Raiders OL coach: Don't discount addition of Cody Whitehair

raiders ol coach: don't discount addition of cody whitehair

Sep 25, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears offensive lineman Cody Whitehair (65) blocks against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field. Chicago defeated Houston 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Not every free agent addition a team makes is going to make waves. And not all of them will be expected to come in and upgrade a position. But, first of all, you just never know. And second of all, value comes in many forms.

Take Cody Whitehair for instance. Once upon a time he was very highly regarded as an NFL offensive lineman. The 56th overall pick in the 2016 draft made the Pro Bowl as a center in his third season.

That would earn him a lucrative long term extension with the Bears. He transitioned to left guard a couple seasons later. Injuries cost him five games in 2022 and last season he would lose his starting job ten games into the season.

The past two seasons he played under offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, who holds the same position with the Raiders now. That experience as well as his interior versatility make him an offensive line coach's best friend.

"He's been in this system for a while, he understands it," said Raiders OL coach James Cregg. "We're coaching it actually a little different way, a little different twist to it, and he's been really engaging and learning it. But he's an asset to the room as far as his knowledge, his work ethic. Really, really happy to have him here."

Whitehair has been lining up with the first team offensive line at left guard while rookie second round pick Jackson Powers-Johnson recovers from a shoulder injury.

While the starting left guard job is probably earmarked for Powers-Johnson, having Whitehair there right now is invaluable. And, they may be better off with Whitehair in there at the moment regardless.

His experience in this system allows the offense to run smoothly while also offering his insight to help all the other lineman get used to the new scheme. And he can be a mentor for all the Raiders interior linemen, namely youngsters like Powers-Johnson and third year right guard Dylan Parham.

And, who knows, if he can show some of that talent that once had him highly regarded in this league, he should make the team and be a good spot starter if called upon.

This article originally appeared on Raiders Wire: Raiders OL coach: Don't discount addition of Cody Whitehair

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