It's no secret that the Raiders' offensive line has been a mess all season. Actually, it's been a mess since Lincoln Kennedy retired.
Sunday against the Steelers, the situation seemingly got even worse. To play the Steelers the Raiders only dressed two backup o-linemen in Langston Walker and Chris Morris, and they both saw the field. Morris saw action at center due to a calf injury to Samson Satelem and Langston Walker saw action at left guard due to a back injury to Robert Gallery.
Though Walker wasn't completely comfortable playing the position—not doing it since 2003—he did a decent job.
When the Steelers defense saw Gallery leave the field, they smelled blood and attacked Langston Walker at the left guard relentlessly. This was to no avail, aside from a few early pressures on Bruce Gradkowski, once Walker settled in to his new position.
The thing you have to ask yourself is: Is Langston Walker a viable option at Guard?
Well, the offense did struggle before before Walker was inserted into the starting lineup. And without Walker, the Raiders offense had to settle for field goals. Once Walker replaced Gallery, the Raiders offense exploded, scoring a season-high three touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone.
Now don't get me wrong—I'm not saying that Walker is the sole reason for the Raiders new found success on offense, nor am I saying he is better than Robert Gallery. I'm just saying that Walker is a viable option at guard.
Though it is funny that Langston Walker is the one difference between week 13 and the other 11 Raider games.
So why should Robert Gallery lose his job to Langston Walker who played less than one half of good football?
That's not what I'm suggesting, though rumors have been flying for weeks. Not that Gallery will be replaced, but that either Robert Gallery or Mario Henderson will be moving to right-tackle.
First off, let me say that moving Mario Henderson would be absurd. But moving Gallery, especially with a replacement already on the roster, is very possible.
In this instance the starting o-line would look like this: LT Mario Henderson, LG Langston Walker, C Samson Satele, RG Cooper Carlisle, RT Robert Gallery.
Even if the rumors of another position change for Robert Gallery are completely false, why not consider Walker as a guard? Could Walker replace Cooper Carlisle at right guard who is a constant source of holding calls and who at 32 is beginning to show signs of age?
In his second stint as a Raider is Langston Walker deserving of a shot at the starting line-up, or will his time at guard be short lived?