For the first time since 2015, the Las Vegas Raiders will have a new center with Andre James set to take on the role.
Raider Nation was largely surprised to learn that their team parted ways with long-time anchor, Rodney Hudson. From a roster standpoint, the trade didn’t make sense at first. Why would you get rid of arguably the best center in the NFL? Much to the chagrin of some fans, the plan was for the heir-apparent in James to take over in 2021. Yes, he’ll likely battle it out with Nick Martin in camp but let’s not mince words, he’s the Raiders center.
Speaking with the press recently, James reflected on his task ahead with training camp now underway. Among other things, James spoke on his beginnings with the Raiders. Specifically, he recalled coming into the Silver and Black as an undrafted rookie by way of UCLA. Upon his arrival to the Silver and Black, James noted that he was told he’d be playing center, much to the young man’s excitement. He recalls his mindset was to ‘just attack it, listen to everything I could, pick up everything I could from Rodney’ as he figured his strong suit would be in the interior and not at the tackle spot.
Raiders center? Let’s do it…
James acknowledged that playing behind Hudson was crucial in his development. Stating that everything he learned from him, he uses every day. Particularly, James is big on improving the little things, attacking each day as he looks to improve on a daily basis.
As it currently stands, James is taking over for Hudson but he concedes that this hasn’t changed his daily approach. Considering the shoes that he’s filling, it’s noteworthy that James isn’t taking anything for granted. If anything, it sounds as though the Raiders could have themselves a true Gruden Grinder in James. Along with Kolton Miller and Alex Leatherwood, James figures to be a part of a rejuvenated offensive line for years to come.
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*Top Photo: Bobby Ellis/Getty Images