DT Vance Walker arrived in Oakland after spending his college and first four professional football years in Atlanta. While the transition from Georgia to the West Coast will take some time, Walker likes his new home. "It's a different world over here," said Walker. "I love it for the most part. It's always sunny. Everyone is really nice and friendly."
The soft-spoken, relaxed demeanor of the 6'2", 305-pound defensive lineman is nothing like his attitude on the field. "I'm violent," said Walker about his play on the field. "Very emotion-driven, but at the same time, I always keep my composure. Just focused and whatnot. Team player, I like to win. That's the biggest thing."
As a Falcon, he played in 58 games and recorded 79 tackles, 5.0 sacks, two passes defensed and two forced fumbles over four seasons. During his career at Georgia Tech, he was named First Team All-ACC in 2007 and 2008 and is 12th in the record books for season sacks in 2007. He was drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Walker knows what kind of player he can be. Now he wants to show the Raiders this off-season.
"I hope to know the playbook 100 percent and I hope to let everyone here know what kind of player I am," said Walker. "Obviously, being from Atlanta, it's a world away and everyone doesn't know me well enough out here but hopefully my play will speak for itself and everybody will recognize me."
He's starting off by getting to know all of his new teammates during voluntary off-season workouts. "It's actually gone pretty smooth," said Walker. "All the guys, I've found, are just like myself. Everybody is trying to get to know one another. There are a lot of cool guys here, made friends really easily. Everybody's pretty young for the most part so everyone is pretty open."
It will be awhile before he can show the fans what he's made of, but he's look forward to it. "It'll be a great experience," said Walker. "I think the fans are very welcoming here just from what I've seen on Twitter and other things. They're really friendly here and I do like that. And they're excited about the football team, just as excited as I am."
Walker's message for Raider Nation – "We appreciate all the love you guys have been giving us and we're going to give 100 percent; that's what we all believe, me and my fellow teammates. I've been with them long enough to know that we're all excited and ready to play this year and be successful."