While skill position players capture the lion’s share of the praise, Raiders center Rodney Hudson deserves more. During his stay in Oakland, Hudson quietly executed without waver. Yet, you do not see many pieces written about his contribution. Meanwhile, Hudson shows up, dominates, and leaves the field. The Oakland Raiders are on the verge of success, due in part to the labor of Rodney Hudson
Although other talent produces point, no other two players share offensive camaraderie more than a quarterback and his center. For Carr and Hudson, the story never changes. As the Raiders floundered under the myopic eye of Todd Downing, Carr always had Hudson to make the protection calls and anchor the offensive line. As Carr ages, Hudson will still be there to ensure that no rusher sniffs the quarterback.
When you think of a center, stats do not really fall to mind. However, over the past two years, Hudson showed why he is the best center in the game. With all due respect, to Travis Frederick of the Cowboys, Hudson remains the gold standard.
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Case in point, since 2016, Hudson allowed one sack and fourteen pressures. That is it. That is to say, that defender never finds their way home. If you think about the number of times, the Raiders needed to pass in 2017, the pocket appeared clean up the middle. Whether the edge did their jobs remains up for debate.
When Jon Gruden arrived, he brought Tom Cable along. Cable operate a zone blocking scheme, instead of the mauling power game that worked under Mike Tice. On the other hand, zone would actually fit Hudson pretty well. Despite the mammoth guards on either side, Hudson uses quickness and timing to defeat defenders. Most defensive tackles will not rise as quickly out of their stance to get a jump on Hudson. With a zone taught by Cable, Hudson will flourish athletically. Defenders will adjust to him and not vice versa.
In the final analysis, Rodney Hudson’s presence makes the Raiders better. If Carr can climb the ladder in the pocket, the team succeeds. With little fanfare or recognition from crowds, Hudson just works. In an era of a brash Raiders coach and a fanbase starving for sustained success, one of the most important cogs does not receive the proper due. Yet, I have a feeling that Rodney Hudson would not want it any other way.