Friday, May 13, 2011
NFL Lockout Affects Oakland Raiders Rookie Stefen Wisniewski Less Than Others
A few weeks ago, I predicted the Oakland Raiders would pick Penn State's Stefen Wisniewski for several reasons.
The most obvious reasons were legacy and bloodlines. His uncle, Steve Wisniewski, was a eight-time Pro Bowl guard for the Raiders from 1989-2001. His dad Leo was incredibly productive for three years with the Baltimore Colts as a nose tackle from 1982 to 1984 until an injury ended his career.
All three Wisniewski's starred at Penn State under the legendary Joe Paterno before being drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft. Steve could very well end up inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day.
The other reason was that Stefen has the ability to start at either guard or center. It appears his destination will be center, a position the Raiders need help at because Samson Satele, now a free agent, was not what Oakland had hoped for in 2010.
While the players and owners battle for money in the lock out, teams cannot even contact players. Some players are scrambling to put together impromptu workouts in hopes of staying sharp.
Yet all Stefen Wisniewski has to do is stay at home to stay sharp. His uncle happens to be the offensive line coach of the Raiders, so they can conceivably spend all day every day working on his game. While teams may not contact players, there is no rule preventing family from interacting.
As Steve Wisniewski barks out instructions to his nephew, Leo can line up over his son and teach him some of the tricks to expects from an NFL nose tackle.
Though working on actual plays and formation appears virtually impossible in this scenario, the amount of fundamentals in learning his position is priceless and the type of individual attention no rookie can get in training camp, especially over this length of time.
When the lockout ends, Stefen Wisniewski should be the sharpest rookie, if not player, on the entire Raiders roster. He should also be in great shape, ready to withstand even three-a-day workout sessions.
No other player in the NFL is enjoying this unique situation, so hopefully Stefen Wisniewski is taking full advantage of his bloodlines to keep the Wisniewski name high in both NFL and Raiders royalty.