Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Raiders’ hidden treasure: Offensive line
By Bill Williamson
Examining a position group that could exceed its preseason expectations:
The Oakland offensive line has been a negative influence on the team in recent years. I don’t see it being a problem anymore.
I think this unit is still a work in progress and it is still far from elite, but it’s not a problem.
I really like young center Stefen Wisniewski and left tackle Jared Veldheer. The Raiders added solid guard Mike Brisiel from Houston. He is excellent in the zone-blocking scheme the Raiders are going back to, and he is a tough player. These are three strong pieces to the line. They are all athletic and tough. They will battle all day long.
Guard Cooper Carlisle is also adept in the zone-blocking scheme. At right tackle, Khalif Barnes will try to hold off second-year player Joe Barksdale.
Again, this isn’t a great unit, but there are some solid pieces and I don’t think the Raiders are overly worried about this being a problem area.