So far, this season the Silver and Black offensive line has become used to expecting the unexpected. However something that they have been able to lean on week-in, week-out is No. 66.
Gabe Jackson is currently enjoying his best season with the Raiders since being drafted by the franchise in 2014. Jackson has had his ups-and-downs throughout his seven years as a Raider, coming off two injury riddled seasons with a dislocated elbow and dislocated knee.
This season, Jackson has been part of the glue that has held together an ever-changing offensive line due to injuries. He and the perennially excellent Rodney Hudson are the only two starting offensive linemen that have played in all eight games so far this season.
We all try to be one heartbeat and send the same message out and that's to work hard, compete and finish." Gabe Jackson
The Mississippi State product has decided he can't worry about what he can't control around him and just do his job every week.
"I'm just taking it one week at a time and just doing the best I can do," said Gabe Jackson. "I know Coach Cable does a great job with getting everybody prepared, and it doesn't matter who goes in. We all try to be one heartbeat and send the same message out, and that's to work hard, compete and finish."
Coach Gruden has been very pleased with his right guard's play this season and glad to see him healthy and playing elite football.
"This man, if he's not the best right guard in football, show me the man," said Coach Gruden. "I wouldn't trade Gabe for nothing. We think Rodney Hudson and Denzelle [Good], the inside guys are playing great. Obviously, we hope one day to have Trent [Brown] and Kolton [Miller] back on the field. In the time being, that's the strength of this offense, the quarterback and the interior linemen. Boy, they make the guys next to them play better. They really set the standard here. They know how to prepare. They know how to compete.
"I'm just proud of Gabe and really happy he's healthy."
Derek Carr is just as happy as Coach Gruden to see his right guard and 2014 draft classmate be able to play to a level he's known he could play up to for years.
"He's one of the toughest, grittiest people I've ever been around, and this year he's healthy," said Derek Carr. "This year, he's flying around, smacking dudes just like we all knew he could and things like that. It's really fun to watch. He's definitely a Pro Bowler. He's playing at a high level for us, and he's one of my best friends. Every flight since we've got here as Raiders, we sit next to each other. Every single flight we're right next to each other. We've had a lot of good memories, a lot of good laughs, but when we win, those memories and those laughs become a lot more fun.
"He's playing great for us, and I really hope he gets the recognition that he really deserves this season."