Oakland Raiders: Joe Barksdale Comfortable in New Zone Scheme
Stuart Kovacs – Jun 19, 2012
Even though he is only in his second season in the NFL, offensive lineman Joe Barksdale is one of many Oakland Raiders battling for a starting position this training camp.
As of right now, he is projected by many to lose out to Khalif Barnes as the team’s starting right tackle. However, CSNBayArea.com’s Paul Gutierrez believes he isn’t going anywhere thanks to his versatility.
Standing at 6-foot-4, 325 pounds, Barksdale has shown this versatility in both his college and NFL careers.
While at LSU, Barksdale played left tackle during his freshman and senior seasons and right tackle during his sophomore and junior seasons.
As a Raider, he has seen time at both tackle positions as well as guard. This gives him the versatility that he needs to get playing time in the team’s zone-blocking scheme. The third round selection of the Raiders in the 2011 draft believes he fits into this scheme well.
"I think I fit into it well. It was something we did a lot in college. Most offenses nowadays are trying to be balanced so there's a little bit of everything. We did a good deal of man-blocking and we also did a good deal of zone-blocking. So as far as me fitting into it, I think I fit into it just fine."
Barksdale has a tremendous amount of support from many of his teammates. This includes quarterback Carson Palmer who is impressed with what the lineman brings to the table.
"Joe Barksdale is another guy who can play. It's a deep group."
Barksdale believes that the offseason programs have greatly contributed to his growth as an NFL player.
"I'm happy that we do get a chance to work together as a team before camp, just to be able to pick up on the playbook and find things. It helps you play a little bit faster when you know beyond a shadow of a doubt what you're doing. I think that it helps in that respect. Just team camaraderie, working together, seeing it against a moving person instead of a bag. That kind of thing."
Barksdale, who played in all of the Raiders’ sixteen games last season, looks to take the next step which is starting in an NFL game.
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