Heeney: "I couldn't be happier"


Q: When did you get the idea the Raiders were interested in you?**

Heeney:"Not even, man. That caught me so off guard. I had no idea, but I couldn't be happier. So happy. No one has really been in contact with me from the Raiders, so it's kind of caught me off guard. I guess that's when the best things happen, when you don't expect them."

Q: What do you know about this team and this defense?

Heeney:"I don't know much, to be honest with you. I know that Sal Sunseri is the linebackers coach. I'm very excited to work with him. I know [defensive coordinator] Ken Norton, [Jr.] is just an amazing coach, the defensive coordinator. I just can't wait to get up there and try to prove myself and become one of the guys."


Q: Where do you see yourself fitting best in a 4-3 defense?**

Heeney:"I think I can play anything. I think I can play Mike, Will – I really think I can play anything and be productive and be a guy that you guys can count on. More than anything, I'm ready to come in and pave my way on special teams and try to be a guy is a four[-unit] special teams starter. I think I can start on every special team right away and eventually work my way up and become a contributing factor on defense."

Q: The fourth-round pick, Jon Feliciano, said he can play all five positions across the offensive line. You can play all three linebacker positions. Did the Raiders tell you they like your position versatility?

Heeney:"Yeah, definitely. That's what they said when they first called me. I got off the phone with the GM [Reggie McKenzie], and he just said he's been watching me and he and Jack Del Rio have been talking, and they really like everything I bring to the table. I just couldn't be more excited. I'm just really excited to see, when I get up there, how everything is up there."

Q: Now that you've been drafted, is it everything you thought it was going to be?

Heeney:"Man, it's everything and more. This is what I've been working toward since I was in third grade, man. Just having my family and friends around me when it happened, it was so special. Everyone started crying and it's just what I've been working toward since I was in third grade and started playing football. Never in a million years did I think I would be an Oakland Raider, but I couldn't be more happy to be one."

Q: From your high school stats, it looks like you were a pretty accomplished running back. Is that what you thought you were going to be later in your career?

Heeney:"I actually thought I'd be a running back in college. I grew up playing running back and also I played defense, but I would get like five touchdowns a game, four touchdowns a game. I was a very good running back, so I thought that was kind of the path I would take, but I got to college and they saw me more as just an athlete and I eventually wound up as just a linebacker, and now that's what I'm playing. I think I'm just very versatile."

Q: Did your dad and two uncles all play baseball at Kansas? Did you ever have baseball aspirations?

Heeney:"Yeah, actually, as a little kid, baseball was my best sport – baseball and football. My dad and everyone else always thought I had a chance to play in the major leagues for baseball. It's always been between baseball and football, but football is my number one love. I like hitting people. I'm excited to be a part of the Raider defense. Man, I'm so excited."

Q: How did that transition from running back to linebacker take place?

Heeney:"I think they just kind of saw me as an athlete. I'm from Kansas and they already had a bunch of running back, so they recruited me as an athlete-slash-outside linebacker. They thought I'd play like Sam or like a nickel back almost, but it's just the pieces fell where they fell and I was the best guy for the job at middle linebacker and I became a three-year starter at linebacker. Yeah, man, I just kind of fell into it, I guess."

Q: How much outside linebacker have you played at Kansas? 

Heeney:"Zero. I've played middle linebacker for three years."

Q: Were you a Chiefs fan growing up?

Heeney:"Yeah, man, I was, but I'm not anymore."

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