The old offensive line refrain "bend at the knees, not at the waist" has never been more important to Jared Veldheer than it will be Monday night.

The Raiders' second-year left tackle will be the blind-side protection for quarterback Jason Campbell against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High and face one of the NFL's best pass rushers in right defensive end Elvis Dumervil.

Veldheer is one of the NFL's tallest tackles at 6-foot-8. Dumervil is the shortest defensive end at 5-11. The 9-inch disparity presents some leverage issues for the 320-pound Veldheer.

"You've got to take your 6-8 and make yourself 6-foot," Raiders coach Hue Jackson said of Veldheer's challenge. "Our guy has length and girth, and obviously (Dumervil) is not as tall but a very, very good, accomplished player."

Dumervil led the NFL in 2009 with 17 sacks, playing as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense where he said he rushed about 60 percent of the time.

He missed last season with a torn pectoral muscle. Back as an end in the 4-3, Dumervil will have minimal coverage responsibilities and be rushing on all passing downs.

With long arms, a quick first step and a low center of gravity, the 255-pound Dumervil makes for a tough target. With rookie linebacker Von Miller coming from the opposite side, Veldheer won't always have help from double teams or chip blocks.

Getting down to Dumervil's level will require Veldheer bending his knees, because bending at the waist leaves a lineman off-balance and with a tendency to lunge.

"I obviously have to work at playing lower than 6-8 this week," Veldheer said. "It's just one of the things you need to work on in the week of practice and preparation."

As challenging as Dumervil is, Veldheer is miles ahead of where he was a year ago in comfort level, when the Raiders made the third-round draft pick from NCAA Division II Hillsdale their starting center in the days leading up to the season opener in Tennessee.

It lasted exactly one game before Samson Satele took over. Veldheer went to the bench but was summoned to start Week 7 at Mile High, a 59-14 Raiders win. He kept the job the rest of the year and has been a mainstay at tackle through training camp.

"Having a year of experience is huge, especially just being at tackle," Veldheer said. "Being able to go through camp and not worry about going inside and back outside has done a lot. I've been able to work on specific things that I feel I needed to improve on from last year."

  • Team captains as voted on by the players are Campbell, running back and special teams player Rock Cartwright, running back Darren McFadden, punter Shane Lechler and defensive tackle Richard Seymour. "You take it with pride and you take it with honor," Campbell said. "You've got the respect of your teammates, and you want to go out there and fight for them as hard as you can."

  • According to multiple outlets, Raiders rookie quarterback Terrelle Pryor asked the NFLPA to appeal his five-game suspension for receiving impermissible benefits while at Ohio State. If Pryor's suspension is overturned or reduced, he would count on the 53-man roster upon being reinstated, meaning the Raiders would have to cut a player. The next step is a hearing with commissioner Roger Goodell, who imposed the suspension.

  • The official injury report the Raiders released to the league cleared up a few "undisclosed" ailments. Cornerback Chris Johnson is listed with a groin injury, meaning his surgery during training camp was most likely for a sports hernia. Wide receiver Louis Murphy, who will miss the opener, joined him in that regard. Safety Mike Mitchell has been out with a knee injury. Rookie running back Taiwan Jones, limited in practice Thursday night, has a foot injury. Jones had a broken foot at the end of his senior year at Eastern Washington.

  • Each wide receiver was issued a thin cinder block to be brought to and from practice. "It's something you do to get your fingers stronger so you won't have any jammed fingers (when catching) the ball," wide receiver Denarius Moore said.

  • With Green Bay's Randall Cobb returning a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown Thursday night, might the Raiders let Jacoby Ford field one that deep in the end zone? "If he does we'll have to talk about that," Jackson said. "If anybody can, he can."