The dark horse to make the Oakland Raiders 53-man regular season roster? Look no further than Ian Silberman does.
Instead of griping about releases from four teams since arriving into the league as a sixth-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2015 draft, the 25-year-old lineman follows direction. Including getting the start at right tackle for the Raiders against the Detroit Lions last week.
“I think he got edged one time on a pass set, but other than that he did a good job,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said of Silberman’s performance after Monday’s practice. “We needed somebody to come in and step up and he did that.”
Silberman staffed the right tackle spot at Boston College and since his assimilation to the NFL game; he has seen time at almost every position on the line. Moreover, it is that Swiss Army Knife attitude and versatility that will make it difficult for a team to wax him against from the roster.
“I give him credit. He has played a lot of positions for us. I said it a couple of times here, you can only keep so many lineman and you can only have so many linemen available on gameday,” Gruden said. “He’s going to have to play emergency tight end. He’s going to have to play emergency guard and tackle. Right now, he’s answered the bell in those areas.”
Gruden went on to marvel at the lone NFL squad last year to trot out their starting-five offensive line for the entire season last year, the Rams. Having Silberman, behind an already stout starting five is a sound idea. The 6-foot-5, 300-plus pounder exhibits a nasty mean streak owned by the Raiders’ Nation of Domination front five.
Add into the mix offensive line coach Tom Cable, a savant when it comes to developing offensive lineman and Silberman has plenty in his corner to corner a roster spot.
“That’s what Cable does. That’s what Cable does,” Gruden said about his OL boss. “He’s going to find five Cable guys, that’s what I called them. Right tackle goes down, somebody steps up.
“We have to get some versatility. We have to be able to adapt on who’s up, who’s down. That’s why Tom Cable is here. He’s a great line coach.”
With the requisite size and athleticism to anchor the edge and the flexibility to kick inside and provide some blue-collar grit, Silberman may have found his home with the Raiders.