Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

January 6, 2009
Gallery and who else?

Robert Gallery had the best season of his career in 2008.

Penalties weren't a problem. He looked good blocking defenders beyond the line of scrimmage.

Had Gallery been on a good team, talk of him being a Pro Bowl player wouldn't sound laughable.

Gallery's spot at left guard is one position on the offensive line the Raiders don't have to worry about.

Every other spot ... is anyone's guess at this point.

Center Jake Grove improved under Tom Cable, but can test the open market as a free agent. His backup was John Wade, who made a lot of money to be Grove's insurance policy because Grove was coming off knee surgery.

Right guard Cooper Carlisle can do the same.

Cornell Green isn't the long-term solution at right tackle.

And even though he ended the season as the starting left tackle, whether Mario Henderson can hold up over an entire season is unknown.

How the Raiders go about rebuilding the offensive line will have a lot to do with who is the head coach.

Retaining Cable or hiring someone that believes in zone blocking might lead to the team retaining some of the same players or upgrading with younger versions of Carlisle and Green.

The Raiders claimed tackle James Marten off waivers in September, but never used him in a game even as Green struggled. Henderson was given the opportunity to replace Kwame Harris, who struggled in pass protection and with false starts.

There are no young guards on the roster that would appear ready to step up opposite Gallery. Chris Morris (a restricted free agent) might be better suited to play center, not guard.

It was said Paul McQuistan could play guard or tackle in the zone-blocking scheme. So until a new coach is decided up, it's uncertain at to whether he'll be a guard or tackle in 2009.

McQuistan was lost early in the season with a knee injury.

The uncertainty means the Raiders could use multiple draft picks on offensive linemen and will need to look at adding some veteran depth in free agency.

But look for Gallery to be the leader of this group, no matter who the other starters are around him.

Next up in the season review, a look at the talent at the skill positions.

--Jason Jones

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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.

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