Kolton Miller is fighting for the starting left tackle position. So every game this preseason makes him a lock to be a top three player to key in on, especially with Donald Penn getting reps at right tackle.
Jon Gruden and Tom Cable have been throwing everything at Miller to ensure he’ll be ready for week one of the regular season. This Saturday I expect them to let Miller ride out the game until halftime.
It’s strange how this offseason turned out with Miller and Penn. It seemed like a lock that Miller would take a seat and learn as the season went along, but he could very well be the starter for the season. Miller’s development has definitely shown since he was drafted.
As our own Sanjit T. said, Miller played excellent in his NFL debut and I fully agree. Now it’s just a matter of building off it and learning, particularly in run blocking.
If Miller can become polished enough to hold down the left tackle position, then Gruden will let him be the starter if he thinks he’s ready. That would be an ideal situation because since Penn is getting reps at right tackle, then the Raiders will have their best offensive linemen out at once. There would be nothing to gain by putting Penn back at left tackle.
As a matter of fact, it would be backtracking because it takes away reps for Miller. So why not let Miller rock it out at left tackle to see if he can become a certified starter? If he can’t show that he deserves it, then they’ll simply put Penn back at left tackle.
This is why preseason matters. Toying with lineups, letting the rookies see extended time. It’s a soft opener for them and let’s the coaches know what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully Kolton Miller lets the coaches know if he works at left tackle.