I hate to bring up one of the most hated names in the last dismal decade for the Oakland Raiders but former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp still haunts the Raiders. Knapp’s insistence that the Raiders would be a zone-blocking team led general manager Reggie McKenzie to draft zone blocking specialist Tony Bergstrom with his first pick and spend big money on Knapp’s right guard protégé Mike Briesel. Just like Knapp’s system last year, both offensive lineman have been awful in silver-and-black.
The Raiders wisely got rid of the clueless Knapp and reverted back to a power run team, which is favored by the explosive Darren McFadden. However, with a lack of cap space and high draft picks, the Raiders were forced to keep both Briesel and Bergstrom on the team. Neither man has shown promise in the transition to the new power run scheme, which leaves the Raiders looking weak on the offensive line. In fact, Briesel was forced to take a massive pay cut to stay on the team.
Recently the Raiders signed former pro-bowler Andre Gurode to compete for an interior lineman job and it looks like he might beat out Brisel for the starting right guard position. The problem with Gurode is that he has been plagued with injuries over the last few years and did not even play a snap of football last year. Bergstrom is in a heated battle with second year undrafted free agent Lucas Nix for the starting left guard job.
New offensive coordinator Greg Olsen looks like he can turn the Raiders offense back to what it once was under Hue Jackson, but he will still be haunted by the Greg Knapp era at the offensive guard position.