Do The Raiders Need To Reconsider Their Plan At Offensive Tackle?

Do the Raiders have a problem brewing at offensive tackle?

After an up and down game for Kolton Miller and Donald Penn, some seem to think so. But it’s a little early to start feeling around for the panic button, especially when it comes to first-round pick Kolton Miller.

Miller wasn’t perfect in his second career NFL game, but he settled in nicely after the opening possession and nothing about his night screamed that he can’t hold his own at left tackle in his rookie year.

He looked quick with his feet and while his strength might be a little lacking, there’s no guarantee that Jon Gruden has a better option at left tackle. Penn didn’t play particularly well on Friday night and it’s hard to know if his disappointing return had more to do with his position change or something else.

Penn is 35 and recovering from a significant foot injury. He’s going to fall off the wagon eventually and time will tell if that’s already starting to happen. The play that stood out on Friday was a bull rush that sent Penn all the way back into Carr. Maybe it was his technique or maybe it was his conditioning, but at the end of the play it looks like Penn is tentative to put weight on his right foot. If that is the case (and doesn’t improve), it won’t matter where Penn plays, he’s going to have problems.

Below is the play in question. It also looks like Penn didn’t want to push off his right foot as he’s being driven backwards, but that may be because he lost his leverage by getting too tall. Miller gets beaten here, too, but he isn’t the first to fall victim to Clay Matthews’ spin move.

Even if the coaches decide Penn should move back to left tackle, what would the solution be at right tackle? They don’t want to move Miller to the right side and there’s no great options at right tackle, or so it seems right now.

Gruden doesn’t seem prone to solve one problem to create another – all at the risk of stunting Miller’s development at left tackle. For that reason and the fact that he seems to be holding his own at left tackle, don’t expect the Raiders to move Miller around anytime soon.

For now, stick with the plan. As Penn’s conditioning improves and Miller gets more reps on the left side, the tackle situation should only get better.

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Do The Raiders Need To Reconsider Their Plan At Offensive Tackle?

  1. OT is unstable right now. Gruden and his staff saw this way early before the draft. That’s why OT was the first pick.

    I will not be surprised if we draft OT early agsin next year.

    1. Def wont draft tackle early next year with 3 developing tackles in Milker, Parker, Sharpe all 6’8″ or taller. If anything it will be an edge (if mack doesnt resign) safety, as melifonwu was cut and Joseph looks lost in shuffle. It would be only position group without a legit developing future starter. From look at roster our needs seem to be
      #1 safety
      #2 CB
      # backup qb
      #4 lb
      #5 RB(could be higher depends on Chris Warren)

  2. Agree. Penn ‘s injury was serious and he may never be the same. Stress fractures at his age end careers. Miller lacks experience and will get beat by fast edge rushers as he needs reps to get footwork polished as Mathews took advantage of his narrow base with spin move Hoping Sharpe could be groomed at right tackle with proper conditioning but doesn’t look he’s there. Silberman might be best answer

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