Raiders left tackle Donald Penn appears on Sirius XM NFL Blitz the other day where he said the Raiders would be making a commitment to running the ball.
The hope is that the Raiders actually can run it a lot before the defense is able to stop it. If the defense stops it from the jump, that plan will have to change.
Penn was added this off-season to replace the departed Jared Veldheer but Penn was just part of a major reconstruction of the offensive line in Oakland. Their first two free agent signing attempts were offensive linemen Rodger Saffold and Austin Howard. Saffold's deal was voided due to a failed physical but their intention to sign him at the open of free agency showed the Raiders were making the offensive line a priority.
Howard will be playing guard but he is a former offensive tackle and have the size to match. Tony Sporano wants maulers on his line to overpower defensive linemen and open holes for the running backs. Other additions include signing Kevin Boothe away from the Giants and drafting Gabe Jackson in the third round.
Among the running backs there isn't a surefire starter but with the addition of Maurice Jones-Drew and Kory Sheets along with the return of Darren McFadden, Jeremy Stewart, and Latavius Murray, it will be a deep group with a lot of competition. Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece can also do a bit of running himself.