After seeing Jared Veldheer play last year, I wanted the Raiders to get Jared Gaither to protect Jason Campbell's blind side. Veldheer is a ferocious run blocker so I thought we would become a Pro Bowler on the right side.
He couldn't get out of his stance fast enough to keep opposing speed rushers off of the quarterback. In the preseason last year, he struggled with the length and strength of Julius Peppers.
Actually, he couldn't stop anyone that could rush the passer no matter what his style, but that was last year. This year, he pops out of his stance quick and has already shut out Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil and Shawne Merriman.
He is going to see Peppers again, this time in the regular season, so that will be another big test.
As for Gaither, the Raiders brought him in but he couldn't pass the physical so they must have been thinking the same thing at one point. Gaither is now with the Chiefs but hasn't played a down because his back still ails him.
Meanwhile, Veldheer is playing like the franchise left tackle the Raiders have needed for years.
I was wrong—I was wrong and I love it!
So does Campbell.