Despite the Oakland Raiders’ having a highly touted offensive line that rivaled the Dallas Cowboys’ for the best in the league over the past few seasons, Gruden seems to have made it a massive priority this offseason to improve the unit.
In the offseason, Oakland added Breno Giacomini via free agency and selected Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker in the first and third rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, respectively.
In addition to the talent added in the offseason, the team is also interested in improving the physical fitness of the offensive line.
“We had five offensive linemen who were between 30 and 40 pounds heavier than when they left the facility last season,” Raiders strength and conditioning coach Tom Shaw told the Athletic. “They were eating whatever they wanted and were doing nothing.”
If the recent high draft picks, Miller and Parker, aren’t enough motivation to keep the veterans in shape to make sure they don’t lose snaps this fall, Shaw mentioned another motivation technique that would hurt the players’ wallets.
“It’s $665 per pound per practice, and we can fine them twice a week so that’s 12 grand if you’re 10 pounds over,” Shaw continued. “I could buy a new truck.”
Gruden is having the players work with Shaw for more than three out of the four hours of instruction time allowed per practice session during the spring. Normally, teams would spend around 45 minutes with the strength coach.
With the right steps in place, it seems the offensive line will be in peak shape in no time.