A lot has been made about the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line for over a year now. During the 2021 NFL Draft, the Raiders desperately needed a right tackle and ended up drafting Alex Leatherwood out of Alabama. However, Leatherwood only lasted four games at tackle before getting moved to guard last season, and the team once again needed to find someone to hold down the edge opposite of Kolton Miller this past offseason.
But new head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler didn’t find a free agent or draft prospect that they liked to fill the void, further complicating the problem. To make matters even worse, Brandon Parker was placed on injured reserve and Leatherwood was cut at the end of training camp, leaving Jermaine Eluemunor and rookie Thayer Munford as the last men standing.
Also, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler tweeted before the Raiders’ last preseason game that the team feels ‘unsettled’ about multiple spots on the right side of the line, suggesting the coaching staff isn’t pleased with right guard Lester Cotton’s play, either.
Despite all of this, starting quarterback Derek Carr feels confident in the guys protecting him as Las Vegas gets ready to take on the Los Angeles Chargers and Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, who have 134.5 career sacks combined.
“I’ve always had that confidence of just that trust when it’s been really good, or sometimes when it’s been tough,” Carr responded to a question about the offensive line during Wednesday’s press conference. “And so, for me, I always have confidence going in the game.
“I know that no matter what that is, I have a job to do – to move the football and things like that. What they’ve shown in practice is nothing but them trying to get better, and the way that Carmen [Bricillo] has taught them the scheme, the philosophy of the play is different in certain aspects the way that they teach things.
“So, I’m excited to watch them play if I’m honest. I’m excited for them, but you got to block two of the best rushers, and that’s not even including the inside guys who are unbelievable. You got to try and stop those guys; that’s a tall task for anybody. I’m excited to watch them. But hats off to the Chargers, I mean, they’re loaded everywhere. We have our work cut out for us, but I’m excited to watch them play for sure.”
Hopefully, hearing that their quarterback has faith in them will boost the offensive line’s confidence in themselves for gameday.
In other Raiders’ links:
- OOFOS unveils partnership with Raiders and Carr: QB becomes the first active NFL player with a recovery footwear deal.
- Matthew Butler focused on being a pro: “Every day, I just try to go out there and make the most of every opportunity. Try to pave my work with this team and see how I can contribute to this game as well,” Butler said.
- Raiders' former interim president gets a new gig: Dan Ventrelle will serve as the WWE’s Executive Vice President and report to Triple H, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
- Darren Waller’s contract extension could be imminent: Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio says the negotiations between the tight and organization are progressing and the goal is to reach an agreement before Sunday’s season-opener.