The addition of Gurode clutters an already crowded offensive line, which has glaring holes at right tackle and both guard spots. It would seem the Raiders expect Gurode to compete for the one of the vacant guard positions — though it’s worth mentioning that the last time Gurode saw significant action there was in 2011, a forgettable season to say the least.
In 2011, Gurode spent a majority of his 437 snaps at left guard — though he did play right guard and center. In those games, he gave up one sack, seven quarterback hits, and nine hurries. That equates to one pressure per 27 snaps. Last season, the combination of Cooper Carlisle, Stefen Wisniewski, Mike Brisiel, Alex Parsons, Tony Bergstrom and Lucas Nix gave up a pressure every 45 snaps. In addition, Gurode committed five penalties that season, which equates to one penalty per 88 snaps, whereas the Raiders interior averaged one penalty every 145 snaps.
Though Gurode hasn’t played up to the level one would expect of a five-time pro-bowler, that isn’t to say he’s not capable of doing so. In 2010, Gurode was one rated as one of the best centers in the league. He logged 1,105 snaps at center for the Dallas Cowboys and surrendered only one sack, two quarterback hits, and eight hurries. If he could reclaim that form, he would instantly be one of the Raiders top offensive lineman — behind only Veldheer and Wisniewski, perhaps.
In any case, the signing is yet another positive addition for the team. Even as a backup, Gurode’s veteran presence adds valuable leadership to an otherwise young group of interior offensive linemen.