clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What Tom Cable’s offensive line should look like in 2018

New, comments

A look at what the Oakland Raiders’ offensive line should look like this coming year.

NFL: Oakland Raiders Rookie Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are many that didn’t like the idea of Tom Cable returning to the Oakland Raiders to coach the offensive line. They saw that zone-blocking didn’t work out for the Raiders last year and believe it might be more of the same this year. Russell Wilson running for his life and getting sacked all game, and every game was somehow charged to Cable too.

What you have to remember is 2010, when the Raiders had the No. 2 rushing attack in the NFL with a mixture of zone-blocking and power-blocking along with the mercurial running of Darren McFadden. He made the same mixture with the Seattle Seahawks for Marshawn Lynch too. Lynch will welcome Cable’s scheme that’s tailormade for him. Cable has probably been the most over-branded O-line coach in the league for zone-blocking.

“Yeah. Think about when I was in Atlanta, we did something amazing there. It was like ninth all-time rushing total in the history of football,” Cable said about that over-branding at minicamp.” All we did was run a wide zone play. Then we come here and they were last in rushing and they went to a top-10 and stayed there. It was just learning something new. If you remember there was a lot of counters and powers and all of that. I think that’s the truth of it. You’d like to have a good mix. I’ve probably been labeled that, but that’s OK. We run the ball pretty good. I’m not worried about that.”

Every NFL team, regardless of who it is, runs at least a few zone-blocking plays anyway. The Raiders will have the advantage of being able to do different things for different situations, which is probably why Gruden hired him to begin with.

There’s no reason to believe Cable will screw up the elite pass-protecting O-line he inherited either. The Seahawks went to the Super Bowl a couple of years after he inherited left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger. Don’t blame him for the departure of the Seahawks’ two Pro Bowl Olinemen. And definitely don’t blame him for replacing them with 5th-round picks and Germain Ifedi —a 1st-round pick who should have been a 5th-round pick.

In left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson, The Raiders have a great run-blocking offensive line that can also pass-block well. Remember, Jackson and Osemele played with some injuries that could have affected them in 2017. And you can’t tell me Mike Tice teaches the zone-blocking scheme as well as Cable does.

Cable has done well at every stop he’s made when he’s had something to work with. He made something out of 2010 3rd-round pick Jared Veldheer when he came out of a small school too. So look for the O-line to perform better in the running game while staying at an elite level in pass-protection 2018.

I would even bet on it.

There is evidence in the video down below.