Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice
If an offensive line isn't able to duke it out in the trenches and protect their quarterback, any team is destined to fail. Fortunately for the Oakland Raiders, not only do they have one of the best offensive lines in football, but they also have one of the best coaches in Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice. Wednesday afternoon, Tice took the podium to address the media and talk about the progression he's seen within his group.
Here's the transcript from his presser:
Q: What are the challenges of developing the offensive line without Donald Penn?
Coach Tice:"Injuries happen during the season and you have to have a plan to have a player ready to play at each position and sometimes multiple players ready at the same position. With Donald not here yet, we're able to have Marshall [Newhouse] over there. He's done a nice job. He's gotten better. The challenge you have with a veteran guy that comes in, he's been coached by other coaches to do things a different way and it takes time for a veteran to learn the ways to do things the way that we want to do them as Raiders. That's probably the biggest challenge."
Q: Even if you get Penn back, can it be a good thing that Vadal Alexander got experience at right tackle and Marshall Newhouse at left tackle in the long run?
Coach Tice:"Well it's always good when you develop in depth. We had a number of days when we were down to 11 and 10 players. David [Sharpe] got banged up and he didn't practice for five or six days. Jylan Ware, the young tackle, got a concussion. He missed a couple of days. Kelechi [Osemele] was only practicing every other day. We've had some days where we've had to make it happen with 10 or 11. When you have that, you get the ability, you have the ability, you have the opportunity to develop your depth. In the long run, it's actually a good thing."
Q: With not seeing Marshall Newhouse on the right, does it factor into who's going to start?
Coach Tice:"Where I'm at right now is I have to get us ready to go out and beat Tennessee. So right now, I have Marshall on the left and I have Vadal on the right and I have David doing a little bit more each day, playing both sides. That's what we have. I can't sit here and wonder when DP is going to come back. Right now I've moved forward with Marshall is on the left and Vadal is on the right and David is swinging. That's reality right now. I can't think that there's going to be something else there until it's there."
**Q: What do you think about Ian Silberman's transition and what he's done?
Coach Tice:"He's probably been the biggest story on the line the whole training camp because when Jon [Feliciano] went down in OTAs and hurt his knee, Feliciano our backup center, we had to have another player play center. So we slid Ian in. He had not snapped a ball in practice. He had not snapped a ball in a game. He played every snap in the game at center and did very well. Had one mental and the mental he had, he stepped with the wrong foot. I'm very proud of him. He's been a great story for us. He's a tough kid. He's a determined kid. He's been cut before and he's determined not to be released again. Right now he's our No. 3 center and we'll move him over to guard next week and let him play a little left guard and create some versatility for him and give him an opportunity to make our football team."
Q: What about Silberman made you choose him to come in at center?
Coach Tice:"Smart. First you have to be smart to go in there and play center for us because we make all the calls, center makes all the calls. He has good movement. He moves well laterally. He can run. Again, he's determined. He wants to have an opportunity to make our team, and at center, it's probably his best chance because we keep three centers at least. We're real happy with Ian right now."
Q: What are you hoping to see this week that you didn't see in Arizona?
Coach Tice:"Well, we didn't play three guys inside. We didn't play the quarterback. We're looking for good communication. We're making sure we don't have any free runs. We don't want anybody on the quarterback, that's No. 1. We want to be able to run the ball efficiently and open some holes up. And we want to have some rhythm offensively. No penalties. No pre-snap penalties, really. No offsides. No balls on the ground. That's what we're looking for, a nice, clean game. Hopefully the guys can get a good first half in, up to the first half, somewhere in that range and come out of it healthy. That's the main thing."