- Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
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NAPA, Calif. -- When a player changes a position in the NFL, mental repetitions are vital. However, nothing is more important and valuable than actual field work.
That’s why Monday was a crucial day for new Oakland center Stefen Wisniewski. He practiced with the first team Monday after not practicing in the offseason workouts. Wisniewski, a second-round pick last season, was a standout as a guard. However, the old Oakland regime planned for Wisniewski to eventually play center and the new coaching staff is on the same page.
Wisniewski has played center in the past. He said he felt comfortable Monday and he believes he should easily transition from guard as he gets continued reps at center in training camp.
In addition to moving to center this summer, Wisniewski is adjusting to playing in Oakland without his uncle Steve Wisniewski. The elder Wisniewski recently quit as the team’s assistant offensive line coach to spend more time with his family. The former Raiders guard will still have a role with the Raiders as a team ambassador.
“Yeah, it’s weird,” Stefen Wisniewski said of not being coached by his uncle. “I definitely miss him. I definitely miss him a lot.”
The younger Wisniewski also chimed in on the NCAA sanctions that have rocked Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. Stefen, Steve and Stefen's father, Leo, were all stars for the Nittany Lions.
“It makes me really sad and a little bit angry, too, with some of the things,” Stefen Wisniewski said. “But like we said, Penn State sticks together. I’m really impressed with the way the players have been handling themselves. They look like they’re going to stick together and fight through that with most of the guys staying there. I’m really proud of that. The NCAA, they can’t kill Penn State. Penn State is going to be a great place. They might wound us for a little while, but Penn State is still going to be a great university and football program.”