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Raiders rookie third-round pick Gabe Jackson represents a changing of the guard as a 336-pound road grader

Filed for print with expanded notes . . .

Gabe Jackson represents a changing of the guard for the Raiders in ways that go beyond inserting the rookie third-round draft pick into the starting lineup.

With general manager Reggie McKenzie on record as saying, “We want to do the pushing around. You do that with big people,’’ Jackson is a mover and a shaker at 6-foor-3, 336 pounds.

In past years, as the Raiders have gone from back and forth from zone blocking to gap and power blocking, the guards, including departed players Cooper Carlisle and Mike Brisiel, were more suited for attack from the side rather than head on.

Other starting guards in recent years, such as Robert Gallery, a former tackle, had started at another position, or like Stefen Wisniewski, a guard as a rookie, were on their way to different position.

With the Raiders wavering on what they wanted from their guards, perhaps it’s not surprising they haven’t sent one to the Pro Bowl since Steve Wisniewski in 2000.

Jackson, if all goes according to plan, will give Raiders a pure-power road grader. He’s built like a kitchen appliance and is his forte is forward progress.

A four-year starter at Mississippi State, Jackson has 52 Southeastern Conference starts and had seldom took a backward step.

“I feel that was my strength in college, and I’m doing all I can to learn the techniques the coaches teach me and there are different tips and techniques that can help me improve my strength even more,’’ Jackson said.

Jackson played his entire career at Mississippi State at left guard, but switched to the right side in a recent practice when Austin Howard left with a minor back issue. His most likely ticket to the starting lineup is supplanting veteran Khalif Barnes at some point on the left side.

“The biggest thing I like about Gabe Jackson is he’s a strong, powerful player,’’ Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “He’s got to learn to adjust when things move in front of him. It’s one thing to be in the meeting room with the X’s and O’s. It’s another when those X’s and O’s start to move and you’ve got to adjust and make quick decisions.’’

Barnes, a former tackle who moved inside last season, could eventually be a utility player available at both guard and tackle spots, but remains currently the starting left guard.

“It’s competition and it’s been that way every year,’’ Barnes said. “I’ll do anything I can to help him. If I’m needed to play some place else, maybe the things I’ve told him can help and that helps the team.’’

Barnes has been impressed with Jackson’s power as well as demeanor.

“He’s a stocky guy, perfect size for a guard height-wise and has a powerful chest,’’ Barnes said. “He’s one of those rookies that gets it. He listens and he’s not hard-headed.‘’

Wisniewski was impressed at how Jackson stepped in on the right side in a pinch and also likes Jackson’s power.

“He’s very strong. I can see him being a very good run blocker,’’ Wisniewski said. “He’s learning how to pass block in the NFL. It’s a completely different ballgame, but he’s got the ability to do it. I could see him being a starter at some point. He’s got that ability.’’

– Defensive end Justin Tuck didn’t practice with a groin injury that Allen said was minor.

“Somewhat of an injury, somewhat of a veteran’s day off,’’ Allen said.

– With Tuck out, rookie seventh-round pick Shelby Harris got some work with the first team. Harris did not play football last season after being dismissed from the team at Illinois State. Allen has seen considerable progress in Harris since the offseason program.

“He was probably a ltitle out of football shape, maybe a little bit heavy, and lost some weight during the time off,” Allen said. “He’s come back at 273 pounds and I’ve seen a lot of improvement out of him. He’s a guy we thought had some explosion and pass rush ability. He’s quietly begun to move himself up the depth chart so hopefully he’ll continue to improve.’

– Running back Darren McFadden did some good things in the passing game, streaking down the left sideline to haul in a perfectly thrown touchdown pass from rookie Derek Carr. The presence of Maurice Jones-Drew could give the Raiders the opportunity to make McFadden a major player in the passing game instead of a check-down and screen presence.

– Tony Bergstrom, who has played guard and tackle since being drafted in the third round in 2012, is now working at center. After an initial practice where he had difficult with his snaps, Bergstrom is playing much better.

“He’s been more consistent with the snaps,” Allen said. “I think that’s something we want to continue to work on and look at. He’s going to need to take some reps at center, and (Kevin) Boothe is going to need to take some reps at guard. We’re trying to work that flexibility as much as we can so when we get to a game day roster, the more you can do as a backup player, the easier it is to get in the game.”

– Free safety Charles Woodson intercepted a Schaub pass for the second consecutive day, this time on a deflection.

Allen consistently brushes off any inquiries about the possibility of Carr competing for the starting job.

“Matt Schaub is our starting quarterback,” Allen said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. I like the way our offense is being run right now and so I think when you have a veteran like that playing that position it makes you a better football team.”

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Raider O

    Callahan was dumb too.

  • Raider O

    What are they going to say? Our HC is a moron?

  • WILLY91137

    And you smoked a blind and drank a sixpack that is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day why do you even watch football and you can’t wait for it to be over God man get a life

  • WILLY91137

    Good one

  • Raiders for Life

    I’ve been known to tell my boss that he is an idiot.

  • Raider O

    Smoked a blind?
    Lol
    Go learn how to type old man.

  • Raider O

    You are still employed? Lol

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I did all the time. Of course, I was self employed.

  • WILLY91137

    I wasn’t was a boss 23 years I had a lot of people tell me that I told him yeah but you’re still working for me

  • Raiders for Life

    Yes, I’m not a used car salesman like you.

  • WILLY91137

    F YOU

  • Raiders for Life

    You still are. How is my silver and black llama doing? That one is gonna take me up to the Trinity alps someday.

  • Raider O

    I don’t sell used cars. It’s been a few years. I buy, develop, and manage property abroad. I also work as a financial advisor for small businesses.

  • WILLY91137

    not too dumb HE is still in the NFL

  • Raider O

    It’s weird. Being insulted by an old ignorant drunk with no education doesn’t bother me.

  • Raiders for Life

    Just giving you a bad time. Not trying to start a blog fight. Sounds like you’re doing pretty good for yourself. Keep it up.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Better hurry. He’s getting old and semi-retired. We’ll use him in a pinch, but there’s 10 ahead of him and 3 more rotating in next year.

  • PlunkforHOF

    My best wishes to you brother. You’re a good son. When I was battling the POS that is cancer it was the love and support and encouragement of my family and friends that helped me get through. Your father needs your help even more.

  • WILLY91137

    Does not bother me either

  • Raider O

    It doesn’t bother me bro. I sold cars for 10+ years. Helped me get married, start a family, and helped pay for my education.

  • Raider O

    He is not a HC.

  • Raiders for Life

    Dang. So what do you do with the retirees? I have to ask the question, is llama meat any good?

  • J Hill

    What sparked this post?

  • Raider O

    Not surprised. I’m just glad someone like you is able to post here. Good for you.

  • Arkraider

    O willy uses dragon speak- garbles what he says- he’s cool man

  • Raiders for Life

    Nice, I framed homes and worked summers fighting forest fires, went to night school and now I’m happy with my job and family. I’m in a good spot.

  • Raider O

    Lol
    Olson talking about DMC being a playmaker.

  • http://cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Come on “O” that is a form of discrimination right there..lighten up

  • WILLY91137

    Somebody says they can’t wait for the season to be over so they can fire the coaching staff YOU have been a raider fan too long raider fan too long we’ve done that for a about 10 years how did that work out

  • Raider O

    Being glad an old man is able to post here is a form of discrimination? I didn’t know that.

  • http://cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    ” old ignorant drunk with no education “

  • Raider O

    This may shock you, but keeping a bad staff for the sake of continuity is a bad idea. Amazing concept, right?

  • Raider O

    That is a kind response for someone who insults you for posting your opinion. You disagree?

  • seymour bush

    Dumbest post in America.

  • WILLY91137

    Have little patience grasshopper we will get there

  • http://cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    When you can take this pebble from my hand you can fire Reggie Mr Davis…

  • Raider O

    Good for you. Proud of you bro.

  • Raider O

    More patience? 12 years is not enough?

  • http://cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    I wouldn’t have said anything if I didn’t feel like you were about to look like a bully

  • http://cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    13 is a magic number “O”

  • Raider O

    Says the person who argued Abe Lincoln was a democrat. Smh

  • JV.

    He had an ok day yesterday but him dropping the ball constantly is letting guys like Mike Davis and little to take his spot.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    O is a little psychotic today. He was stalking me earlier.

  • JV.

    Yup. Rivera and ausberry are in a good spot this year.

  • WILLY91137

    Raider o I had an old friend of mine that owned a used car lot and he used to help me with my racecar he was the funniest guy I’ve ever seen he was playing golf through his club and landed in a tree he climb up the tree and fell out of the tree and broke his arm it does not matter what you do for a living as long as you make one and it does not matter how much education you have some of the greatest people in the world very little education

  • Raider O

    I see the BHP stalker is stalking me again. Pathetic. So you don’t have time to look up football related info, but you have enough time to stalk KK, BHP, and now me. Smh

  • Raider O

    New post monkeys.

  • WILLY91137

    I will second that motion

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Can’t stop stalking me, can you? Your obsession with me is a little disturbing.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    There’s your reason, then, to save yourself some invested time and money, and do something else during the 3.5 hours you’d normally devote to watching the Raiders and the hours/month you’d normally spend blogging about the Raiders. Poker? Golf? Yard work?