Heading into this season, the Las Vegas Raiders were supposed to have one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. However, things haven’t gone according to plan as they’ve only had their Week 1 starters all lined up together for three snaps this season. Fortunately, it hasn’t slowed the offense down too much and the Raiders are 4-3 with a real shot at getting to the playoffs.
Much of that is thanks to the depth on the offensive line, specifically Denzelle Good. The veteran has been one of the team’s most important players this year. When Trent Brown and Sam Young went down with injuries early in the season, he played at right tackle, which is not his natural position. After that got sorted out, Good had to take over for an injured Richie Incognito. Since he got settled at left guard, he’s played at a very high level. Quarterback Derek Carr had some extremely high praise for Good.
“It wasn’t a surprise,” Carr said of the offensive line on Wednesday. “We knew the talent that they had, but I guess the thing that has been pleasant, so to speak, is just watching how well that they’ve played. … Even Coach said it, I think Denzelle Good is our unsung hero. He’s the team MVP right now. That guy and what he’s been able to do for us, it’s unbelievable. Just looking at all of those guys that have had to come in and play a role, I would say it was something unexpected because we didn’t expect all of our guys to be hurt. These guys have come in and played huge and played really well for us.”
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Gruden Calls Good ‘Unsung Hero’
Carr wasn’t the only Raider to sing the praise of Good. Head coach Jon Gruden also had some strong thoughts about the offensive lineman.
“He might be the unsung hero of our team,” Gruden said Monday. “And he is a physical presence. He has a lot of fun playing. He’s a great guy and I think if you were around here you would say he’s one of the favorites here on our football team. Everybody loves Good being around them.”
While the Raiders are obviously going to compliment a guy who been working so hard, it’s not just all talk. According to Pro Football Focus, Good was one of the best offensive guards in the NFL during Week 8.
Not only is he proving to be a guy who’s willing to do whatever the team needs him to do, but he’s also playing at a high level. The Raiders are going to have some decision to make this offseason as they only signed Good to a one-year extension this past offseason.
Good Sounds off on Experience With Raiders
Good is in his seventh year in the NFL but this is probably his most impressive year yet. Though he’s not expected to be a starter when Incognito returns, he’s proven that the Raiders need to figure out how to get him on the field. Good is really enjoying being a Raider.
“It’s been great, man,” Good said. “I feel like I’m a respected part of this team. The coaches know what to expect out of me. They know what kind of player I am. They know what I can bring to the table. You never want to see any of your teammates get hurt, but it’s a part of the NFL, 100 percent. You just gotta prepare for it as best you can. I feel like we’ve done a good job. [Coach Tom] Cable and the offensive line, in particular, have done a good job just being ready for any situation.”