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'We, not me': How offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo is building continuity in the trenches

We, not me.

A philosophy so often preached in football and one the Raiders offensive line is embracing early during OTAs.

The young O-line – anchored at left tackle by fifth-year starter Kolton Miller – is working to find their cohesion as a unit under a new coaching staff and new terminology. Part of finding that cohesion and learning their roles is done by "throwing them in the deep end," as offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo put it.

"If you're just going to teach them and go slowly, then they're just going to plateau," he said. "Go with the shock system, and let's get after it. See what they can assimilate now."

Bricillo comes to the Raiders with 17 years of coaching experience, most recently as the Patriots offensive line coach last season after getting his NFL start as a coaching assistant in 2019. He's also been in the trenches himself, having played center at Duquesne University in Pennsylvania.

And he's not the only new face in the offensive line room, as the group has seen multiple additions in the offseason. Third-round draft pick Dylan Parham and seventh-round pick Thayer Munford Jr. were selected based largely on their versatility across the line, according to General Manager Dave Ziegler, and that trait is something Bricillo is instilling in all of the linemen due to how often injuries can occur in the league and the need to always be ready to move where needed.

That next-man-up mentality has already translated throughout the position group, with the staff impressed by their eagerness to get to work and soak up all the knowledge they can ahead of Training Camp next month.

"I think this is a group that enjoys each other and enjoys coming to work. Truly," Bricillo said. "When the door shuts, there's not a lot of ego. We're able to say 'I don't understand this' or 'I need help with that.' It's a collective in the fact that although its professional sports, and we know that not everybody in the room is going to be here come September, nevertheless, they're willing to work with one another, coach one another, challenge one another.

"When they step on the field, they work. Our individuals are no joke. I know that was a standard they had here before and they haven't proven me wrong thus far."

Miller, now the self-proclaimed "old guy" as he enters his fifth season in the Silver and Black, has enjoyed the chance to help the new linemen learn the fundamentals, while also expanding his skillset with the new playbook.

"Coach Carmen's been great. There's a lot of new stuff to install, and he's been doing a great job explaining it, getting us on the right page," the tackle said last week. "Young guys, they're trying to absorb as much as they can and our job as old guys, we're trying to show them the ropes."

"There's always something to work on, and I think that's spread out across the room," Miller added. "We're still young, and we're just trying to improve in as many areas as we can. It's all still new. New coach, new system, so just trying to get the basics and execute as well as we can."

When asked what the O-line should exemplify best this upcoming season, Bricillo kept it simple: "Smart, tough and playing their best football when it counts the most."

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