FanPost

Tony Bergstrom's Debut against the Ravens

It's one of the biggest questions that many Raider fans have this season : when is Tony Bergstrom going to play. In the wake of the brutal 55 point onslaught, Bergstrom finally got into the game with about 9:00 remaining in the 4th quarter. At this point in the game, the Raiders were still playing Palmer at QB with the other first teamers. Baltimore likewise was mostly playing their starters. Shortly thereafter, though, Leinart came in, but many other starters were still playing. Bergstrom had a good chunk of playing time against Baltimore's defense and that was great experience for the guy.

What showed up was that he looks very nimble and agile, has very good feet. In pass protection he was solid and in run blocking he was ok. He looks very natural run blocking, whether combo blocking and releasing, pulling, or just getting on a man. He isn't a mauler and he may not be very powerful, but he seems very well-schooled with good technique. In many ways, he is similar to Wis. In pass protection, he got some help, but he showed some good pass sets and forced rushers outside on their upfield rush.

But he did make a few mistakes and definitely looked raw/rookie-like; the speed of the game looks like it's still VERY FAST for him and so we'll look for a lot of improvement as he gets playing time.

Here's a closer look at run blocking : [link]

Pass blocking : [link]

Overall, it was probably wise to hold him back; he seems good, but probably not quite ready to man the RT position fulltime, yet, though he may project to RG. With Barnes coming back, it probably means Bergstrom won't be getting much more playing time this year, but his practice reps are invaluable. This brief glimpse really gives me confidence that Reggie McKenzie's first ever draft pick will be a solid contributor to the team for the next many years.

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