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Consistency is key for safety tandem of Tre'von Moehrig and Marcus Epps

Tre’von Moehrig and Marcus Epps aren't men of too many words.

The Raiders defense have a loaded front seven, headlined by Maxx Crosby and Christian Wilkins – expressive personalities in their own right. As for the safety tandem of Moehrig and Epps, they're more of a relaxed duo. They let their play on the field do most of the talking, something their teammates have become accustomed to.

"Tre probably says about five words a day," Wilkins joked about Moehrig. "But it's all good, he's a dog and he's a heck of a player, so it's fun to be around him. But I'm going to try to get it out of him for sure. We will see how well I can figure it out."

Despite the few words spoken, the safeties are some of the best communicators on the football field. Proper communication is a necessity within Patrick Graham's defense, which rose to being one of the top in the league last season. Moehrig finished 2023 with career highs in interceptions (three), pass deflections (eight) and solo tackles (65).

"Just the consistency on what we do, our game plan, what we try to get done, our approach to things – it's just more consistent," Moehrig said of the defense. "Having that consistency, it helps us a big amount and just our calls and how we operate just knowing the system, knowing our players.

"We want to dominate," he added. "We want to be the villains of the offense every time we come into the stadium. ... The energy that we play with, it's contagious and everybody can feel it."

Epps also had an impressive campaign, his first in the Silver and Black. After playing 99 percent of all defensive snaps for the Philadelphia Eagles en route to their Super Bowl appearance in 2022, he brought the same consistency to the desert and became a vital piece to the operation.

"Off the field he's just one of them cerebral cats. He's very smart," senior defensive assistant Rob Ryan said. "But the thing on the field now, he's one of our loud guys. You know, he speaks up, he runs the whole show back there and [Robert] Spillane echoes it, and the communication is night and day difference.

"He and Tre'von have really put a bond in there. ... He's come on and you can play him anywhere, so it's really special. But believe me, Epps is so much better than people think."

Safeties coach Gerald Alexander, who played five seasons in the NFL, echoed Ryan's sentiments.

"He plays a clean game, and what I mean by that is he does all the little things right," Alexander said of Epps. "First and foremost having a really good understanding of what his responsibility is, where he's supposed to be, having an understanding of how to move out there on the field, getting his alignment and his teammates in positions to also do the things that they need to do. That's what it comes down to, being a primary role of a communicator."

Moehrig and Epps' relationship has flourished as they've become good friends off the field and have worked together to teach the rest of the young secondary. With Training Camp up next, the two seemed poised to continue building upon an exceptional 2023 season and offseason to this point.

As for if Moehrig will say more than five words off the field? "I'm going to be me at the end of the day," he said with a smile. "I'm going to do my little bit of talking, but at the end of the day, I'm just being me."

View director of photography Michael Clemens' top picks of black and white photos from the Raiders' 2024 Media Day.

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