The offensive line is the glue of any offense in football, and for the Oakland Raiders, their line is as adhesive as it gets. An untimely freak injury kept Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr from making a playoff run in 2016. In turn, Raiders General Manager Reggie Mckenzie supplied his quarterback with even more weapons this offseason.
Perhaps the most important is right tackle Marshall Newhouse.
When word got around that the Raiders were signing Newhouse this summer, the acquisition was met with plenty of criticism. The Raiders are Newhouse’s fourth team in his seven-year career, winning a championship with the Green Bay Packers in 2011. Newhouse’s career thus far has been riddled by inconsistent play. In that 2011 Super Bowl years, Newhouse allowed 11.5 sacks in just 13 starts. As a member of the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants, the inconsistencies continued as he constantly racked up penalties.
The Raiders right tackle situation hasn’t been any better in that span, with tackles Menelik Watson and Austin Howard showing limited potential between multiple injuries. Watson is now a member of the Denver Broncos; Howard the Baltimore Ravens.
The one reason the Raiders were so confident in their pickup of Newhouse lies in their offensive line coach, Mike Tice. The man that helped make Derek Carr the least-sacked quarterback in 2016 is known for his development of lineman, and the proof is in the pudding. Left Tackle Donald Penn made his first Pro Bowl since 2016, with guard Kelechi Osemele and center Rodney Hudson making their first overall. And let’s not forget Gabe Jackson, who Tice has coached up to be one of the best young guards in the league.
Tice’s latest task has been whipping Newhouse into shape, molding him into the final piece of one of the league’s premiere lines. That meant being able to protect Carr in his first year back from a devastating injury that resulted in the Raiders being bounced from the Wild Card a year ago.
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