Since joining the Raiders in 2015, Rodney Hudson embraced his role as the leader of the offensive line. In fact, he pointed out that it comes with the position. Centers are relied upon as communication centers of the offensive line. Like middle linebacker will often serve the mouthpiece of a defense. He brings the necessary nasty attitude to the offensive line that teams need in order to establish a strong running game. Recently, in his postgame interview, Carr praised Hudson. The quarterback took time to make sure that everyone knew just how valuable he remains. In addition, Carr noted that Hudson’s ability to read the defense and help him with making adjustments matters. As a result, that nuance is one of the secrets behind the offensive lines’ success.
Beyond Carr’s praise, though Gruden has talked extensively about just how impressive Hudson is. While a tendency exist to take what Gruden says with a grain of salt, his praise of Hudson rings as earnest.
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Beyond the background where Hudson’s leadership becomes vital is when you look at what Gruden is trying to do with this Raiders team. While people discuss how his philosophy differs from General Manager Reggie McKenzie’s, both prioritized strengthening the offensive line. Each wants this team to run through the trenches. McKenzie accomplished this by signing Penn, Hudson, and Osemele and drafting Jackson.
Gruden showed that he shares this philosophy; by drafting what he hopes will be bookend tackles in Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker. While this year the offensive line has struggled mightily due to the turnover at tackle. In looking at the bigger picture with his struggles in transitioning to right tackle and his age Penn has likely played his last down for the Raiders. This means that Hudson will be the player that the Raiders look at to lead this offensive line going forward. Both Miller and Parker’s development will likely be aided a great deal by the mentorship that they receive from Hudson. Hudson’s leadership has already paid dividends, as the Raiders were able to develop Gabe Jackson from a relative unknown to a monster in the interior that has been able to hold his own against the NFL’s best.