The Raiders have earned plenty of praise for their offensive line, with some pundits calling it potentially one of the best in the league.
The strength of that group is on the interior. Left guard Kelechi Osemele, center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson form a group that’s smart, big and incredibly powerful.
Raiders offensive line coach Mike Tice, who has been coaching in the NFL for 20 years to follow up a 14-year player career, isn’t sure he’s seen a better group.
“I’ve been very blessed to coach a lot of good football players, a lot of good lineman in Minnesota, some good guys in Jacksonville,” Tice said. “Those three guys as a trio there could be as good as any three guys I’ve been blessed to coach. I’m really excited about working with those guys.”
* Tice and head coach Jack Del Rio both praised the way Jackson has handled his move from left guard to right guard following Osemele’s acquisition.
“First of all, he didn’t pout, so that was awesome. He accepted it,” Tice said. “Second of all, honestly he looks like a natural over there on the right side and he’s having a tremendous camp.”
* Tice also spoke very highly of Jon Feliciano, last year’s fourth-round pick, who is pegged to backup at the three interior line spots.
Feliciano earned three starts toward the end of last season, but Tice didn’t particularly care for how he played during that stretch, noting that “he was on the ground too much.” But he trimmed down over the offseason, got married and Tice sees a more mature player.
“Jon has taken a big step for us,” Tice said. “He took all the left guard snaps for us in the first day in padded practice. Besides the fact that Kelechi’s a beast, it wasn’t evident that we were really missing anything. And now he’s starting to understand coverage and being able to make the calls in our protections. Very comfortable with him being that sixth guy. Very comfortable.”
* The Raiders were fairly light on team work Tuesday as they returned from their first off day of camp.
Among the highlights were a wheel route touchdown by Taiwan Jones from Matt McGloin off a busted coverage. Dewey McDonald also had an interception against McGloin during 7-on-7 work.
Mychal Rivera made a nice finger tip catch off a Derek Carr pass during 11-on-11 work and the Raiders first-team offense also went on a nice drive near the end of practice that concluded with a Carr touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.
* Undrafted defensive end Greg Townsend Jr. (undisclosed injury) was activated from the physically unable to perform list and suited up for his first training camp practice.