The Oakland Raiders have an established and solid center in Stefen Wisniewski. The former second-round pick is a lock for the starting center job as the Raiders enter training camp. The competition will come behind Wisniewski as Oakland retooled their offensive line in the offseason.
Wisniewski has started 29 games at center for the Raiders in the past two seasons. As a rookie, he started 16 games at guard so he provides versatility and consistency. Both offensive coordinator Greg Olson and head coach Dennis Allen have trust in Wisniewski to hold down the center position and be a leader along the offensive line. By the start of the regular season, Wisniewski could be the only leftover starter on the Raiders offensive line. He will be asked to continue his solid play and take over an even larger role in the offense, which he is capable of doing.
With Wisniewski entrenched as the starter, competition for the back-up center spot has begun and will ramp up during training camp. Throughout the OTA sessions and mini-camp, Kevin Boothe has worked behind Wisniewski. Boothe was signed this offseason as a free agent. His traditional position is guard, but he has played many positions along the offensive line with the New York Giants. The versatility that Boothe possess has been an attribute sought out by the Raiders this offseason. They want players who can help at multiple positions. Boothe fits that ball. He will work as a back-up to Wisniewski as well as provide quality depth at the guard position.
Boothe will have to win the back-up job during training camp, but other than that this is a position the Raiders are set. Wisniewski will be the starter and Boothe will get the first crack to back him up. If the Raiders find themselves in an emergency situation because of injuries, things could change, but for now the center spot comes down to Wisniewski then Boothe.
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