Answering Your Raiders, NFL Questions

Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven Publisher Hondo S. Carpenter answers the Silver and Black fans' questions each week in our weekly mailbag.
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Henderson, Nev.--There is no fan base in the National Football League hungrier for information on their team than the Raider Nation. That is why each week, we offer a buffet of Silver and Black information as we answer your questions and emails as it pertains to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Hondo, you were the first beat writer I saw reporting about Alex Leatherwood moving to guard. How did he look at practice? --H. Laten

You have to understand that we don't get to watch all of the practices. From what I saw, Leatherwood looked good. Leatherwood is going to have a learning curve wherever he plays, just like every rookie. People hated on Kolton Miller, and now he is one of the best in the National Football League. Alex will be just fine.  In this article are several videos from practice today, so you can have a front-row seat to what I saw.

Hondo, what sticks out to you the most from the Chicago Bears? I love your analysis. --Paul Evens

I could give you some analysis, but how about we get it from Derek Carr? He thinks, "They got a certain edge rusher who's pretty good. But they also have one on the other side in Robert Quinn who's a heck of a player. He's been a big sack guy in the NFL. Outstanding speed and get off. Akiem [Hicks] in the middle. Not only Akiem, but they got some great players in the middle. Big, strong, physical players. The linebackers, both veterans, can run, hit, can cover, and make big plays in the passing game. Secondary wise, they got new corners. New starters I should say. "

Hondo, I was listening on JT the Brick's radio show and caught the end of your question to Derek Carr about Alex Leatherwood. The station faded out, and I didn't get a chance to see what he said. Can you tell me? I love your work and questions. --Jason Parker

The question I asked was that Kolton Miller has evolved into one of the best LT in the game of football. He was also heavily criticized during his rookie year. From Derek's position, do they appear on the same trajectory? Here is his full answer, "Oh, absolutely. The hard part about some of the positions that some guys play in football, whether it's quarterback or tackle or corner. We always remember that one play, right? Not one play ever breaks a game. Everyone looks at the end and says, 'Well, that's the one.' Well, there are 13 other plays that if we just executed it wouldn't even matter. So, it sounds so cliché, but it's so true. Like yeah, he maybe gave up one or two plays there, but I also saw him a couple other times slamming some dudes on the ground, especially some guys that were talking. He was doing that too. So, when it's the NFL, guys on their defensive line, especially the Chargers, when you look at 42 (Uchenna Nwosu), obviously [Joey] Bosa. Those are great players. They are really good. They are going to win sometimes, and you just hope when they win the ball is gone or it's not a fumble as you're throwing and things like that. But that's the stuff that gets pointed out, right? And that's a part of being a rookie too. Especially when you're a rookie, things just happen where you're like, 'Why did that happen to me?' In his head, he's probably like, 'Man, if only Derek threw it a little earlier that wouldn't have been a fumble.' All those kinds of things. But he never even acts like that. I see the same characteristics in Alex that I saw in Kolton. They stay quiet and when they go on that football field, it's all business. I mean you guys have seen it, he's all business all the time. I've tried to make him laugh a few times and he's had some good times, but when it comes to in between those white lines he is strictly business and that is a great sign going forward."

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