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Cooper Carlisle will have to fight off Reggie McKenzie's first draft pick for a starting job.
The Raiders offensive line has been an area of significant change this offseason. The much improved unit in 2011 lacked depth, and offensive coordinator Greg Knapp is changing the philosophy back to the zone-blocking scheme the Raiders used from 2007 to 2009.
Cooper Carlisle has been the starting right guard since the Raiders started using the zone-blocking scheme in 2007, but he looks like a backup at best in 2012.
The change back to the zone scheme led many to believe Carlisle's job would be saved despite his poor play over the last few seasons.
Instead, Mike Brisiel was signed to become the Raiders starting right guard and Carlisle was released.
The Carlisle era seemed to be over in Oakland, but McKenzie re-signed Carlisle and made public statements that the coaching staff believed he could play right guard. This move led many to believe the release had more to do with Carlisle's contract than the team's desire to dispose of him.
After the seesaw offseason for Carlisle, Reggie McKenzie used his first draft pick as general manager to select Utah offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom, who will play left guard.
One universal truth was lost in the analysis of the roster moves involving Carlisle: A team is always looking to replace a below average veteran.
Bergstrom will compete with Carlisle for the starting job at left guard, but it's tough to imagine Bergstrom not winning the job or at least keeping pace with Carlisle.
Greg Knapp is a big believer in the run, and some believe the offensive guards are more important in a zone-blocking scheme than the tackles.
If Bergstrom is named the starter, he could be directly or indirectly responsible for the success of the Raiders' running game in 2012.
Rarely will you find an instance where a third-round pick will be as directly involved in the team's success running the ball as you will with Bergstrom in 2012.