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Camp analysis: Offensive line

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, July 24th, 2009 at 9:24 am in Oakland Raiders.

Fifth in a series of posts analyzing Raiders position groups, with players reporting to training camp Tuesday:

Projected starters: LT Mario Henderson, LG Robert Gallery, C Samson Satele, RG Cooper Carlisle, RT Khalif Barnes. Backups: C John Wade, C-G Chris Morris, G Jonathan Compas, G Marcus Johnson, G-T Paul McQuistan, T James Marten, T Cornell Green, T Erik Pears, T Mark Wilson.

When Tom Cable finally pulled the plug on the Kwame Harris experiment _ his biggest personnel mistake since joining the Raiders _ the much-maligned Henderson got his chance and got the better of Richard Seymour, Mario Williams and Gaines Adams in the last three games, making him the front-runner to protect the blind side of JaMarcus Russell. As time passes, Gallery’s contract doesn’t look all that ridiculous. He’s making what an elite guard makes. The only thing between Gallery and Pro Bowl recognition is a winning season. Satele was a two-year starter in Miami who had trouble moving some of the elite interior linemen of the AFC East but played with a shoulder injury which has since been surgically repaired. Carlisle’s play slipped in 2008 after a strong 2007, but the Raiders thought enough of him to re-sign him when he hit free agency. Green was never expected to be a starting right tackle, but there he is. Ideally, either Henderson, Barnes or Pears seizes the position. Pears was a starter in Denver in 2007 with experience in the zone blocking system. Morris is a system fit who can play both guard and center. Johnson was a former Minnesota second-round draft pick who Cable envisions as a guard rather than a tackle, a switch which worked for Gallery. McQuistan, out with a knee injury last year, is a mauler whose work in space makes him suspect for the system. Marten is big and agile, but never got a sniff after being claimed off Dallas’ practice squad last year even though tackles were struggling. Compas could be a practice squad candidate. Wilson keeps hanging around, and in the zone blocking system, sometimes obscure linemen emerge.

The key battle: Henderson vs. Barnes. Winner anchored at left tackle. Runner-up moves to the right.

What I think: Henderson endured public potshots from Lane Kiffin last year, but never really had the confidence of Cable, either, who kept playing Harris even though he was mostly a disaster. The third-year tackle does have the support of Al Davis, who duly noted in a press conference how Henderson made Seymour, Williams and Adams disappear. It will be a major surprise if he doesn’t start the season at left tackle, and he likely won’t get as much help as he has in the past. It’s time to put Henderson on the island. Barnes had a season in Jacksonville which was similar to Harris’ season with the Raiders, full of false starts and sacks allowed. He’s on a one-year contract in hopes of boosting his value, and needs to be sold on the merits of changing positions and then brought up to speed. If the Raiders are again weak at tackle, it puts Russell at risk in terms of both injury and would reduce his chances to be an effective quarterback even if he remains upright. One thing in the line’s favor _ if Lorenzo Neal still has all his skill as a blocking fullback, everyone just got a little better.

What could go wrong: There is very little in the way of proven depth. Injury or ineffectiveness puts Green back on the field, and there are no guards on the roster who approach the experience or cut-blocking skill of Gallery or Carlisle.

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  • RaiderRockstar

    Whats Good DOuble R your workin harder than I am today brother!!

    ***

    hey there OAKlifer!

    yeah. the President has a little side project that the billing team is responsible for. problem is the billing team is full of old women, so the executive VP and I are in charge of cleaning out the storage unit. 25 years of files in banker boxes. piled high! every other friday we work on this summer project and i get to wear jeans. our company is going completely paperless. woohoo!

  • RaiderRockstar

    I gotta run. you guys have a great weekend

    see ya monday – the day before players report to Alameda

    whoop whoop. football season is right around the corner, boys !!!

  • Florida Pete

    you people…

    the reason fargas crashes into the first linebacker he sees is because…

    you cannot be a crashtest dummy if you don’t crash into something…

    and this speaks to Fargas’ intelligence…

    if you had the choice of crashing into a linebacker…

    or crashing into a wall after running through an endzone…

    well… this explains why he has so few touchdowns…

  • OAKlifer

    Florida Pete Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 1:36 pm
    you people…

    ********************
    Hey now!!!! LOL

  • http://atm Raider O

    Who is ” you people”?!?

  • http://atm Raider O

    I’m the Lion King, and I can do Anything!!

  • http://justwinbaby! 909RaiderLifer

    Jerry Mac…

    Jeez man, way to be a party pooper. Just as we’re all getting fired up over the opening of training camp for OUR much needed fix of Raiders football. You have to go pee in the punch bowl, and write about the effing O-line, on a Friday no less.

    In your next installment, Please write about Special Teams. Since they were the only squad that showed any improvement last year. Or, perhaps the Raiderettes.

    If you write about the D-line tomorrow, that will make for a very l-o-n-g weekend, and may cause myself and others here to run up one hell of a bar bill, trying to kill the pain.

  • raiderrich

    I think if the Oline is improved and gives JRuss a couple more seconds it will make all the difference in his accuracy and timing which will lift our already powerhouse running game to greatness and improve the Defence significantly so I think 10-6 isn’t out of the question.

  • AZ Raider

    You people…

    I’m starting every post with that from now on, I like it!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    You people (and RaiderRockstar)…

    Have a good weekend! Its Foster oilcan time!

  • AZ Raider

    Damn Bo, have one for me, I still have 3 hours to go!

  • AZ Raider

    oops!

    You people…

    Damn Bo, have one for me, I still have 3 hours to go!

  • Coach on Wheels

    You people crack me up with all of your “you people” stuff. lol

  • AZ Raider

    You people…

    Ah, nevermind.

  • http://justwinbaby! 909RaiderLifer

    COW…

    Man, you were on FIRE earlier, always fun to read.

  • Twocents

    All y’all,

    James Martin will be our RT. Why? Because I want him to be.

    We have a new OL coach (Michalczik) who will develope him into a pro-bowler. Our last OL coach was not good at evaluating talent.

    He was rated higher than Mario in the 2007 draft.

    Al Davis snagged him off the Cowboys practice squad and got him for nothing.

    I have spoken. (Yes, I have been drinking.)

  • http://snotmerch.com/ Lynn from Snot

    Jamarcus needs to get rid of the ball faster , make his reads find a receiver or take off if a lane is open. That was part of his problem last year, that and no receivers and KH trying to block. This year better be an improvement on the line and getting rid of the ball or it will be more of the same.

  • AZ Raider

    You people…

    What?

  • lefty12

    actually Harris’ problem was more with penalties,but that is nit-picking because no matter what the problem,he was horrible.

  • Twocents

    Roll out, look deep, if it’s not there, run like a fullback. Bettis with an arm!

  • DirtyRaccoon

    lefty12 Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 1:02 pm
    instead of worrying about Cable scripting the 1st few series of plays,we should be worried about whether or not Mac can stay healthy for more than 2 games at a time.

    —————————————-

    Why worry about things you can not change?

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  • DirtyRaccoon

    Raider O Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 2:03 pm
    I’m the Lion King, and I can do Anything!!

    ——————————————-

    I am the EGG MAN… GOOO GOOO GAACHOOO

  • lefty12

    worrying about something sports related isn’t the same as worrying about,say,losing ones job.it is more of a figure of speech.actually the correct way to put is we should be concerned about whether or not he can stay healthy for more than 2 games at a time.

  • AZ Raider

    You people…

  • DirtyRaccoon

    James Marten OT 6’8 315 Boston College 5.08
    By: Robert Davis
    Marten played in every game as a freshman, but made only one start on the year, at right tackle. He spent his sophomore year as the starter at left guard, then moved to left tackle as a junior and senior. Marten earned All ACC 2nd team honors as a senior.

    Being a BC lineman, you know Marten has the toughness and intangibles on his size. He has a non stop motor and never backs down from an opponent. He also knows how to open holes in the running game, and finish off blocks. He has the ideal tackle frame, very long and lean, with room to add more bulk. Marten has also shown a great deal of versatility, playing both tackle spots and starting at guard during his college career.

    Marten may only project to right tackle at the next level. He is too long and lean to play inside at guard. He cannot get any leverage on guards that are four or five inches shorter. As a tackle, he lacks the ideal athleticism to play on the left side. On the right side, he’s going to have to get stronger to remain a factor as a run blocker.

    Boston College has an excellent tradition of producing offensive lineman, and Marten is just another one added to the list. He is not a premier prospect, but he has the ability to play at the next level.

    ——————————————————————————–

  • AZ Raider

    you people…

    I can’t wait to get outta this place. I need a beer and a blunt.

  • Nnamdi21

    lefty12 Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 4:17 pm
    actually Harris’ problem was more with penalties,but that is nit-picking because no matter what the problem,he was horrible.

    ==================

    Penalties and whiffs. Man he got toasted week in, week out. Between him and Hall, they cost us several wins.

  • lefty12

    Nnamdi,a lot of his whiffs were because he got off the ball late due to the fact he was getting so many false starts.but as i said,it is nit-picking,he was horrible no matter how you look at it.

  • AZ Raider

    You people…

    I always thought Kwame looked a little DS.

  • lefty12

    DS-?

  • DirtyRaccoon

    New Free Agency Winners and Losers

    Who am I?

    Guess who DE 6’5 269 Georgia 4.62
    By: Robert Davis
    Guess who, toyed with the idea of being a two sport athlete originally. After spending time with the basketball team as a freshman, he realized his future was on the gridiron. As a redshirt freshman in 2003, ???? racked up 37 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and 5.5 sacks, earning All SEC Freshman honors. He became more of a playmaker as a sophomore, going for 7.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks, to go along with 23 tackles. As many players do, ????????broke out as a junior. He posted career highs with 44 tackles, 20.5 for loss, and 11.5 sacks. His numbers dipped this year, as he had just 4.5 sacks to go along with 31 tackles, 10.5 of them coming for loss.

    Pound for pound, ?????is one of the elite athletes in the draft. He has fantastic agility, quickness, and speed on the football field. He has the athletic talent to be a true standout off the edge in the NFL. He is not just an athlete though. He has a great burst off the snap, and once he gets a step on the tackle, is in the backfield to bring down the ball carrier. ????? shows the ability to get after the passer, but has the awareness to see the run play and get to the back.

    As with most ‘tweeners,’ ???? lacks the bulk to be effective in running situations. He can be driven off the ball because of his long and lanky frame. He will need to bulk up to be more of an all around threat, and to be on the field as much as possible. He also needs to play with more passion, as he seems to wander at times during the game.

    ?????entered the year neck and neck with Gaines Adams, but he slid a bit this year. Adams appears to be the top end on most boards now, and ??? is considered a second or third round talent. His poor season, and less than stellar workouts have pushed him down the boards. He still shows the athleticism and quickness on the field to develop, he’s just more of a project than most thought entering the year.

  • Twocents

    Thanks for the scouting report DirtyRaccoon.

    Not quite as glowing as I would have liked. Maybe it will look better after another drink.

  • AZ Raider

    DS

    Down Syndrome

  • DirtyRaccoon

    AZ Raider Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 4:35 pm
    you people…

    I can’t wait to get outta this place. I need a beer and a blunt.

    *******

    Yep!

  • DirtyRaccoon

    Twocents,

    JM looked like the higest rated RT in that draft.

  • DirtyRaccoon

    James Marten OT 6′8 335 Boston College 4.44
    By: Robert Davis
    Marten played in every game as a freshman, but made only one start on the year, at right tackle. He spent his sophomore year as the starter at left guard, then moved to left tackle as a junior and senior. Marten earned All ACC 2nd team honors as a senior.

    Being a BC lineman, you know Marten has the toughness and intangibles on his size. He has a non stop motor and never backs down from an opponent. He also knows how to open holes in the running game, and finish off blocks. He has the ideal tackle frame, very long and lean, with room to add more bulk. Marten has also shown a great deal of versatility, playing both tackle spots and starting at guard during his college career.

    Marten may only project to right tackle at the next level. He is too long and lean to play inside at guard. He cannot get any leverage on guards that are four or five inches shorter. As a tackle, he lacks the ideal athleticism to play on the left side. On the right side, he’s going to have to get stronger to remain a factor as a run blocker.

    Boston College has an excellent tradition of producing offensive lineman, and Marten is just another one added to the list. He is a premier prospect, he has the ability to be the BEST RT in the NFL.

    ——————————————————————————–

  • lefty12

    AZ-possible,after all he went to Stanford.

  • DirtyRaccoon

    There, I put a little spin on it.

  • DirtyRaccoon

    Who am I?

    Guess who DE 6′5 269 Georgia 4.62
    By: Robert Davis
    Guess who, toyed with the idea of being a two sport athlete originally. After spending time with the basketball team as a freshman, he realized his future was on the gridiron. As a redshirt freshman in 2003, ???? racked up 37 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and 5.5 sacks, earning All SEC Freshman honors. He became more of a playmaker as a sophomore, going for 7.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks, to go along with 23 tackles. As many players do, ????????broke out as a junior. He posted career highs with 44 tackles, 20.5 for loss, and 11.5 sacks. His numbers dipped this year, as he had just 4.5 sacks to go along with 31 tackles, 10.5 of them coming for loss.

    Pound for pound, ?????is one of the elite athletes in the draft. He has fantastic agility, quickness, and speed on the football field. He has the athletic talent to be a true standout off the edge in the NFL. He is not just an athlete though. He has a great burst off the snap, and once he gets a step on the tackle, is in the backfield to bring down the ball carrier. ????? shows the ability to get after the passer, but has the awareness to see the run play and get to the back.

    As with most ‘tweeners,’ ???? lacks the bulk to be effective in running situations. He can be driven off the ball because of his long and lanky frame. He will need to bulk up to be more of an all around threat, and to be on the field as much as possible. He also needs to play with more passion, as he seems to wander at times during the game.

    ?????entered the year neck and neck with Gaines Adams, but he slid a bit this year. Adams appears to be the top end on most boards now, and ??? is considered a second or third round talent. His poor season, and less than stellar workouts have pushed him down the boards. He still shows the athleticism and quickness on the field to develop, he’s just more of a project than most thought entering the year.

    Who am I?

  • Twocents

    I give up. Can I buy a vowel?

  • DirtyRaccoon

    QM

  • DirtyRaccoon

    Q. Mosses

    Sure looks good on paper.

  • Twocents

    Dammit, that was my first guess but I couldn’t remember where he went to college.

  • Dude

    The Raiders blew a draft pick? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • Coach on Wheels

    The Raiders drafted a tweener DE that didn’t pan out? No way! They NEVER draft tweeners that flop, never.

  • 73rdraider

    Michael Johnson Georgia Tech

  • Florida Pete

    okay, people, listen up…

    all you people who used the phrase “you people” owe me 10 cents for each time you used it…

    copyrighted material and all…

    never mind the details…

    just send the money to:

    Florida Pete
    Florida, USA

    don’t worry, it’ll get to me…

  • Florida Pete

    how do you go wrong with a guy named Quentin stinking Moses ???

    you got the bible thing…

    you got the prison thing…

    sounded good to me…

  • 73rdraider

    Danny Southwick is so good that all thirty two NFL teams passed him over in the draft. Is Danny Southwick going to be the savior of the Raiders? Who that is a Raider fan would say we are going to the playoffs if Danny Southwick was our Quarterback? Who around the league has made that statement? Any Coaches or players, or the media perhaps? Has Danny Southwick even muttered those words?No, he is just happy to be on a NFL roster. The facts are that the Raiders have had a lot of holes over the last six years. I would point out the O-line,Receivers and the D-line,Safeties have been the key weak positions on each side of the ball. Luckily, this year we have retained our team. A young and talented team. We retained our coach and kept the same system in place. We added a few key veterans on either side of the ball. Believe it or not Jamarcus Russell will have a good year. Maybe it is hard for some people to grasp how well he has played since joining the Raiders. In his first start in the NFL against Jay Cutler a Pro Bowl Quarterback, he not only won the game 34-20 but he also had impressive stats going 23/31 224 yards 1Td/1int. All this having the worst O-line in the game. We all know that our O-line is the problem mixed with a group of unproven receivers. And our D-line is the problem mixed with a group of unproven Safeties. Hopefully our team the Oakland Raiders can put it together on the lines where the games are won and get us some victories. We have all the talent we just need to get TOUGH!!!!!!!!!! and NASTY!!!!!!! again. That is what’s missing!

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