Richie Incognito came out of retirement to play for the Raiders in 2019. While a foot injury limited him to just two games in 2020, the 38 year old is ready to resume his role as the starting left guard.
But Las Vegas’ offensive line will look significantly different this year after the Raiders traded three-fifths of the unit elsewhere. Before he was sent to the Cardinals, center Rodney Hudson was the undisputed leader of the group, having played for the Raiders since 2015. But now that Hudson is gone, Incognito says he’s ready for his turn as the top dog on the OL.
“I’ve had the fortunate ability to sit behind Rodney and let Rod lead and kind of do my thing and be a leader but hey Rod’s the guy. Now that’s it. I’m the guy,” Incognito said Monday, via Anthony Galaviz of the Sacramento Bee. “I’m the guy that is going to keep these guys going.
“I love playing this game. I got a ton of passion playing this game. That is why I’m this old playing the game. I love it. I love the grind and love being here in camp. I love working and love getting better. Now it’s our time.”
Incognito and left tackle Kolton Miller are the only holdovers from Las Vegas’ starting offensive line in 2020. Center Andre James has been with the club since 2019, but has started only one game and didn’t play an offensive snap in 2020. The team has John Simpson and Denzelle Good competing at guard, both of whom were on the squad last year. And the team drafted Alex Leatherwood in the first round to play right tackle.
“We got a young group and a lot of eyes on us and a lot of scrutiny, but it’s our time to shine,” Incognito said.
Several of Las Vegas’ players have praised Incognito’s leadership throughout the offseason. If the veteran can effectively bring the offensive line together, then that should help the Raiders stay a top-10 offense and put them closer to realizing their postseason aspirations.