We've heard this line a million times since the offseason:
BUT WE HAD TO BLOW UP THE OFFENSIVE LINE! THEY WERE GETTING PAID WAY TOO MUCH MONEY!!!
I get it, I really do. It's definitely a valid point that the Raiders weren't getting a return on their investment in regards to the offensive line. However, if you're going to completely revamp a position group like the Raiders did to the o-line, you need to have a solid plan in place. The problem with the Raiders is that they blew up the offensive line, and had a terrible plan in place.
As good as Richie Incognito is, he's 39 and was coming off an Achilles injury. It shouldn't be a surprise that he's hurt right now. Alex Leatherwood has been very bad, but he's a rookie with tremendous upside, so he gets a pass for now. Now, let's get to the man of the hour...
Andre James is horrible. There's no other way to put it. He can't snap. He can't run block. He can't pass block. He can't play center. I used to think Samson Satele was a bad center. At this point, I'd beg to have Samson Satele back. James is a practice squad level player, and I think even that's being very generous.
What really upsets me more than anything is how Cable and Gruden basically just handed him the starting job after giving him an unearned contract extension. That just strikes me as an ego driven move on their behalf. It's like they were just trying to outsmart everybody by giving his guy the job, and showing everyone they had an ace in their sleeve the hole time. They didn't. The guy can not play. Period.
Gruden did the right thing by giving Peyton Barber more snaps over Drake in the Miami game. Drake has no vision as a runner and can't pass protect to save his life. Peyton Barber was outperforming him, so Gruden rightfully gave Barber snaps over Drake. Gruden needs to do the right thing again by benching Andre James and starting Nick Martin.
Martin isn't a great center by any means, but Gruden can't seriously keep going forward with Andre James. We don't need to see any more from him, he's easily the worst center in the league right now, and the Raiders have a better option just sitting on the bench right now. WAKE UP GRUDEN, BENCH JAMES AND START NICK MARTIN