1. Where in the depth chart will Conley play?
Now that he's cleared, how will he perform? We all know we got a steal getting him at 24. Will he start right away? #1? #2? Will he and Amerson be the 1&2? Will Conley be the slot corner? Will he be only used to cover the fastest guy on the opposing team (Cooks - NE, Hill - KC)? Instant impact or slow development?
2. Who will start at MLB?
Is there anything to say about this that hasn't been said? Lee looks like he might be the camp favorite but nothing is for certain. Jenkins? Heeney? Play a Big Nickel style defense and not really use one?
3. Will Seth Roberts be the starting #3 WR?
I understand the Roberts hate but I think it's foolish. Dude's a baller. Stepped up in big moments last year and that's what you want. Yes, he dropped passes. Great shooters in basketball miss shots but they make the ones that count. That's how I look at Seth. That said, with the addition of Patterson, is Seth's job in jeopardy?
4. Can Lynch still play?
I've been officially off the Lynch hype-train after the second day we signed him. If nothing else, I saw all the other Raiders' fans looking foolish with their jaws hanging to the ground and drooling worse than Hooch. I'm excited about his return but I'm not ready to put his return home on the same level as Jesus' just yet. Can. He. Play?
5. Will PennGATE reach an amicable ending?
Hands down, the most annoying topic to come out of training camp thus far. Really Donald? We have enough drama from the Donald in the White House, we didn't need this from you. Reggie didn't mince his words about his feelings on the matter, nor did he mince them around his feelings toward Penn. Reggie called Penn his guy. Let's see who blinks first in this pissing contest...
6. Will Obi live up to the expectations?
The only man with potential higher hype than Lynch is Obi. "He can cover any TE." "He can play Middle Linebacker." "He's a freak athlete." While there may be truth to all those statements, time will tell. I love the pick (mainly because we can reference Star Wars now) and believe he'll have an impact but the question is how big will that impact be? Starter? Certain package guy?
7. Can Pagano fix our defense?
This might be the biggest question of all. Was it the scheme last year and not the players? Does he have enough pieces to make this defense great? Will he need time to mesh with the players? Is there going to be a power struggle between he and Norton? And potentially Del-Rio (defensive guy) for that matter?
8. Will Cordarrelle make our ST's a threat again?
Johnnie Lee Higgins (2008) and Jacoby Ford (2011). What do those players and years represent? They represent the last time an opposing team punted or kicked off to the Raiders and feared they would return it for a touchdown. Will Cordarrelle strike fear in opposing special teams again?
9. Will Derek rise above the mental struggles of returning from injury?
I know I said the defense might be the biggest question but I lied. This is. Hands down. Yes, he's saying the right things. Yes, he looks good at camp. Yes, the coaches are saying the right things. However, he's human. Although he worships God, he is not God. A QB returning from an injury, a season-ending injury mind you, always has that last hurdle to jump. The mental hurdle. Will he favor that ankle when he drops back? Will he try and rush his throws to protect himself? Will he not extend a play or run the ball as much? All of RAIDERNATION will be holding their breath the first time he's hit. Hopefully we can all let out a breath of fresh air when he pops back up.
I'm hopeful for this season, but still have several questions leading up to the season. Hopefully, it doesn't take too long to answer any of these on what could be a magical year for the Raiders.
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