November 24, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski (61) prepares to snap the football during the third quarter against the Tennessee Titans at O.co Coliseum. The Titans defeated the Raiders 23-19. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Now, I skipped over the OL for a reason, because I’m saving the best two units for last (OL and DB’s). The Oakland Raiders offensive line is by far one of the most impressive “road-grading” units I’ve seen in a very long time. This group is coming together and looking ready to turn some heads. This is trully apparent by watching one player and moving out from there. The Captain of the OL is definitely the Center.
Stefen Wisniewski is leading that group and making them perform better. The communication that a Center has with his OL and QB is paramount to the success of all facets of the offense. Wisniewski definitely demonstrated his leadership and abilities. He turned in a solid performance that never seemed to waiver. During blocking drills, the DT’s had a tough time with Wis. Most of the time he was like a wall that the defenders fell in front of.
Almost equally impressive was Menelik Watson. That’s right, WATSON. He is going to be the RT of the offensive line. He held his own against an onslaught of attacks by Khalil Mack, LaMarr Woodley, Justin Ellis, Sio Moore, Jack Crawford, Ryan Robinson, Pat Sims, and C.J. Wilson. He has so much athletic ability, and I can now see why the Raiders drafted him. I can’t wait to see how he does in real game time situations.
The OL is shaping up in this manner; RT-Menelik Watson, RG-Austin Howard, C-Stefen Wisniewski, LG-Khalif Barnes (though Gabe Jackson worked in a lot as well), and LT-Donald Penn. There is a lot of depth and talent on the OL, and this is going to help our offensive scoring moving forward.
Two other players to make note of; #65 Dan Kistler and #62 Emmett Cleary had very solid performances during blocking drills. Both are listed as tackles. Kistler was playing RT and Cleary was mainly the RG during second and third team drills. Keep an eye on them through Pre-Season.