Mailbag: How good are Raiders' LBs?

Weekend mail call:

Mason from San Diego wants to know if I think the Raiders’ linebackers will be strong in 2012.

Bill Williamson: I think they will be OK. I don’t think the group is one of the Raiders’ strengths. Aaron Curry, Rolando McClain and Philip Wheeler are all adequate players, but none are special. Rookie Miles Burris could play his way into some action, especially if Curry's knees continue to be a problem. Again, I don’t think the unit will kill Oakland, but it won’t be special, either.

Mikey from St. Louis wants to know if I think Kansas City cornerback Stanford Routt is a big downgrade from departed free agent Brandon Carr.

BW: I don’t think they are all that far apart. Routt is a fine No. 2 cornerback as he proved when he played with Nnamdi Asomugha with the Raiders. Routt struggled some as a No. 1 cornerback, but playing with Brandon Flowers should energize Routt. He is older than Carr, but he is cheaper, too. Overall, I don’t get the sense that the Chiefs are worried about the loss of Carr.

Derek from San Jose wants to know if I think the Raiders will re-sign punter Shane Lechler after the season.

BW: I think Lechler will finish his career as a Raider. He is just one of those once-in-a-lifetime guys. He is a Raider. He is a terrific weapon and I don’t see him leaving.