Perhaps no unit on the Oakland roster has been as affected by all of the additions made this offseason as the offensive line, a five-man unit that could see as many as four new starters in 2014.
This would be a challenge at any position, but it's especially so for the offensive line, a unit that needs to be more than the sum of its parts to be effective. It may be filled with talented players, but that doesn't matter if they aren't able to function as a unit.
Fortunately for Oakland, the one constant remains center Stefen Wisniewski. This year's offensive line bears little resemblance to the 2013 version, but the Raiders are fortunate that the unit's leader remains the same.
As NBC Bay Area's Doug Williams notes, Wisniewski's biggest role this season could be that of unifier. As the players around him continue to be shuffled, Oakland is going to count on Wisniewski to be the steadying presence of the unit.
Thus far, Wisniewski has been able to fast-forward the unit's progress toward cohesiveness.
It's always more difficult to assess the performance of an offensive line because we only hear about it when it plays poorly, such as when too many sacks are given up, the quarterback doesn't have enough time to throw or the running game is underperforming.
There are no glamour plays like interceptions or flashy catches down the sideline to make it look good.
The reality is that when an offensive line is playing well, you don't hear about it at all, and this is what's happened so far.
Credit for this goes to Wisniewski. Silver and Black Pride's Levi Damien writes that no loss to the offensive line would be as damaging as that of Wisniewski. As long as he stays healthy, the unit will continue to be as effective as it has been in camp.
Wisniewski's performance is the best barometer for the performance of the offensive line as a whole. Thanks to his leadership, the unit has been effective, and this will make it easier for the offense to perform well in all other areas.
This means that Wisniewski's performance will affect the performance of the entire offense. The challenge of leading an entirely rebuilt unit might be daunting, but he's proven up to the task.