The Oakland Raiders offensive and defensive linemen have been hampered by numerous injuries during training camp, but today there was some good new. Offensive Lineman Lucas Nix and Defensive Lineman Lamarr Houston returned to practice. This bodes well for a depleted offensive linemen depth chart, and it will begin to strengthen the defensive line.
Nix has been competing for the starting left guard spot with Tony Bergstrom. Nix was showing the coaching staff that he was ready to start, but the injury he suffered kept him out of the first pre-season game and some much-needed practice time. Bergstrom actually had a decent first game, but it would be interesting to see if Nix can once again unseat him.
As long as Houston can remain healthy, he is definitely one of the starters, and he should have a break-out season if Sio Moore can continue to perform well at his position. Both these players would compliment each other and cause matchup problems for opposing offenses. The matchup problems would then give us more of an opportunity to get to the quarterback with either a blitz package or bull rush.
Yesterday’s report had Safety Charles Woodson out of practice, but as expected, Woodson just had a day of rest. I’m not worried about Woodson being ready for the regular season, because he is a seasoned veteran. I am more worried about a guy like Menelik Watson not being in practice. Unfortunately, Tracy Porter had to leave practice with an injury he suffered. It is unknown what the injury is, but Just Blog Baby will keep an eye on it and get you updated as soon as we hear something.
One thing that I was extremely pleased about was the performance that Usama Young had during the first pre-season game. One position that the Raiders desperately needed to upgrade was our safeties. With the addition of Charles Woodson and Usama Young, they have done what was needed. I really liked the way Young put himself in a position to make the interception, and he had really good breaking speed. He will be a good complement to Woodson, and he would be a pretty good Nickel Corner, if the coaches choose to use him there.
So far so good on the rebuilding process. I see a much improved team that is poised to surprise the rest of the NFL. The Raiders aren’t going to lay on the ground and let everybody walk all over them. I’m sure they will make the opposing teams, especially our division rivals, have to work hard for a win. I am definitely feeling the excitement of a much improved year. Go Raiders.