Sep 8, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; General view of the line of scrimmage as Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) takes the snap from center Stefen Wisniewski (61) against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts defeated the Raiders 21-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders Offensive Line Will Be Fine


Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Menelik Watson suffered a knee injury to his Lateral Meniscus in practice two weeks ago.  As a result of the injury, he had to have his knee scoped this week, and he will likely be out for the next month.  Now, two of the Raiders premier offensive linemen (Jared Veldheer and Menelik Watson) will not see playing time until mid-season.  Should Raiders fans be worried?  I don’t think so, and I’m here to tell you that even though the offensive line has definitely had to do their fair share of shuffling this season, the offensive line will be fine.

The Raiders are a week into the regular season, and the offensive line is coming off a successful game that was played against a very good defensive line.  The offensive line held their own, and the Raiders came close to winning the game.  However, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, so it’s still a loss at the end of the day.

Where does the offensive line go from here.  Simple, they keep playing with who started on Sunday in Indianapolis.  Why?  To build cohesiveness.  An offensive line must be stable and able to mesh with each other.  The linemen must know their assignments, but they must also be able to anticipate their counterpart’s movements.  Currently with Khalif Barnes at LT, Lucas Nix at LG, Stefen Wisniewski at C, Mike Brisiel at RG, and Tony Pashos at RT, this gives the Raiders the best combination for success.  Not to mention, Tony Bergstrom is still injured along with the aforementioned tackles (Veldheer and Watson).  Pretty much, this is the only combination we, the fans, will see until someone returns from injury.

There’s not too much to get overly worried about though, we have Terrelle Pryor taking the snaps.  Pryor brings that “ability to escape” that a mere pocket quarterback does not.  This means that the offensive linemen don’t have to hold their blocks as long as they normally would with a pocket style quarterback.  Basically, Pryor is going to go through his reads quickly and make a decision to throw it or tuck and run before the pocket can collapse.  This will keep the offensive line healthy and it will tire out opposing defensive linemen.  This was evident in Indianapolis, and it was evident by the comment made by Colts DE-Robert Mathis who said he felt like he ran around for about 4-5 miles trying to catch Pryor.

The offensive line will continue to learn and grow together this year.  The running game with Darren McFadden will improve, and the running game will open up the passing game for Pryor.  It’s an obvious thing, I know, but it is beginning to happen for the Oakland Raiders.  Success is coming Raider Nation.  I will be there on Sunday to witness it first hand with you, and I know that Terrelle Pryor is going to bring it.  McFadden is going to rush for over 100 yards, and the offensive line will be fine.  Go Raiders!

Tags: Jared Veldheer Khalif Barnes Lucas Nix Menelik Watson Mike Brisiel Oakland Raiders Stefen Wisniewski Terrelle Pryor Tony Pashos

  • Lawrence Jahn

    Wouldnt Gurode be an upgrade at Guard over Brisiel? He would certainly be an upgrade over Nix. I dont know why they didnt plug him in there last week. Your thoughts?

  • Bob

    “The running game with Darren McFadden will improve”
    There is no guarantee of this. There are no absolutes in football.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Guaranteed by the fact that teams will game plan for Pryor more, and this will free up McFadden’s rushing lanes. The O-line will get the holes open for him.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Gurode is always a possibility, but I don’t know what’s going on in the minds of the coaches regarding Nix and Brisiel. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

  • Bob

    If you are going to continue blogging you should learn to use the words should and may rather than will. There are no guarantees regarding football player’s performance. Don’t be a homer, but be realistic.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Wow, somebody must not be having a good day today. Before I began blogging, I was a fan. Therefore, I will always be a fan. I am realistic as well, and, barring any unforeseen injury, McFadden’s performance will be improving. Mark my words.

  • Bob

    Just a 50+ year Raiders fan that is realistic.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Well Bob, you have me beat as a fan by about 10 years. I welcome your feedback, and I think you have a lot to offer. Would you be willing to write a ghost write post for Just Blog Baby about where you see the franchise headed. Complete with your opinion about the players, coaches, etc… I would publish it for you.

  • Miles

    I imagine that because Gurode is our only other option at centre if wiz goes down, they want to try keep him healthy. We’ve lost a lot of guys on the O-Line and lessons need to be learned from losing Condo last season and not having a long snapper to replace him.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    This is a valid point. Who knows, but I don’t see any shuffling just yet. They’ll probably let them go with it until it becomes apparent that somebody else needs to be there.

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