Raiders.com Week 8 Mailbag Questions Answered

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From Bo S: Do you think Cooper will have a chip on his shoulder facing Darrelle Revis and can he go for 100 yards on him?

JK: I think Oakland Raiders rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper will be the same guy you've seen all year – reliable, explosive. He was bit more demonstrative last week when he scored against San Diego. He was quiet early in that game and then broke-out in a big way. As for his output against the Jets? Anything can happen and usually does. Cooper has had success against the better corners he's faced this season, including Cleveland's Joe Haden and San Diego's Jason Verrett.

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From Tom G**: Now that Clive Walford scored a touchdown is he going to be used more often each week?

JK: Oakland Raiders rookie tight end Clive Walford is just starting to come into his own after playing catch-up. He missed most of training due to injuries and now he is really getting into the mix. I think you will see his role grow from week-to-week as the season goes on.

From Mike C: What will it take for Rod Streater to crack back into the wide receiver rotation?

JK: I think he just needs to keep working hard. Oakland Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio has stated that guys who work hard in practice and show the coaches their desire and make plays in practice will earn playing time.

From Colin K: What is the ceiling for how many Pro Bowlers the Raiders can have this season?

JK: Colin, click and vote! Typically the elite teams will send approximately five to seven to the Pro Bowl. The most I've seen the Raiders send is five after the 2002 season.

From Aharon R: Will the Raiders be looking to stop the run or the pass first and foremost this weekend?

JK: The number one priority for any defense in the national Football League is to stop the run. That being said, the New York Jets have one of the top rushing attacks in all of football, so, safe to say, that will be the top priority. Stop the run, make the Jets one-dimensional and make Ryan Fitzpatrick beat you. Jets running back Chris Ivory is physical, violent runner, but the Raiders get defensive linemen Justin Ellis and Denico Autry back this week.

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From Roland M**: How can the team safeguard against 4th quarter letdowns or make sure they don't let teams back into games?

JK: As you've seen from week-to-week, the Raiders coaching staff has addressed things that have become patterns and one-off issues that have come up. I think this is no exception. The coaches saw what happened in the 4th quarter last week and it will be addressed. A win is a win, but yes, sustained play throughout four quarters is a must. Head Coach Jack Del Rio said after the game that the fourth quarter let down against the Chargers was a good teaching moment for the team.

From Brooke C: Which players need to step up in particular against the Jets in order to win?

JK: All 46 who dress for the game. Seriously, against a solid 4-2 Jets team that does a lot of things well, especially play defense, it'll take a team effort. I think the obvious things include avoiding turnovers. The front seven needs to step up and stop the run and contain Fitzpatrick when he scrambles. Offensively, quarterback Derek Carr needs to be efficient and take care of the football.

From Cheryl T: Are the Raiders a better team on the road than at home? Why is that?

JK: Cheryl, you could say that but the season is still too young to make any declarations. The Bengals game happened. For whatever reason, it got out of hand. The team played fairly well against Denver but made killer mistakes. Quite a bit of emphasis has been placed on being a good team on the road and breaking some streaks and tendencies. The home wins will come.

From Jimmy N: What are the biggest areas that the team still needs to focus on to become a playoff team?

JK: The secondary needs to continue to improve. Safety Nate Allen will be back soon, that should help. The run game still needs work, it's not nearly consistent enough. The offense as a whole could be more consistent over the course of four quarters. I'd like to see a bit more out of the pass rush. The Jets and the Steelers are on the horizon, and as long as the team doesn't step backwards, the Raiders could make a nice run in the coming weeks. It does seem like each week, a weakness or deficiency gets addressed and corrected. Head Coach Jack Del Rio has said repeatedly that every week is different in the NFL, every game, every opponent is different.   

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