Written by Matthew Cannata | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Melenik Watson is the backup right tackle for the Oakland Raiders and when Khalif Barnes went down with an injury, he knew he had to step up his game. This was not only because of the fact that he was playing in front of his home crowd along with his mother and rest of the family but also because he was going up against one of the best defensive lineman in the game, Cameron Wake.
Watson proved to be effective as he didn’t allow a single sack to Wake. Although Wake was disruptive at times in the pocket, Watson was able to hold him off long enough to keep Wake at bay. However, he had high praise for Wake when it was all said and done.
“Oh, yeah, it was all right. I didn't give up a sack. Just a couple technical things I was a little sloppy at, which he capitalized on. He was bending the corner really well and I wasn't getting out of my stance. I wasn't using my length at first. Every once in a while, I got to use my length. And a couple times he got a hold of my shoulder. Just a couple little things that I was doing, technical‑wise, that was allowing him to have a little edge.
He's a great player. I met Cam when we came out here for the media day. We got to chat it up a little bit. And I told him out on the field that there was a second where I kind of laughed at him. I said, yeah, I know what you're doing. And I said, well, guess what, adjustment. I just made some adjustments. But he's a great player, as you all know.”
Wake is one of the most respected players throughout the NFL and this is just another piece of evidence to prove that point. Wake will look to get back in the sack column when he goes up against Bryan Bulaga of the Green Bay Packers on October 12.