When the Raiders embark on their 2021 campaign, the offense will look totally different than last year. From one specific angle, the team decided to roll the dice with the offensive line. In shuffling the offensive line, the team seeks to start a new era in Vegas. Granted, offensive lines need to function as a cohesive unit. Yet, the Raiders cast their lot with all the pressure and hopes sitting on Tom Cable’s shoulders.
The Success Story
When the Raiders drafted Kolton Miller ahead of Derwin James, a collective groan filled the fanbase. In hindsight, the selection remains a rather astute one. After a rookie season filled with injury and struggle, Miller rebounded, improving to become a top-ten left tackle. In fact, when he inked an extension, Miller became the first Raiders’ first-round pick since Darren McFadden to secure a second contract with the franchise. The credit resides with Miller and Cable for sticking to the plan, ignoring the static, and fighting through the doubt.
Hole In The Middle
If you are honest, the loss of Rodney Hudson via trade will resonate throughout this season. You don’t ship borderline Hall of Fame talent away and not feel the drastic effects of their departure. While Nick Martin and Andre James could provide a serviceable role, neither provides the elite play. Now, this will test the limits of Cable’s efficacy. On the other hand, drafting a young, talented lineman, in the middle rounds could make this transition work. Wisconsin-Whitewater OL Quinn Meinerz profiles as a Cable-type lineman With a feisty disposition and nonstop action approach, Meinerz blends into the Raiders rather seamlessly.
After recovering from yet another fleecing by the Patriots, the Raiders sport a gigantic hole on the right side. Initially, Cable believes Brandon Parker could fill in and play well. Although the film may disagree, Cable sticks to his opinion and will get Parker ready for a shot at the right tackle job. Now, looking at the draft, the name Teven Jenkins should ring a bell. The former Oklahoma State standout gives the Raiders the ability at seventeen to draft a fixture and gives the Raiders bookend tackles.
Tom Cable possesses Jon Gruden’s unflinching loyalty. As a result, the offensive line, under his direction will move forward. While we may blink at the wholesale changes, Cable rolls out his choice of the lineup and doesn’t care about appearances. The strength of any team starts upfront. Cable knows that failure to execute falls on his shoulders. The AFC West continues to improve. Can Tom Cable’s offensive line weather the impending storm?