Training camp outlook: Center

One story in a series in looking at the Oakland Raiders by position. The Raiders arrive for training camp in Napa, CA on July 29. Today – silverandblack.com takes a look at center:

Last season, starting center Barret Robbins' biggest challenge was getting back into the good graces of his teammates and the organization after his well-publicized and, at the time, mysterious disappearance on Super Bowl weekend. Now, the questions surrounding Robbins relate to his physical well-being.

Robbins had delicate offseason knee surgery that involved bone-grafting. When healthy, the 30-year old Robbins is one of the NFL's best centers – but is he damaged goods? The fact that the Raiders drafted Jake Grove from Virginia Tech in the second round suggests they are not totally convinced that Robbins can make it through the season healthy.

Much of Oakland's attention in the draft centered on its selection of Iowa left tackle Robert Gallery. Grove, however, could make Robbins a salary cap casualty if he is ready to start.

Adam Treu has proven to be a capable backup who has capably filled in for Robbins in the past. The Raiders, however, have always been reluctant to sacrifice Treu's deep-snapping skills by having him start at center.


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