Could Las Vegas Raiders offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood be in danger of losing his status as a starter? Despite a busy offseason where he tried to improve his game, the second-year player might be on the outside looking in if early reports are an indicator.
Leatherwood’s career got off to a rough start from the outset. Immediately following his first-round selection, the media and fans alike balked at the choice. In a rookie year that saw him struggle as the team’s right tackle, things didn’t get better. To call him a bust right now is premature, but if he were to lose either battle at right guard or tackle, the label would start to gain traction.
Speaking with the media this weekend in Henderson, Leatherwood was asked point blank about how he felt about the prospect of not starting.
“Yeah, it’s just all about going in each day and just keeping your head down and working. Make the main thing, the main thing. I do my work; they do their work. Just have fun and compete.”
Leatherwood is right; there’s not much else he can do except to go into work with the right attitude. He’s obviously a team player and is fully aware that the offensive line is an open competition, especially the right side.
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The Raiders are set to take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Thursday, marking the return of football, even if it’s just preseason. For many players, preseason is the real tryout. But can the same be said for Leatherwood? Well, he was also asked about the importance of these upcoming games.
“No, not really. I feel like every day is important, the way I come in every day and work.”
Leatherwood is certainly saying the right answers, if not the textbook ones. However, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal also reported that snaps that normally would go to Leatherwood found their way to rookie Thayer Munford during practice this week. On the other hand, Vic Tafur of The Athletic pointed out that Leatherwood has “always been soft-spoken and resolute. There’s no question that he’s worked hard and is in great shape. His confidence is just fine.” Well, these are varying opinions at the end of the day. Once Thursday’s game gets here, we can all get a better idea of how things are going for Leatherwood.
*Top Photo: AP Photo/Matt Durisk