Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

July 21, 2008
It could be Grove's time

Jake Grove and Robert Gallery were drafted in 2004 to be the foundation of the Raiders' offensive line.

After a few false starts, figuratively and literally, Gallery has found a home at left guard. No, he won't be the Pro Bowl left tackle the Raiders envisioned when he was the second overall pick in 2004.

This is the year for Jake Grove to emerge as a consistent performer on the offensive line at center.

Grove's strengths were said to be his athleticism and sound technique, both of which make him an ideal fit for the zone-blocking scheme offensive line coach Tom Cable teaches.

His weakness was a lack of strength that made it difficult for him to deal with large nose tackles. That's a big reason Grove didn't beat out Jeremy Newberry for the starting job last year.

Grove missed much of last season with a knee injury and wasn't taking part in the offseason workouts on the field. But any strength concerns appear to be alleviated.

Grove is noticeably bigger in the upper body, thanks to new strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll.

And Grove should be motivated in camp.

Newberry is gone, but the Raiders brought in another veteran center in the offseason, former Tampa Bay starter John Wade. There's also Chris Morris on the roster.

But I like Grove's chances. He played well in place of Newberry last year. And it looks like he's strong enough to handle the challenge.

Offensive line preview

C Jesse Boone: Spent all of 2007 on the practice squad, sucker punched by Warren Sapp after a training camp scrape last year.

Grove: Played in a career-low seven game last year with only two starts.

Morris: Not really big or strong so he might be a perfect fit in the system.

Wade: Started all 16 games for Tampa Bay the last three years.

G Cooper Carlisle: Probably the most consistent of the returning linemen.

Gallery: Team likes his mean streak, but wants to see him cut down on his penalties.

G Brandon Rodd: Undrafted rookie will probably handle scout team work and hope to make the practice squad.

T Cornell Green: Started 10 games before an injury ended his season. Had only eight starts his entire career before joining the Raiders. He needs to cut down on the false start penalties.

T: Kwame Harris: Free agency brought the oft-maligned former 49er across the Bay. He's expected to be the starting left tackle, so he and Gallery can share stories of being labeled busts during their careers while changing position coaches regularly. The idea of playing for Cable helped lure Harris, who Gallery would surely vouch for. If anyone can get the best out of Harris, it's Cable.

T Mario Henderson
: Lane Kiffin said Henderson isn't physical. It's also been said he struggles with his confidence. He and Green will battle for the starting right tackle job and will need to fix both of those issues to win the job.

T Paul McQuistan: Filled in at right tackle for Green last year, but the Raiders appear intent on giving Henderson every chance to win the job from Green. McQuistan can also play guard.

T Seth Wand: Signed last year to add depth after Green went down. He'll be in a fight to make the team.

T Mark Wilson: Spent most of last season on the practice squad before being elevated for the season finale. If he can play both tackle spots, that would enhance his chances of making the team.

--Jason Jones


About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

Raiders stories on sacbee.com

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31