Trent Brown comfortable in Raiders' decision to play him at right tackle

Trent Brown comfortable in Raiders' decision to play him at right tackle

Trent Brown got paid left-tackle money, a premium generally afforded to those protecting a quarterback’s blind side. Stability’s vital to that gig, where the best offensive tackles generally play.

The Raiders bucked the long-standing tradition, paying Brown a record contract to play on the right side.

That was tough for some to grasp before Raiders head coach Jon Gruden confirmed the decision recently.

Brown has played both sides of the line, on the right for years with the 49ers and left last season following a trade to New England. His Patriots tenure, especially an excellent postseason performance, earned a massive four-year, $66 million deal from the Raiders with $36.25 million guaranteed.

Brown never stated a preference to remain on the left, and seemed content with the Raiders decision to send him back to the right side.

“It is what it is,” Brown said after Tuesday’s OTA session at the Raiders’ Alameda training facility. “I knew all along I was going to be placed where they needed me, and I was fine with the decision.”

The decision wasn’t all about Brown. The Raiders also wanted to keep 2018 first-round pick Kolton Miller on the left side, developing into a particular role. He plays better on the left, with mixed results playing right tackle at UCLA.

“It’s just a decision that we’ve made at this point. It’s about both of them, really. It’s about Kolton and Trent,” Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson said. “Certainly, we had a chance to study Trent before when he was in San Francisco. We’ve seen him on both sides. We’ve had a chance to have Kolton, obviously, on the left side, so that’s where we’ve started this spring. We feel good about that move right now.”

Brown’s versatility allowed the Raiders to play to Miller’s strength, and the transition has been smooth for the high-priced veteran.

“I’m pretty much stepping right back into it, doing what I was doing,” Brown said. “[Moving to left tackle], that was more of a transition than it was coming back to right. I definitely had to get my reps in, get my work in. it took some time, but I got comfortable over there. I think I could play either side comfortably now.”

Brown has been impactful on both sides of the line. He allowed just 39 total pressures in 2018 protecting quarterback Tom Brady, and just three sacks allowed. He allowed the exact number of pressures from the right side in 2016, his last full season with San Francisco, with six sacks in that total. His run blocking has been solid the last few years, showing surprising agility for someone who can block out the sun.

Brown is massive at 6-foot-8, 380 pounds and has been a plug-and-play free-agent acquisition. Brown credits right guard Gabe Jackson with helping him adjust, and those two could form an formidable force if they build proper chemistry this offseason.

Brown will have his hands full despite playing on a traditionally less prestigious side of the line. More top edge rushers are positioned to play the right tackle, including Denver’s Von Miller and the L.A. Chargers’ Melvin Ingram within the division. Kansas City’s Frank Clark will rotate back and forth, meaning he’ll face Brown roughly half the time.

The Raiders struggled protecting both edges last season starting Miller and 2018 third-round pick Brandon Parker as rookies.

[RELATED: Miller promises to 'be better' after rocky rookie season]

Having stability on the right, with high hopes for Miller on the left, should help the Raiders protect far better than last year.

“Pass rushers now around the league, there’s pass rushers on either side,” Brown said. “So you have to have pretty much a good tackle on both sides.”

Las Vegas Raiders can use Tom Brady to build business, Jay Glazer says

Las Vegas Raiders can use Tom Brady to build business, Jay Glazer says

While Derek Carr was in Las Vegas for the Raiders' official rebranding this week, speculation about Tom Brady joining the Silver and Black continues to simmer.

Two weeks ago, The Athletic's Jay Glazer said that Brady to the Raiders is a "no-brainer" because it would help with ticket sales, among other things.

On Friday, Glazer added a bit more context when asked again about where Brady will play next season.

"I said it last week, the Chargers or the Raiders," Glazer wrote. "I spoke about the business side of things. You guys kind of jumped on me talking about how great ticket sales are for the Raiders. I don’t know if I said ticket sales or not but there’s way more than ticket sales when you’re building up a business. They can use Tom Brady to build the business of the Raiders, which will now be an international team. I say that because of all the big business whales from all over the world who are going to come to Las Vegas and now be exposed to the Raiders.

"That’s going to be a hot ticket. The international marketing will be huge. The Raiders are going to be big players internationally with that. That’s why I would think it’s a brilliant move to go to Vegas."

Brady, who will turn 43 years old before the start of the 2020 NFL season, is a free agent and could move on from the Patriots, the only franchise he has ever known.

Carr is under contract with the Raiders for three more seasons, and recently said he is "looking forward" to being under center for the first snap in Las Vegas. But head coach Jon Gruden didn't give the most glowing endorsement of Carr after the regular-season finale in December.

All of this has fueled chatter that the Raiders could bring in Brady to help open their first season in Sin City.

[RELATED: Kiper has Raiders taking two Sooners]

While Brady led the Patriots to a 12-4 record this past season, his numbers declined, suggesting that his best days are behind him.

If owner Mark Davis and Gruden want to win games and continue to build a solid foundation for the future, they'll stick with Carr. If they are more concerned with making a sexy splash, they'll make the change to Brady.

Derek Carr 'looking forward' to being QB in Raiders' Las Vegas opener

Derek Carr 'looking forward' to being QB in Raiders' Las Vegas opener

Out of a possible 96 starts since being drafted by the Raiders in 2014, quarterback Derek Carr has been under center for 94 of them.

But after a disappointing 7-9 season, many Raiders fans have clamored for a change at the game’s most important position.

Carr, however, hasn’t paid the rumors or social media fodder too much attention.

“But I'll say it this way,” Carr said (h/t ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez). “I look forward to taking the first snap in that stadium, and I look forward to taking every snap from here on out -- until I'm done."

The 28-year-old had a career year in 2019, setting career-highs in passing yards (4,054), yards per attempt (7.9), and quarterback rating (100.8).

But coach Jon Gruden grew frustrated with Carr’s inability to throw the ball downfield consistently, and some potential free agent quarterbacks reportedly have caught the Raiders’ eye.

[RELATED: Raiders should pay attention to these 10 Senior Bowl stars]

As the team re-brands and moves into its new home in Sin City, some believe the team will bring on a new starting signal-caller to usher in the Las Vegas Raiders era.

Just don’t count Carr among them.