Oakland Raiders: The Offensive Line Is The X-Factor
Make no mistake about it:
The Oakland Raiders will go as far as the Offensive Line carries them.
Overall, the Oakland Raiders have found all their pieces of the puzzle to their roster this offseason.
From the trading acquisition of Jason Campbell to the (addition by subtraction) release of JaMarcus Russell, every move by the Raiders throughout the offseason has been labeled positive among both fans and media. This changed the culture of our quarterback position and it should improve dramatically.
The Defensive Front Seven was bolstered with the drafting of Rolando McClain to help stop the run and trading for Kamerion Wimbley to create a strong pass rush.
The only question is, how fully developed is this offensive line?
The Raiders had loads of troubles protecting the quarterback no matter who was under center.
From looking at this tape of the Raiders from 2009, it was not all Jamarcus Russell's fault as to why they struggled on offense.
Mario Henderson has deserved lots of criticism for being a big cause as to why the Raiders allowed tons of sacks. Will he step it up?
Robert Gallery sometimes I feel can be overrated at times the way Raider Nation praises him here on B/R. He has been a solid guard when healthy, but he commits simple holding penalties still on occasion.
Samson Satele at times can look expendable to me. There have been flashes of him at times, but also inconsistency.
Khalif Barnes had a productive season the last time he played for Jacksonville, but it seems he is never healthy.
To address this problem, the Raiders in the 2010 NFL Draft took Jared Veldheer in the 3rd round and Bruce Campbell in the 4th round to bolster this unit.
I do believe these are two solid picks by the Raiders, but I feel these two are one year or two away from becoming full time starters. They will be solid in the near future however.
I've been rather frustrated by all the false start and holding penalties this team picks up every year. Will those stop as well?
Overall, the offensive line is key as to whether the Raiders have success this season or not.
How can this unit be effective? Do we make a trade for someone at all? I just don't know how to be optimistic with this offensive line we have right now. Let me know, Raider Nation, what you think!
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