Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 6/29/12

 

Although he has been battling a shoulder injury that has kept him out of action during the entire offseason, Oakland Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski should be ready for training camp and preseason action. He will be shifting from guard, where he played last season, to center for the Raiders in 2012. When the Raiders begin training camp on July 30th, a few players will be battling to make the team as a reserve behind Wisniewski.

 

Wisniewski played though a torn labrum during his rookie season, which should give Raiders fans peace of mind that he will be on the field when the regular season begins. The second round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, started every game his rookie season. That experience will be valuable as he moves into this season and transitions to playing center. It will not be the first time the highly motivated Wisniewski has made this switch. At Penn State, Wisniewski went from guard to center his junior year and maintained his productivity. So despite not being able to get any offseason work at center, Wisniewski has all the tools to make the move smoothly.

“Yes, it sets him back a little, and I wouldn’t expect him back before training camp, but I expect once we get to training camp that he will be ready to go,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen said of Wisniewski. “The good thing is, he has been able to be in all the meetings so from a mental standpoint he’s up to speed on what we are installing, but there’s nothing like getting a rep and going through it.”

With Wisniewski set as the starter, Alex Parsons and Colin Miller will battle to make the team as the back-up. Parsons is an undrafted free agent out of USC signed by the Raiders after the 2010 NFL Draft. Early in 2012 he signed a future/reserve contact with the Raiders. He has spent the last two seasons on the practice squad and is now looking to make the final roster. He does have eligibility left to be placed on the practice squad again because he has never played a game for the Raiders, but in order for that to occur the Raiders would have to maintain a 53 man roster at all times.

Parsons has a huge advantage because he took most of the snaps filling in for Wisniewski during the offseason workouts. Another plus for Parsons is his versatility to also play guard. Last season the Raiders kept nine offensive lineman of the final 53 man roster. So Parsons' ability to back-up two positions on the line is valuable and the mostly likely reason he will be the back-up to Wisniewski.

Another candidate is Colin Miller. Miller was an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan where he had a productive college career. He is a true center, who participated in training camp last year with the Pittsburg Steelers before being released. Miller will really have to have an outstanding camp to beat out Parsons.

 

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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