We all need somebody to lean on.
The young Silver and Black offensive line has 38-year-old veteran Richie Incognito to lean on approaching the 2021 NFL season. The four-time Pro Bowl guard is entering his 15th season in the NFL and his third with the Raiders organization. One year prior to Incognito leaving Buffalo to play for the Raiders, left tackle Kolton Miller was drafted by the team out of UCLA.
Both offensive linemen decided to re-sign with the Raiders this offseason, solidifying the plan to have plenty more snaps with the two of them next to each other in the trenches. Despite Incognito and Miller having contrasting personalities and a 13-year age gap, they've come to realize how much they truly need each other for the success of the Raiders.
"I think Kolton is a stud," said Richie Incognito. "I think he's got a bright future ahead of him. He's grown every year as a player. He's a stud out there at left tackle and I don't think he gets enough credit for how good he is."
Incognito has taken great pride in helping guide left tackles coming up next to him, and even compared his relationship with Miller with Dion Dawkins. Dawkins is one of Incognito's former teammates from the Buffalo Bills that he also took under his wings at the left tackle position. Like Miller, Dawkins signed a multi-year extension to stay with his team last offseason.
Since Incognito came aboard, he's seen steady improvement in Miller's abilities to where they have begun to "kick a lot of ass and play really well together."
"I came in in 2019 and just tried to help him a little bit," Incognito said. "Help him with his technique, help him when he's out there thinking, and what he's out there trying to do and he balled out. He balled out in 2019 and in 2020, and that's why he's sitting there with a brand new contract."
The feelings are mutual towards Incognito from Miller, as he's grateful the Raiders were able to bring back his mentor. Miller credits picking up a lot of things from Incognito's game including getting that "extra step."
"You can look to my side at Richie [Incognito], you can see the power from his hands to his hips and exploding into the person," said Kolton Miller. "And that's great that we got to keep Richie, and that was one of the things I learned from him just watching him play."
Miller is now the the longest tenured starting offensive lineman with the organization after the trades of Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson. Incognito is coming off a 2020 season that saw him miss all but two games due to a foot injury he sustained. Now that he and Miller will be healthy and lined back up together, he only has one goal in mind for himself and his teammates.
"I'm most excited to get back up (to Las Vegas), get back to work and get our asses in the playoffs."
Couldn't have said it any better.