Friday, November 11, 2011
Wiz II shining for Raiders
By Bill Williamson
Oakland rookie Denarius Moore deservedly has been receiving a lot of kudos for his terrific performance in a Raiders’ victory at San Diego on Thursday night. However, the fifth-rounder wasn’t the only Oakland rookie who starred in the game.
Offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski continued an impressive rookie season, anchoring an offensive line that battered San Diego’s defensive front and paved the way for a 157-yard performance for running back Michael Bush while protecting quarterback Carson Palmer in the best game of his short Oakland stint.
Wisniewski – the 48th overall pick in the April draft -- made a seamless move from left guard to center after an injury to Samson Satele. Wisniewski was expected to be Oakland’s starting center when he was drafted, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the Raiders’ center of the future.
Switching NFL positions on the fly is not easy, particularly for a rookie — but Wisniewski handled it like a veteran. Indeed, he’s handled everything like a veteran this season. He is very polished and teammates have lauded him for his NFL readiness and his professionalism.
It makes sense. Wisniewski was born to be an NFL player, born to be Raider. His uncle, Steve Wisniewski, was a star offensive lineman for the Raiders and is now an assistant offensive line coach in Oakland.
The elder Wisniewski has to be pleased to his nephew-turned-pupil is quickly finding success in the NFL.