Treu started in place of starter Barret Robbins for all but two games in 2001 after the latter sustained a season-ending knee injury in a Week 2 loss at Miami. Treu also started in place of Robbins after he went AWOL from the team on the eve of the Super Bowl.
Treu remains the starter and that grip tightened, at least for the moment, after the Raiders placed Robbins on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Robbins, who has since been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in May. Treu, who enters his seventh season from Nebraska, continues to approach his job like always.
"In my mind, I've got to look at it as if I'm the starter," said Treu, whose NFL meal-ticket has been his long-snapping skills. "That's the only way to do. You never know what could happen. It's been shown."
While Robbins, who was voted to the Pro Bowl last season, is likely not thrilled that another player is starting, he also understands the situation.
"Adam has done a great job," Robbins said. "It's an opportunity for him as well. I'm not really worried about other people. I'm worried about myself. I think that's really all I can do."
In an era when athletes frequently change teams, Treu's loyalty to the Raiders has taken precedence over the chance to start for another team while many players would have bolted for greener pastures. Treu is signed with the Raiders through 2006. If Treu remains the starter, he already has a wealth of experience after having started virtually the entire 2001 season.
"I don't know if I'm infinitely more comfortable," Treu said. "I feel pretty much the same. It helped a lot. It showed peers and other people that I'm capable of doing this."
Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com