At the conclusion of the first day of team practice/training camp, the Oakland Raiders coaching and training staff could be seen by the fans in attendance trying out two offensive linemen. Initial reports came out from Twitter via Steve Corkran, Scott Bair, Vic Tafur, and Levi Damien, that a center was being tried out by the Raiders. It was later learned that the Raiders tried out free agent offensive linemen Andre Gurode and Travelle Wharton.
Then, the Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie announced that the Raiders have signed free agent offensive lineman Andre Gurode. The veteran lineman has played in 151 games with 127 starts in 10 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and Baltimore Ravens. He was also active with the Chicago Bears, but he didn’t see any playing time. The 6-foot-4, 318-pound lineman was named to the Pro Bowl five straight seasons (2006-2010) with the Dallas Cowboys. He has had starts in 13 games in eight of his previous 11 NFL seasons. Gurode has played both center and guard.
As we know, the Raiders need a decent offensive guard to compete and make a play for the starting position. Depth is a very good thing to have when it comes to linemen, and it’s even better when that lineman is a proven veteran. Although he hasn’t played since the 2011 season, Gurode will have an opportunity in Oakland to take over a starting position at either left or right guard. No guarantee has been given to any player at the guard position, but, along with the quarterback position, this is one of the areas Raider Nation has been very interested in seeing. The line is young and it could use the veteran Gurode to guide them.
Furthermore, Gurode would be a good back-up for center Stefen Wisniewski should he get injured in 2013. This may also be a move by the Oakland Raiders to elevate Wisniewski’s play as it would create viable competition for him. In any event, Gurode has not played since the 2011 season, and he will have to knock off the rust from 2012 in order to unseat players already ahead of him on the depth chart. If we see his Pro Bowl play from his 2006-2010 seasons, the Raiders line will be very good this season. Only time will tell, and we will all just have to wait and see.