Raiders practice recap: Get used to this offensive line
Share This Post

ALAMEDA – The Raiders injury situation hasn’t changed much.

Strong safety Tyvon Branch skipped work with a sore shoulder not expected to keep him out Sunday against Jacksonville. Other than that, the injury report featured the usual suspects.

It also carried a silent message to Raiders fans: Get used to this offensive line.

Left tackle Menelik Watson skipped yet another practice on Wednesday, increasing the likelihood that he’ll miss a second straight game Sunday.

That was the sentiment last week as well.

That means the offensive line as currently formed will stick together. Khalif Barnes will play another week at left tackle and Tony Pashos will remain at right tackle. While it caused major anxiety before facing the Colts, the patchwork line played pretty darn well.

Pashos didn’t allow a sack quarterback hit or a hurry against the Colts. Save a pair of penalties, Barnes held strong on the left despite a major transition from right to left.

“I didn’t evaluate it with the circumstances in mind,” Pashos said. “It was about how we performed. Period. We were pretty banged up about the loss. We wanted to win. And while the line held strong, our goal is to win. We didn’t.”

That’s true. The loss weighs heavier than anything else. But the line fared well despite midweek duress. That wasn’t random. It required a lot of extra work, a lot of communication.

Center Stefen Wisniewski was the leader of that effort. He kept working, kept talking outside of team meetings. The linemen worked together through the team meals. They watched extra film. They talked. They texted. They were ready for an enormous challenge. “That’s a credit to the coaching staff, to the guys who have been here and to the guys on the line who were committed to this team,” Pashos said. “I’m proud of how we came together, but there are several areas where we can improve.”

More of Moore? Outside linebacker Sio Moore played just nine snaps on Sunday against the Colts, and coach Dennis Allen said his playing time was largely a physical issue. He dealt with a toe injury throughout the week. Allen also praised Kaluka Maiava’s ability, meaning the veteran will see time on the strong side.

Seabass’ nagging calf: Kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed practice again with a calf injury, but Allen said that the injury didn’t hinder him Sunday, when he missed a 48-yard field goal. The Raiders don’t want the injury to nag him throughout the season, so they’re resting him now.

New injuries: Sebastian Janikowski (calf), SS Tyvon Branch (shoulder)
Returning from injuries: Sio Moore (toe)
Still sidelined: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), OT Menelik Watson (knee)
Injured reserve: RB Latavius Murray (ankle), K Eddie Carmona (leg), G Tony Bergstrom (foot), LT Jared Veldheer (triceps)
Physically unable to perform list: LB Miles Burris (knee)

Quote of the day: “My aunt, she said it the best way. When I was in college she said, ‘Hey, guys that are great and they really care about what kind of player they want to be, I’ve seen it before.” This is how she said it, you have a basket right? You see Tom Brady, you put something you like about Tom Brady in the basket. You see Michael Vick, you see [Colin] Kaepernick, RGIII [Robert Griffin III], any of those guys, anyone, just keep putting it in the basket and eventually you just keep adding and trying to get better and seeing where they’re great at, and try to emulate that somewhat, and add it onto your skill, you’re only going to get better.” -- Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor on learning from the NFL’s established quarterbacks.