Commentary

Observation deck: Gallery on guard

Robert Gallery was supposed to be a franchise left tackle the Raiders could count on for years. Instead, he's been a huge disappointment, writes John Clayton.

Originally Published: August 10, 2007
By John Clayton | ESPN.com
NAPA, Calif. -- Five observations from Oakland Raiders training camp, gleaned from the team's practices:

1. Gallery on Guard
Once projected to be a franchise left tackle, Robert Gallery is now the starting left guard, an amazing disappointment for the second pick in the 2004 draft. At minicamp, he was competing against Barry Sims for the left tackle job and if that didn't work, he was expected to be the right tackle. Now, Sims and Cornell Green are the starting tackles. Left tackles are one of the most valuable positions on a team, and they are hard to find. Gallery was supposed to be one of those left tackles who could be a franchise mainstay for a decade. Now, you have to wonder what happens if he stays at left guard until the end of his contract. It will be hard for the Raiders to justify giving him big money to stay at that position. Since coming to Oakland, Gallery has had numerous coaches and position changes. His footwork wasn't right at right tackle and last year he struggled in pass protection on the left side. The Raiders are overhauling the philosophy of the line. They are using more zone blocking and trying to get more athleticism out of their blockers. Sims is back at his normal spot at left tackle next to Gallery, but obviously, nothing is etched in stone along the line. Jeremy Newberry is currently the second-team center, behind Jake Grove, but the coaches would love for Newberry to win the starting job and give the Raiders a blocker with a nasty attitude along the line. Still, the sight of Gallery at guard has to be a big disappointment.


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John Clayton

NFL senior writer