The Las Vegas Raiders have had plenty of ups and downs in the last ten years. However, center Rodney Hudson has been a staple of the team’s offensive line and one of the few constants in recent seasons.
Time passes by in the blink of an eye and the sight of Hudson playing for the Chiefs seems like ages ago. The center originally signed with the Raiders back in 2015. He has played so well that the team offered him a contract extension in 2019. From that free agent class, Hudson is the only remaining player. Moreover, he’s one of the few players that is still on the roster, with the others being Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson.
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The Grinding Starts Way Before the Practice Time
In his latest article, Ted Nyugen of the Athletic discusses some of the traits that make Hudson one of the best centers in the NFL. Also, he breaks down some the veteran’s pre-snap decision making.
Regarding Hudson’s preparation, Nyugen talks about the impact the center has when the Raiders are practicing. The center doesn’t take repetitions off to take a breath or take his mind off. Rather, he mentors his teammates. “Hudson remains manically engaged even when the backups are in. It’s natural for guys to joke around during their breaks but Hudson is always talking with quarterback Derek Carr and the other linemen about what just happened and how they can improve. And if he’s not talking with the starters, he’s coaching up the backups.”
In the same manner, Hudson pushes his coaches instead of the other way around. “When [former offensive line coach] Mike Tice coached Hudson, if Tice didn’t send the scouting report of the opposing team’s pressures on time, Hudson would text him to make sure he was going to send it promptly.”
Furthermore, Nyugen shares insight regarding Hudson’s preparedness and the respect others hold of him. “The center is responsible for setting the offensive line’s protection and collaborating with the quarterback to make sure they’re seeing the same thing and that they have the correct protection called. When Tice was with the Raiders, Hudson would dictate the protection but Carr had the power to make the final call if he wanted to change it. However, it was rare that Carr would supersede Hudson’s call.”
It’s interesting to see the impact Hudson commands and how passionate he is about the game of football. Even if it isn’t evident at first sight, it doesn’t take too long to realize why he’s currently one of the best centers in the NFL.
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Top Photo: Aaron M. Spreacher/Associated Press