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News

Young Chats with the Media

Posted Apr 10, 2013

New Raiders safety Usama Young spoke with the media Wednesday via conference call.


Q: Talked to Tracy Porter last week when he signed and he had played in New Orleans with Dennis [Allen] and it was a big appeal to him to come back to a team that Dennis was coaching as head coach. Did you get the same feeling?

Young: Tracy Porter, yeah, I talked to him probably the day after he went out to visit. We had some conversations about that. He seemed pretty excited about going and playing for Coach Allen. I said, ‘it’s funny because I remember being in those defensive meeting rooms, defensive backs meeting rooms, and you understand him.’ You know what he’s about. He knows what you’re about and that’s rare to get when you’re in this league for awhile to go back and play for a play that’s coached you, was a reason you were drafted. I got similar excitement too because I know he’s going to get the most out of his players.

Q: You coming over here with Dennis Allen and Tracy Porter, it’s a little mini Super Bowl reunion. What do you think that experience brings to the Raiders?

Young: It’s a tremendous experience just to play in the Super Bowl and also to win it. It’s a bond that we got playing on that team, going through the hard times, and going through the wins. You just build that chemistry. So to be able to get together again, I think it’ll mean a lot. We’re all in different positions now and on a different team, but I think us being able to bond together and tell others about our experiences and bring those experiences to a team that’s trying to win a championship, I think it’ll be beneficial.

Q: The national perspective on the Raiders right now I think people are wondering, ‘man all these salary cap issues and they cut so many players and they’re signing all these under the radar guys…they look like they’re just at the bottom of this rebuilding mode.’ I’m just curious what your take is on that. Do you look forward to getting to a team that can be competitive and win right away?

Young: I’m excited, very excited. In Cleveland, I was under the radar. In New Orleans, under the radar, all the way back to Kent State, I was under the radar. I enjoy flying under the radar and getting out on the field and smacking folks, being on this path I’ve been on in my career, I think it’s a perfect fit. I’ve been blessed my entire career  to play and not have serious injuries, but just to come out here and join a team with tradition, a tradition of winning. Recent history hasn’t been that, but I’m looking to change that around and guys like Tracy, guys like Dennis Allen and the other coaches and also several other players that recently signed. I saw [Mike] Jenkins and [Joselio] Hanson re-signed. I’m excited to work in that secondary and cause some turnovers, get the ball, takeaway and help our offense out. I know it’s one of those things you hear all the time – rebuilding. Rebuilding usually takes some time, but playing for Coach Allen, I know he’s not trying to take several years to get this going. I’m looking forward to immediate success.

Q: Have you played both free and strong safety or is there not a lot of difference in those positions in the places that you’ve played? Tyvon Branch coming back, he’s predominantly a [strong] safety, but I know Dennis Allen likes to mix things up a little bit. How do you view yourself?

Young: I’ve played every position in the secondary. Drafted as a cornerback, then moving and playing free safety. Then some injuries happened, you go into strong safety. Some other injuries happen and you play some nickel and dime. I think that several positions back there are interchangeable, but more so free safety and strong safety. You’ve got a guy like Tyvon Branch, who I’ve watched throughout his career, he plays great in space and also in the box. I think he excels at both. But myself, I’ve been a free safety the past three years and I enjoy playing in space and roaming around, hitting people, and attacking the ball and trying to get as many takeaways as possible. I think I would like to play any position, but I’m more excited about just getting out on the field. Free safety, strong safety, cornerback, kicker, punter, long snapper, I’m just excited to get out there to play with the guy that I got history with in Tracy and also I’ve seen and watched Tyvon over the years. I’m just excited to get out there.  

Q: I’ve noticed you’ve already made mention on your Twitter account about community involvement and such. Is that a big deal to you?

Young: That’s major to me. I’ve expressed how blessed I am to play this game, but not only to play it at the highest level, but you can move so many young minds. You can help out on so many different levels and I’ve always tried to make it a point to make the most out of my position being in the NFL. Of course, my first thoughts are excelling on the field, but while I’m on the field and when I go back home, I look to reach out to the youth. Going out to the schools, trying to improve different youth or teenage mindsets, getting them to focus on their goals, that’s something major to me. And also, something in my heart is the homeless, seeing how many people overlook them. Different people have different situations for several reasons, but I’m not even in it to look for that, I’m just trying to help the next man. I look forward to serving a new community. [Helped out] after Katrina, and then going out to Cleveland and helping out in the schools and doing as much as possible there. And now in Oakland, looking forward to doing the same. But first, getting some wins.

Q: When you saw that Michael Huff had been released and there was obviously a vacancy at free safety there, did your mind think almost immediately, hey that’s where Dennis is, maybe that’s a possibility? Or had there already been some contact in free agency?

Young: You know what? I didn’t see that Huff had been released. I didn’t look at the past at all. In free agency, it’s pretty unique. You get a chance to check out different rosters and depth charts and coaches and talk to several people. But I’ve always known hey DA is in Oakland. DA was in Denver. My old coach from college, Coach Pees, he’s in Baltimore. Different coaches that coached you early on in your career, they move around. And different players that you played alongside with or against have moved around and when you hear free agency, you start to think about that. You look around and see different players all spread around the league. It’s a small league. It’s an elite league. Guys go to different teams on a regular basis, but you look for…what you think would be a great fit for you and you can help the team at the highest level. I think Oakland was just perfect for me. I went in, talked to my agent about it and we had different teams that we were interested in and had several teams that were interested in me. I was excited to check out the possibility in Oakland.

Q: Were you surprised when the Browns let you go?

Young: Definitely. I felt pretty good about my years there and you never are looking forward to getting let go. But you do understand that it is the business, so you might get let go for several reasons, whether it’s your play on the field, whether it’s cap, whether it’s just time to go. I was one of those guys that was released like several others and I said, ‘okay, get over it. Let’s get back to work and get ready for the next signing, the next team I’m going to help out.’ When I signed with Oakland yesterday, I was hyped because I know about the tradition. I know about the fan base. I know how crazy it is to play in the stadium, playing there. It’s just one of those things; you have to move on quick. As a defensive back, I’ve been trained to have a short memory, so you can’t think about the last play, you can’t think about yesterday. You have to move on. The next play is the most important play.

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