It doesn’t feel like Stefen Wisniewski is going into his second year as a Raider. Hasn’t he always been playing on the O-line for the silver and black? I mean, I know he’s got a familiar name but his game is so developed it’s easy to forget he was just a rookie last season.
From day one the New Wiz looked like a seasoned vet. Drafted as a center out of Penn State, Wisniewski slid over to guard but did manage to get a couple of starts at center. He also managed to start every game as a rookie playing so well that now he’ll get his rightful position at center.
What is truly amazing is how seamless Wisniewski transitioned from college to the pros without the benefit of a full offseason no thanks to the lockout. What is unbelievable is that Wisniewski played his entire rookie year with a torn labrum suffered during his first NFL training camp.
Words just don’t do justice to how well Wisniewski performed in 2011. So the expectations are sky high in 2012. With Samson Satele off to Indy it’s all on Wisniewski to hold it down at center. There’s also the added pressure of having to remain healthy or play through pain once again. Since the Raiders are still trying to get into a better financial position there isn’t much depth on the O-line. Whereas Wisniewski and Satele could trade off last year that won’t be the case this time around.
But given the tough nature of Wisniewski it wouldn’t be shocking to see him play all 16 games once again only to learn later that he did so with a broken leg. Maybe I’m exaggerating his toughness but his talent is real and the great news is he’s only getting started.