 2 with this team?

JK: Energy. Call it what you will, but the only word I can come up for last week is "flat." I think the team will come out fired up and ready to go, flying around on defense and having a lot of steam in their stride.

From Roy D: What happened to the smashmouth running game we heard so much about?

JK: Once a game turns a certain way, it's understandable that the game plan kind of goes out the window. Also, when you don't have early success running the ball, and the score starts to get away from you, the tendency is to go to the air.

From Serekh M: Do we plan to establish a physical running identity? Or will we be a pass happy team?

JK: Balanced is the word I would use. I think balance is the ultimate goal.

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From Joel G**: If Butler doesn't meet the 5th-round conditional pick requirements, do the Raiders get anything for the trade?

JK: The Raiders would get a 6th round pick.

From Paul C: Has there been a difference in practice this week after Week One's performance?

JK: According to the head coach and the coordinators, the team is supremely focused on erasing what happened against the Bengals and putting forth a better effort against the Ravens. Last week is not what anyone in the entire organization expected.

From Ray R: What is preventing the offense pushing the ball downfield?

JK: One game does not a season make. The Bengals seemed to have a good plan and they were able to make the Raiders quarterbacks uncomfortable in the pocket. One explosive play to wide receiver Amari Cooper was shortened due to a penalty, and a deep shot to tight end Mychal Rivera was intercepted. With the weapons on the team, as long as the quarterback has adequate protection, the deeper throws will come.

From Frank J: Is Carr going to play this Sunday against Baltimore?

JK: It sure looks that way. He has been a full participant in every practice this week.

From Eric S: Are we gonna shocked the world with a WIN this Sunday?

JK: On any given Sunday…

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Raiders practice Thursday afternoon with common goals in mind for Week 2 of the regular season.

From Robert M**: Is the Raiders D-Line going to get to Joe Flacco?

JK: The Ravens offensive line has been stout and reliable over the years, it's been one of their hallmarks. However, the Raiders have several explosive and capable pass rushers in Khalil Mack, Justin Tuck, and now Aldon Smith. Something has to give. And after last week's inability to get to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, I think defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr., and the defense are going to ratchet things up a bit.

From Alex B: Is there any thought of putting Aldon Smith at DE and Mack back to LB?

JK: I don't know if those conversations have taken place. I think the coaching staff is going to start to get very creative in how those players are used.

From Steven B: Are the Raiders going to blitz more this Sunday?

JK: I am not invited to the meetings. However, Coach Norton said this week that the defense will do what the situation calls for.

Daniel D: Is there a greater sense of urgency with the team this week?

JK: There's always a sense of urgency. Many players said last week was a punch in the mouth. Now they have to punch back.

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