We've now hit a month from the Raiders preseason opener, and a bit under 2 months until the regular season opener. To be exact, 61 days until meaningful Raiders football. So, of course, we look at the best to wear the number 61.
Who wore it best: C Stefen Wisniewski (2011-14)
The former second round pick followed in his uncle's footsteps to join the Raiders offensive line. In his four seasons in Oakland, he missed just three games, and started every game in which he played. A total of, as it happens, 61 games as a Raider.
Lil Wiz's rookie season he started all 16 games at left guard and he had a very good season there. But the Raiders made it clear from the very beginning they had plans for him as a center and he spent the next three seasons as the Raiders everyday starting center. He was one of the better NFL centers much of that time. He gets a lot of heat from some sour grapes Raiders fans for a ‘down' 2014 season in which he fought through a shoulder injury most of the season and had a couple of miscommunications on snaps with rookie Derek Carr.
The Raiders let Wisniewski leave as a free agent this offseason, taking a while to sign on with a team due to his shoulder injury. He eventually landed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Raiders were looking to reel in one of the biggest free agents on the market, making a big investment in...
Who's wearing it now: C Rodney Hudson
He took Wisniewski's job and took his number. He comes to the Raiders after four seasons in Kansas City where he had been the starting center the past two seasons. He has improved his play in each of his four NFL seasons, and last season played at a Pro Bowl level. At just 25 years old, he was one of the top young free agent prizes on the market and the Raiders made him the highest paid center in the NFL. His presence gives the Raiders one of the better looking offensive line left side trios in the NFL.