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Gutierrez: Raiders 2010 Review -- Offensive Line

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Gutierrez: Raiders 2010 Review -- Offensive Line

Jan. 25, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com
They arethe no-name grunts, the guys who get noticed when something goesterribly, horribly wrong. Such is life for an offensive lineman allguts, very little, if any, glory.For the Raiders this past season, their offensive line was theirultimate mood ring. And why not? With deposed coach Tom Cable anoffensive line guru at heart, the O-line more often than not was a goodindicator of the teams fortunes.The line was porous and woeful at times see the pitiful season openerat Tennessee yet dominant and special at others see therecord-setting victory at Denver. It gave up 44 sacks, tied forsixth-most in the league, yet paved the way for the No. 2-rankedrushing offense in the NFL. Just about right for an 8-8 team, right?A look, then, at Oaklands offensive line as we begin our player-by-player analysis of the 2010 RaidersJared Veldheer the surprise third-round draft pick out of tinyDivision-II Hillsdale College paid immediate dividends. The rookie hadhis baptism by fire starting at center in the season opener atTennessee then moved back out to his natural left tackle, taking overfor good in Week 7. He has made numerous all-rookie teams and through14 games he had allowed six sacks while committing six false starts andbeing called for holding four times.RELATED: Raiders stats
Robert Gallery The Raiders once-left tackle of the futurefound a home at left guard and was rounding into Pro Bowl shape in2008. Then injuries struck in 2009, a broken fibula derailing hisascent, and again this past season. A strained hamstring cost him fourof the Raiders first five games. A potential unrestricted free agentand big fan of Cable, Gallery may have played his last game in Oakland.Samson Satele Replaced by a rookie in Veldheer to start theseason, Satele seemingly had his confidence shaken and his tough-loverelationship with Cable seemed to wear thin. He started the last 15games at center and found his groove the last quarter of the season.How will Cables dismissal affect Satele, who fits better in azone-blocking scheme than a power-run game favored by Hue Jackson?RELATED: Raiders roster
Cooper Carlisle Oaklands Mr. Dependable, Carlise was the onlyRaiders offensive lineman to start every game at the same position in2010. He is sure to be pushed next season by Bruce Campbell.Langston Walker A favorite of owner Al Davis, Walker is one ofjust three holdovers from the Raiders Super Bowl team of 2002, minushis two-plus season sabattical in Buffalo. Walker found a home at righttackle. Walker missed a game after suffering a scary-looking concussionat home against Denver.Khalif Barnes Brought in to presumably start at left tackle2009, a broken ankle halted his plans. Instead, hes found a niche as abackup lineman du jour, pass-catching eligible tackle and locker roomcutup.Mario Henderson Lane Kiffins one-time whipping boy, Hendersonseemed to settle in at left tackle by default in 2009. But the arrivalof Veldheer pushed Henderson to the fringes. With Walker an impendingunrestricted free agent, Henderson might move out to right tackle fulltime.RELATED: Raiders 2010 game-by-game results
Daniel Loper Offensive linemen are like referees in a game;the less you notice them, the better their performance. Loper performedadmirably in starting four games for the injured Gallery at left guardearly on. Bruce Campbell The Combines workout warrior with hisoff-the-charts measurables, Campbell saw significant action on the linein just one game in the blowout at Denver. He was mostly used onspecial teams and was inactive the last five games, much to the chagrinof Davis. A left tackle by trade, Campbell was moved to right guard andwill make a push to start there next season.

Will a Gruden-Lynch partnership work? ‘Guys like him interest me’

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AP

Will a Gruden-Lynch partnership work? ‘Guys like him interest me’

Jon Gruden asked to speak with Marshawn Lynch several times but got turned down.

His job title earned an automatic veto. The enigmatic running back doesn’t talk to the press, even a Monday Night Football analyst with Gruden’s street cred. No production meetings, no insight flowing outside the inner circle.

Lynch must honor the next request. Gruden’s his boss, after all.

“I’m anxious to sit down with Marshawn and meet him,” the new Raiders head coach said Tuesday during his introductory press conference. “We’ll talk about his future and the Raiders. I can’t wait. He came back to the Raiders for similar, I think, reasons that I did. I think he loves Oakland. I think he loves the Raiders and guys like him interest me, so I’m looking forward to talking to him.”

The veteran running back and Oakland native has a year left on a two-year deal struck last April. The 2018 payouts, per overthecap.com, include a $4 million base salary, a $250,000 workout bonus, a $1 million roster bonus and $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses. There are also significant performance-based incentives.

Marshawn is under contract, but also has some say in this matter. He could post an image of cleats hanging on a telephone wire like he did after the 2016 Super Bowl and call it a career. Lynch made it clear in a rare press conference that he didn’t miss football. He returned for the opportunity to play in front of a East Bay community he champions and bring attention to his significant charitable efforts.

There are several possible outcomes from the Gruden/Lynch tete-a-tete. Gruden might not consider him worth the while. Lynch may walk away, for good this time. Or, the two could traverse 2018 together.

Predicting Marshawn’s movements is a fool’s errand. We can, however, make an educated pros and cons list. Let’s take a look at some factors influencing the ultimate outcome.

PROS

-- The phrase in Gruden’s last sentence above may have tipped his hand: “Guys like him interest me.” Lynch is an intense presence, one of his generation’s most physical runners. Gruden can use on-field talents like him, though it’s uncertain whether he’s a perfect fit in an offense that has certainly evolved during nine years in the broadcast booth.

Also, Gruden loves Oakland. Lynch loves Oakland. That may be a good starting point.

-- Marshawn still has it. The 31-year old was the Raiders’ most productive skill player in 2017’s second half. He averaged 4.6 yards per carry over the last season games, totaling 625 rushing yards and five touchdowns. He also had at least 92 yards total offense in five of those contests. When he’s motivated and healthy – he didn’t miss a single practice with injury – Lynch can be a force on the ground

-- Gruden reportedly hired Tom Cable as offensive line coach a few days back. That’s probably a plus from Lynch’s perspective. Cable was Seattle offensive line coach, and heavily involved in the running game, during Lynch’s best seasons. He ran a system that fit Lynch well, though Gruden said schemes will be based around team strengths. Lynch and Cable reportedly get along well, and could be a major reason why Lynch finds it appetizing to return.

-- Lynch carried locker room clout. Last year’s coaching staff didn’t love him, but player certainly did.

CONS

-- Lynch comes with some baggage. He’s an eccentric sort who does his own thing, at times without regard for small rules. That may rub Gruden and staff the wrong way. It certainly bothered Del Rio’s crew, especially when he seemed to have his own set of rules.

The Raiders tolerated Lynch’s choice to sit during the national anthem all year, despite being vocal against such actions the year before. He also had a production crew following him around quite often, especially in camp.

He got suspended for sticking up for the other team in Week 7, protecting great friend, Oakland native and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters in an on-field altercation. He then practiced with his old high school during the suspension.

Gruden may not love the prospect of dealing with extra weight, depending on how strict he plans to be during this coaching tenure.

-- Lynch turns 32 in April. While Lynch might be an exception, running backs often fall off a production cliff in their early 30s. Can the Raiders get good value from Lynch at that age, knowing full well another running back might be added to the roster?

-- Lynch may simply not be into another year in Oakland. He enjoyed taking 2016 off, travelling the world and increasing charitable and business endeavors. Is his drive still strong?

Report: Former Raiders head coach returning to join Gruden's staff

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AP

Report: Former Raiders head coach returning to join Gruden's staff

Jon Gruden isn’t the only Raiders head coach returning to the Silver and Black.

Tom Cable’s on the way, albeit in a lesser role. Gruden already has the top job. Cable’s coming back, NFL Network reported Saturday afternoon, as offensive line coach.

He occupied that role in Oakland from 2007 until he assumed the head coach role when Lane Kiffin was fired five games into the 2008 season. The interim tag was lifted in 2009, and he coached the Raiders to an 8-8 record in 2010.

He followed that feat with the now famous quote, “We’re not losers anymore.” The Raiders had seven straight losing seasons before finishing .500 in what would be Cable’s last season with the club. He was 17-27 in two-plus seasons as Raiders head coach.

He went to Seattle after that, and spent seven seasons as Seahawks assistant head coach in charge of the offensive line. He also worked extensively with Marshawn Lynch during the rusher’s salad days in Seattle.

Cable returning to the Raiders seemed highly unlikely after late owner Al Davis detailed Cable’s misgivings in a post-firing press conference. Cable was allegedly involved in a 2009 incident where then Raiders assistant Randy Hanson was left with a broken jaw. ESPN also aired a report where three women accused Cable of domestic violence. One of Cable’s accusers sued Cable and named the Raiders as a co-defendant. Davis docked Cable’s pay in relation to that litigation.

Cable is a respected position coach, though the Seahawks offensive line has fallen on hard times. He and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell were fired after a disappointing season where the Seahawks missed the postseason.

Offensive line coach was a top priority as Gruden built a staff. Cable is known for using a zone blocking scheme, though it remains uncertain what he’ll use in Oakland with a powerful, expensive offensive front locked in place save the right tackle spot.