NAPA, Calif. -- Here are five observations on the Oakland Raiders, based on Monday's and Tuesday's practices:
1. The key to the season should be how the offensive line comes together. After years of being an older line, the Raiders are finally going young. Robert Gallery moves from right tackle to his natural spot at left tackle. He's 26. Center Jake Grove is 26. Right tackle Langston Walker is 27. Rookie third-round choice Paul McQuistan, who is starting at right guard, is 23. Left guard Barry Sims is the veteran of the unit at 31.
It will help having a Hall of Fame offensive lineman, Art Shell, as head coach. Former NFL linemen Jackie Slater (also a Hall of Famer) and Irv Eatman are double-teaming the position as coaches. The group is talented. Except for Sims, an undrafted player who was a good left tackle most of his career, the starting lineup is filled with first-day draft choices.