Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

September 13, 2012
Who's at center? Raiders still weighing options

ALAMEDA -- When the Raiders' first-team offense broke its first huddle at practice this morning, it was with Stefen Wisniewski at center. But Alex Parsons is getting reps with the starters too, head coach Dennis Allen said today, and it's still undecided who will be snapping the ball to Carson Palmer when the Raiders play the Dolphins on Sunday.

"We're going to watch them again at practice tomorrow and then we'll make a decision," Allen said.

When training camp started it seemed this was Wisniewski's job to lose. But his recovery from offseason labrum surgery and then a calf injury suffered in the first preseason game limited the number of reps he took in camp, and Parsons stepped in. Wisniewski was active for the opener Monday night but didn't play.

Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp said today that Wisniewski "might be a little bit better of a run blocker, and Alex has a little more experience in pass protection." The great equalizer is their experience at the position -- or lack thereof. Parsons was on the practice squad last year. Wisniewski had a standout season at left guard, but the injuries threw a wrench in his move to center.

"Because of that, we're getting a feel for, OK, who's moving faster, who's understanding the scheme faster," Knapp said. "We really put a burden on our centers in the run game to target us right. They do the audibling, if you will, so we don't have to audible as a quarterback to change plays out. And so we're getting a little bit of growth going on with those two guys at that position, along with the ability to play center. It's very equal."

* Allen said there is "probably a strong possibility" that receiver Jacoby Ford will be placed on season-ending injured reserve after undergoing left foot surgery this week for a Lisfranc injury -- not the new short-term IR that would make him eligible to return to practice after six weeks.

* Linebacker Rolando McClain (ankle) and running back Taiwan Jones (ribs) were both limited in practice today after being held out Wednesday. Allen said he is "real hopeful" both will be able to play against the Dolphins.

* Long snapper Jon Condo (concussion) was "feeling a lot better today" and will travel to Miami with the team, Allen said, but that doesn't necessarily mean he will play. Condo needs to be medically cleared to return. Allen said the Raiders intend to wait as long as possible before making a decision on Condo.

-- Matt Kawahara

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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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