1,095

Raiders enjoying the monotony of starting same five offensive linemen after last year’s weekly fire drill

Filed for print . . .

Never has monotony been more welcome than on the Raiders offensive line.

The Raiders lined up the same five starters at practice Tuesday that they have for every drill, every off-season team session, every training camp practice and every preseason game.

Center Stefen Wisniewski has guard Khalif Barnes and tackle Donald Penn to his left and guard Austin Howard and tackle Menelik Watson to his right.

“I feel like we’re able to make more progress with one group in there than we would be with the moving parts, and that’s been comfortable,’’ line coach Tony Sparano said

Sparano has been primarily a line coach for more than 30 years and never had as many moving parts as he did in 2013. The Raiders had an NFL-high eight different combinations up front and no starter made it through all 16 games.

Two of the combinations started together four times. The longest stretch of consecutive games for any group starting together was three in Weeks 15-17 _ Jared Veldheer at left tackle, Barnes at left guard, Wisniewski at center, Mike Brisiel at right guard and Tony Pashos at right tackle.

Pashos, who was not re-signed by Oakland, was cut by the Washington Redskins at the final cutdown and found himself starting for the Raiders in Week 1.

“I can recall a few times going in where I had a few series at right tackle and didn’t feel as If I was out there with someone I had any continuity with,’’ Watson said. “We’re all going through growing pains together. You’re familiar with the guy next to you, his voice, how he sets, how he sets up in the run game.’’

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said that by the second preseason game a year ago, the Raiders had already made three changes up front, the big one coming when Jared Veldheer tore his left triceps early in training camp and required surgery.

“I think that group is beginning to jell as a unit,’’ coach Dennis Allen said. “I think they’re playing with confidence, and I think it’s going to be a position group that is going to be one of the strengths of the team.’’

In a 27-26 win over the Detroit Lions, there was some concern over hits absorbed by starting quarterback Matt Schaub. According to Olson, one of the hits came because Schaub failed to recognize a blitz.

Sparano said the Lions also fooled the Raiders with a twist, a maneuver they picked up and blocked effectively during the same drive.

The Raiders have shown some strength up the middle through two preseason games and against the Cowboys during joint workouts in Oxnard. The addition of Howard, who started at right tackle for the New York Jets but was moved inside for the Raiders, has paid dividends so far, Sparano said.

Sparano was the offensive coordinator of the Jets in 2012, and helped sell the Raiders on signing him as a guard.

“When I was in Dallas, I made a transition with Leonard Davis from tackle to guard,’’ Sparano said. “He was a power guy that was a good athlete and he wound up making a few Pro Bowls doing that. Austin has great power, and he’s a good athlete who can really bend and sink.’’

– An MRI showed no structural damage to the right foot of fullback Marcel Reece, Allen said. Reece was limited in practice and his condition will be monitored daily.

– No decision has been made with regard to putting cornerback DJ Hayden (foot) on the regular-season physically unable to perform list, Allen said. Given Hayden has been out all training camp and the depth at the position, it’s unlikely he would be carried on the 53-man roster without a miraculous recovery over the next several days.

If played on regular season PUP, Hayden wouldn’t count toward the roster and would miss a minimum of six games.

– Wide receiver Juron Criner (hip) returned to practice. Quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Brice Butler are far enough along in the concussion protocol to take the field, but have not been cleared to play against Green Bay. Offensive tackle Matt McCants and defensive tackle Justin Ellis, also concussion victims, have not yet passed the first stage.

  • Share/Bookmark

Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • R8erEduc8er

    We call ‘em bobos

  • 24

    Yeah they were great when I had to jump in a small lake and swim across because of how light they were and they don’t hold water but I felt every single rock on the dirt. It was a painful run.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Sure sold some tickets.
    The guy just got to the NFL and there’s no telling how he’ll work out.
    One thing I could care less about is what he does in his spare time.

  • 24

    Oh man…lol

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Quit picking on alchohol Plunk.

  • Mike_Trail

    I totally hear you.

    Next thing you know DJ is going to come out with the 5 Finger Cleats and declare–”I got some new footwear, these should be perf….”

    And the Raider Faithfull perform a collective #Facepalm…

  • 24

    That applies for everyone though.

  • Elliot

    Where did you get that info?

  • Mike_Trail

    Those Mud Runs are Fun by the Way…
    I think mine was called “The Warrior Dash”
    I was head to toe in Mud at the end.

  • BigBenRexor

    Jerry McDonald@Jerrymcd

    Ellis still not sufficiently recovered from concussions, tried to participate in WR drills.

  • HELLSBELLS

    The RT Mccants is still out also. Hopefully after this week it is full go.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Hes done.

  • Mike_Trail

    Schaub on Windowpayne…

  • HELLSBELLS

    Wait how did he look? Red zone baby.

  • Elliot

    Both hayden and Ellis working in the side….where is the update that dj is going on pup?

  • 24

    They’re awesome man! I did the 6 mile camp pendleton mud run, a 3 mile Spartan Race in Malibu and an 8 mile Spartan Race in Las Vegas. I can’t wait to do another one but I need to get in shape for it and I’m low on funds atm but I really wanted to do the 12 mile Spartan Race…I may have to build back up again however.

  • BigBenRexor

    Better than Criner not supprisingly.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Shes dumb, was on NFL AM this morning think she is in love with Hoying. You would of thought she was talking about Farve or something.

  • DutchRaid

    Yeah, well take the pads off and put the flags on…whole different story!

  • HELLSBELLS

    Week two they will let you know.

  • Mike_Trail

    Of Course….
    Bengals give a isht about 1 thing…Can you Play?
    Dude can play.

    Raiders used to be like that…now its “Do you have bad dreams about horses?”

  • Dan78

    So I guess our beloved poster is a doctor after all…. or not….

  • r8ter4evr

    It worked for Kenny
    Hell he played better with his friend Jack

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Good news for Raiders…. Hopefully no Vick at Halftime…

  • marks hair

    Lmao.. if only it was rivers

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Shocker, I sure didn’t see this one coming LOL Silver 666 may need to burn more incense at the shrine :-)

  • Dakota

    Monotony? I am tired of the monotony of a decade plus of non-winning seasons.

  • WILLY91137

    He is an D lineman what the hell is he doing practicing with the wide receivers he still has a concussion he don’t know where he’s at

  • WILLY91137

    6 2 334 pounds wide receiver

  • r8ter4evr

    The Freezer

  • TrevJo

    If you haven’t learned to enjoy it yet, you never will!

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Dr. “Ellis, how many fingers am I holding up?”

    Ellis: “Thursday.”

    …that explains the 12 days off.

  • Dakota

    Maybe he is just dumb and the questions are too difficult?

  • TrevJo

    Good point about age. I’m not saying Manziel will ever be the person Russell Wilson is, but Wilson was two years older when he was a rookie. Makes a difference. Although it’s interesting to think that for all Manziel’s success in the two college seasons he played, he might have been better off coming back for a third.

  • Lowdown_in_Beijing

    Which begs the question, was Ellis capable of passing the concussion exam PRIOR to this injury???

  • http://batman-news.com 559 Raider 87

    Maybe Im late on posting this, but this is the first time I have seen us considered as a front runner for Jim if he leaves the ther Bay team. It would be crazy to actually have a realcoach on the sidelines

    http://cover32.com/raiders/2014/08/20/oakland-raiders-could-be-a-front-runner-for-jim-harbaugh-should-he-and-niners-part-ways/

  • R8erEduc8er

    New Post snitches!

  • WILLY91137

    HI 666 will you have a good day

  • plunkhead

    It was the trading back and forth nonsense the other night, knowing that JF was not ready

  • R8erEduc8er

    The rolled up dollar bill is the only thing that would give me a concern as a coach/teammate/fan.

  • Return

    Screw Manziel. Let RGII or Cam flip a finger or get within a hundred yards of a rolled up dollar bill and they’d be run out of football.

    You know why Manziel won’t make it? Because even if he wasn’t stupid and actually had a sound football base the players won’t let him make it. They know it’s a different standard for him than it is for them.

    Manziel will be broken in half and squashed into a grease spot.

    LeBron can’tt save him now.

  • Howard Benner

    Surely had to swallow their pride for that commercial. . .as usual Boz was over acting. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Looks like all those “college days” nostalga barbecues have packed those unwanted lbs. back onto his frame. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Yes, but for perspective sake, notice who the author of the story is. . .

    Pure conjecture. . .& a bit of science fiction. . .don’t think Mark would deviate from his dad’s propensity to treat nickels like man hole covers with coaches salaries. . .

  • Howard Benner

    Paging Dr. Wonderlic. . .