If there was one guy that was supposed to help the Raiders make a smooth transition to the zone blocking scheme it was free agent guard Mike Brisiel. Not only did he come from Houston with Greg Knapp but he brought a wealth of experience playing in the zone scheme as well.
So far the jury is still very much out on not only the scheme itself and Brisiel’s performance at right guard. That’s not to say that Brisiel’s signing was a bad one. Far from it. He’s going to be important going forward as the Raiders will no doubt have a much different looking like in the near future.
Losing Brisiel on Sunday was a bit of a blow as he was out of action in Atlanta after suffering a concussion. Brisiel’s concussion came courtesy of a block he threw that helped spring Mike Goodson for a big gain. Alex Parsons did a good enough job replacing Brisiel but nothing to make you feel confident the Raiders are better off without their fulltime starter.
Despite the amount of time it took other Raiders to recover who have suffered similar head trauma Brisiel was already back at in practice on Wednesday having passing the NFL’s concussion test requirements. That means it’s a near certainty he’ll play against Jacksonville. That’s great news as the Raiders running game finally showed signs of life in Atlanta and now must build on it. More importantly it helps to keep the O-line in tact thus helping to build the necessary chemistry for the zone scheme.