Reggie McKenzie has been busy lately bringing former linemen back to the team. First was Cooper Carlisle, a player that frustrated the Raider Nation time and time again.
The next was Khalif Barnes, a one time promising left tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Those days are over, and Barnes is now a right tackle with a tendency to commit hair-pulling penalties in the most crucial times.
The two signed for a maximum of $3 million. Not so bad, if things play out well. If they continue to play at the level they have recently, many fans will call for their replacements.
That leaves many to believe that newly signed Mike Brisiel will play left guard, but McKenzie doesn't think so. He believes that Brisiel is a better fit at right guard.
Yes, Raider Nation, that means that Cooper Carlisle is destined to play left guard, and McKenzie has no problem with that. Here's what McKenzie had to say officially.
"No, no. Coop didn’t think so. Coop feels like he can do it. We’ll let him work this whole offseason and play in preseason, and get it down, and adding Brisiel helps. Khalif signed on today officially, so that kind of helps solidify, now we just need to add some depth, Getting the corners in helps, getting two guys we like and with our cap situation, we were able to kind of solidify that position a little bit."
It is surprising to say the least. Carlisle has been the most criticized player on this offensive front. However, he was signed to the Raiders for specializing in a zone-blocking system and that's what the Raiders are planning on running this season. He definitely is not the player he once was, but a change in both system and position could get things started.
The Raiders must draft or sign a free agent in case Carlisle does not live up to par. It will definitely be interesting to see how things play out.
This also leads to the question of what will happen to Bruce Campbell, the combine warrior who the Raiders drafted in 2010? The former tackle was moved to right guard to eventually replace Cooper Carlisle. With a relatively young right guard in Brisiel, it seems like Campbell's chances of starting has dwindled down fast.