Oakland Raiders: A Few Things Worth Keeping An Eye On Against The Rams

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Offensive tackle Jylan Ware
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 12: Offensive tackle Jylan Ware /
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Oakland Raiders
GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 12: Quarterback Derek Carr /

Outside Protection

Given that this will be Carr’s first live game action since the play that broke his leg last season, all eyes are going to be on him. Throughout camp, he’s reportedly been every bit as mobile as he’s always been and appears to be as good as new.

That’s the good news. The bad news, of course, is that Carr’s personal bodyguard, Donald Penn, is still holding out in hopes of landing a new contract. Which means that an offensive line that was one of – if not the – best in the NFL last season, is without a big, important piece.

The right tackle spot was a question mark heading into camp. But Oakland drafted Jylan Ware and David Sharpe to be projects – and possible solutions – to that problem. Alongside free agent pickup Marshall Newhouse with holdovers Denver Kirkland and Vadal Alexander – both of whom put in some quality snaps at tackle last season, the Raiders have been building some quality depth along that front line.

But injuries have taken a bit of a toll on that line and highlights the absence of Penn. And potentially puts Carr at greater risk. The last thing Oakland needs is for Newhouse and/or Alexander to blow their protection and get Carr blown up.

Depth is a good thing to have. And Oakland is doing a good job of drafting and developing it. Line coach Mike Tice has worked miracles with this unit.

But in the here and now, with expectations being what they are this season, they need experience. And not having Penn on the line is going to hurt.