NFL.com's Chris Wesseling calls out the Raiders offensive line of the 1970s as one of the greatest of all-time.
Mike Tice likes what he sees so far. The Oakland Raiders' new offensive line coach has been around the NFL long enough to know what it takes to win, and believes his new unit is showing positive characteristics that bode well for the season ahead. Tice recently appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio to talk about the offensive line's offseason progress, where he shared his belief that the group is trending upward.
"I'm pretty excited about the group I have to work with. First of all, it's the biggest – I was telling my wife and some friends the other day – it's the biggest, most athletic group of guys I've worked with before."
While the physical attributes stand out immediately, they aren't the only ones catching Tice's eye. He noted a quality about the line that particularly excites him -- the balance between veteran presences and promising youth:
"I think the guys on the offensive side are very impressive. We have a good blend of older and middle-aged and some younger guys that are going be to rising stars in the league."
One player that has stood out from the rest, according to Tice, is second-year guard Gabe Jackson. Jackson started 12 games in 2014 and is headed in the right direction:
"I think a guy that's had the best offseason of everybody, and that's Gabe Jackson out of Mississippi State. [I've] had some familiarity with him in the Senior Bowl two years ago, when we coached the Senior Bowl when I was in Atlanta, he was on the opposing team and I got to spend some time with him. Gabe is a big, athletic, strong -- great football background. His dad was a high school football coach. I think he's a rising star. I think he has a chance to be a really good one."
Jackson is just one piece of an offensive line that is looking to do big things in 2015. To hear more of offensive line coach Mike Tice's thoughts on Donald Penn, Rodney Hudson, and the rest of the line, listen below: