Last season, Alex Bars emerged as a starter for the Las Vegas Raiders in an ever-evolving offensive line rotation.
This offseason, the Raiders did add some pieces but no for-sure starters. So, Bars is again battling for a starting job. It will continue through training camp and in the preseason (which starts Sunday when the Raiders host the San Francisco 49ers with a 1 p.m. PT kickoff).
Bars started 14 of 15 games played in his first season with Las Vegas in 2022. He had started a total of 11 games with the Chicago Bears in the first three seasons of his NFL career. He is looking to continue to be part of the starting group this season.
“We got a great group. Obviously we brought the five back from last year,” Bars said this week. “But the room likes to compete, we like to get better, we like to make the most of every opportunity. So, competition is an opportunity to get better and keep improving.”
Bars, who signed with the Raiders last season, was on the practice squad before securing a role on the 53-man roster and then the starting lineup. Bars, who turns 28 two days before the September 10 season opener at the Denver Broncos, is competing with the likes of Netane Muti and Greg Van Roten.
He is simply focusing on the task at hand and trying to stay at the top of the rotation.
“Just got to keep working hard,” Bars said. “Things might not always go your way, but if you stay at it, keep your grind and trust yourself and trust your technique and your hard work, good things can happen.”