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Friday, August 30, 2013
There's hope up front for Oakland

By Bill Williamson

The Oakland Raiders have been manhandled at the line of scrimmage in the preseason.

Oakland’s first-team offense and defense were not good in the preseason as they were both dominated It started with being hammered up front.

However, Thursday night at Seattle, Oakland did have a couple of bright spots on both sides of the ball that perhaps can offer some relief and hope in the regular season.

Free-agent pickup Pat Sims played well at defensive tackle. He was disruptive, although the Seattle second team was on the field most of the time the Oakland first unit was playing. Sims gave a push and he helped the run defense.

Scouts love Sims, who was signed from Cincinnati. The question about him is whether he can stay healthy (he was oft injured as a Bengal and he was injured most of this training camp) and how he’d react to be being a full-time player after being a part-time player. Still, Sims has ability and he will help.

At offensive tackle, rookie Menelik Watson played left tackle for the first time in his life. The second-round pick did pretty well. I’d bet he will get the chance to play left tackle in the regular season with Jared Veldheer out for the next few months with a triceps injury.

Playing full-time in the regular season could be a different story for Watson. But he is talented and he will get better, so he has a chance to help.