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Monday, December 2, 2013
Jared Veldheer holds up in the trenches

By Paul Gutierrez

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The rust that inhabited Oakland Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer last week against the Dallas Cowboys as he made his season debut was cancelled out by how physically fresh he felt in the Thanksgiving Day game.

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Veldheer
And Monday, he was pleasantly surprised there was no "next-day" soreness associated with his surgically-repaired left triceps.

"It felt great to be out there and knock some people around," Veldheer said with a smile.

It felt so good he never came off the field against the Cowboys and their fierce pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware. Veldheer was on the field for all 56 of the Raiders' offensive snaps, despite coach Dennis Allen saying earlier in the week Veldheer would be part of a "feel" rotation at left tackle with Matt McCants, what with it being Veldheer's first game of the season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Veldheer surrendered one pressure to Ware while committing a false start just after a neutral zone infraction by Ware late in the fourth quarter.

That was it. And anonymity is usually the best sign of success for an offensive lineman.

"He held up good," Allen said. "He was feeling good throughout the game, so we left him in there."

Veldheer, the Raiders' third-round draft pick in 2010, will be a free agent this offseason so he is playing for a contract, though he has more pressing, immediate team goals as Oakland (4-8) prepares for a trip to MetLife Stadium to face the New York Jets (5-7).

"We have a four-game season ahead of us," he said. "We're trying to go 1-0 this week.

"It's extremely important to us to get the organization closer to our goal of where we want to go. We want to continue to improve every game."