When you look back on all the great Oakland Raiders teams of the past, you see that the offensive line was a team strength. In ’76 and ’80 Raiders had men like left tackle Art Shell next left guard Gene Upshaw with Dave Dalby at center. The ’83 Raiders still had Dalby to go with men like left tackle Bruce Davis and left guard Charlie Hannah between them. In 2002, they had Barrett Robbins at center to go with mammoths like Frank Middleton at right guard and Lincoln Kennedy at right tackle. Every great Raiders team had an offensive line as a team strength and it’s no coincidence that they haven’t been any good since 2002. Much of that is because the Raiders kept switching back and forth from zone-blocking to power-blocking. Those schemes require two different types of offensive lineman and it’s impossible to switch the entire line out in a given year. But after having half power and half zone-blockers for about seven years, the Raiders now have all big, nasty, intimidating power-blockers. And according to Vic Tafur via Twitter, my training camp eyes, they’re coming together well in training camp.
Turn the page to see how this offensive line is now a team strength.