Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski, with linemen Cooper Carlisle and Mike Brisiel at 2012 training camp (photo by Levi Damien)
After sitting nearly the entire offseason and training camp for the Raiders, Stefen Wisniewski appears to finally be the starting center once again. He has been working with the first team at center all three practices this week and looks to be back in the starting lineup this weekend when the Raiders face the Dolphins.
Wisniewski was back practicing the week prior to the opener but the team opted to go with Alex Parsons at center due to the fact that he had been the first team center for most of training camp as well as OTA's and minicamp.
"He's back healthy and he executed this week in practice," said Dennis Allen. "So I think he's prepared and ready to go."
Wisniewski had missed OTA's and minicamp while recovering from a shoulder injury which required offseason surgery. He was back healthy to begin training camp but was lost again with a calf injury on the Raider first series of their first preseason game.
Parsons had filled in admirably but also had some issues with getting pushed back at the snap. His blocking deficiencies contributed to several goal line stops as well as a safety in the preseason.
Greg Knapp pointed out this week the differences between Wisniewski and Parsons.
"I think [Stefen] might be a little bit better of a run blocker and Alex is a bit more experienced in pass protection."
There is little doubt Parsons struggles in run blocking. He gave up two run stuffs last week on the Raiders opening drive alone. The pass blocking was also not great. If Parsons is indeed superior to Wisniewski as a pass blocker, that won't be good. Although, as a rookie, Wisniewski performed quite well in pass protection so there is potential for an overall improvement with him in the lineup.