My Own Thoughts on the Offensive Line

I’ve read lots of articles about our offensive line and some had some good points and others were fluff. But I have my own thoughts, so here they are to get your thoughts in more detail. Also, let me say that I am a huge Raider fan, starting in Super Bowl 2, but don’t consider myself a guru of football, just a fan. OK, let’s get started.

Left Tackle: Even I know this one with some certainty. Kolton Miller has earned this spot and continues to be a bright spot on the O-line. Nothing new here.

Left Guard: Multiple things could happen here, but I think Dylan Parham gets into the lineup to start here. I think this for a few reasons. First, I know there has been talk of him taking over at Center, but this is his first year and having to call reads, making sure of a good snap, and concentrate on his own assignments may be too much to ask in the first year. He could settle in next to Miller and only worry about his job and I think perform better. I did consider Denzelle Good here, but I think that management may want to save that $4 million salary due to his injury problems last year. John Simpson was another thought, but I think keeping him in as a backup makes more sense and not waste a year of Parham’s time.

Center: While this might be his last year, I think Andre James will be back. He improved as the year went on, knows David Carr’s tendencies, and along with Miller allows the line to keep some sense of normalcy, rather than mix up everything.

Right Guard: Let’s come back to this to first discuss some reasoning I’ll share later.

Right Tackle: I think we are going to see Alex Leatherwood here to at least start the season. Let me explain why before you start screaming. We have a lot invested in him and really don’t want to continue to add to our Dead Cap or pay huge money for a backup. He was a little better at guard last year but has been really putting forward an effort this year in many ways. In addition to his increased strength program and working hard with staff he must also improve his concentration. Illegal Motion penalties are drive killers and you just can’t commit all the penalties he did (14) and be successful. We’ve been hearing the new regime likes 2 Tight End sets. So, in those cases, play one in close to Leatherwood to help him from being flanked like last year until his game comes up to speed. Also, put a vet next to him at Right Guard to help him there as well. Which brings us back to Right Guard.

Right Guard again: At Right Guard I think Jermaine Eluemunor is a good choice. The veteran knows the game, has good talent, has the size, and could be a stabilizing force for Leatherwood. Also, by keeping in him in action on the right side he can slide out to Right Tackle just in case Leatherwood can’t handle it.

Backups: Going to be some hard cuts here. I think Simpson (Guard) deserves to stay along with Hroniss Grasu (for both a Guard and Center backup), Brandon Parker (Swing Tackle), and Thayer Munford Jr (Tackle) would be a good group to keep. I’ve kept Munford because I think he would get swiped off the Practice Squad. Would also like to keep one more but 10 Offensive Lineman probably isn’t going to happen because I think we may keep up to 5 running backs (including the Full Back). I also have regrets losing Good but like I stated, $4 million could help us in new contracts (think Renfrow, Waller and one more free agent).

So, there you have it. My thoughts. What are yours? I’d especially like to know if we were to keep 10 offensive linemen who you think it should be.