To say that the Oakland Raider offensive line is over performing would be an understatement.
The most talented person on the line is their Left Guard, who was drafted to be a Tackle, and the rest is a hodge podge group of cast offs and under achievers. YET, they have kept JaMarcus rather clean and unhit for the last 3 weeks and with a move this week, Henderson in and KWAYME OUT, they may be improving.
So, going into next year, who is IN and who is OUT?
LT - KWAYME is definitely OUT, which brings the total number of overpaid players who will be cut to 3. He has more false starts than most teams, 11, and has been continually abused by good pass rushers.
Mario Henderson has looked good to me, when he's had the chance. He even looked good to Tom Cable until he looked at the tape on Monday (Part of me wonders if that tape session was a call from Al Davis saying, "We are paying Kwame too much money to be sitting on the bench").
I think that these last three games will tell us IF Mario is our LT or RT of the future because the line, according to Al will be addressed in the off-season.
LG - This is a no brainer. Robert Gallery may be a top 5 RG in the game. He rarely gets beat and is a beast in the running game. He may be overpaid for a LG, but he is definitely a pillar on this line.
C - I have not been sold on Jake Grove, EVER, which is why I wanted Simon Satele in the 2007 draft, but, he has been adequate. I just think that he is undersized and is also too slow for his size at Center. We can upgrade here, but it is not necesary.
John Wade is a servicable back-up and Chris Morris is good insurance, so all in all, unless we can draft an All-American in the 4th round next year, then I'd be happy with the current tandem returning.
RG - Cooper Carlisle is the unsung and unnoticed hero of the line. He rarely gets beat or has his number called which is a good thing. I think that he was a good pick-up last season, but I like Paul McQuistan's size better for a running team. Then again, Coop has done NOTHING to lose his job.
RT - Cornell Green - Aside from Kwame, this is the largest area of need. I am just not sold on old Cornell. He gets beat regularly and does not seem to be a long term answer here.
Options: Paul McQuistan, James Marten, Mario Henderson.
I was really high on James Marten before he was taken by the Cowboys and still am. He is versatile and I see He, McQuistan, Gallery and Henderson as possible long term solutions. I just wish that we would have taken Justice late in the draft last year and have had the opportunity to see what he could do.
As fans...That is what we do...We root...root...root...for the home team.