Safety Karl Joseph proved to Raider Nation last Friday afternoon that you can always come back home.
The Raiders 2016 first-round pick signed back with the team where his NFL career started after a one-year hiatus playing for the Cleveland Browns. Joseph told media during his reintroduction to the Raiders that he "never wanted to leave" and that his Silver and Black coaches and teammates "feel like family."
The last time Joseph was on the field with his Raiders teammates, he was on the opposite sidelines. The former Cleveland Browns safety was defeated by the team that drafted him 16-6, in a hellacious battle that included hail, sleet, snow and 40 mile per hour winds. Joseph, who ended the game with three tackles, felt discontented not only with his personal performance, but the realization he was no longer going to battle with the team that defeated him.
"After the game, I realized how much I miss these guys here," said Karl Joesph during his conference call after returning to the Silver and Black. "Just dapping up some of those guys after the game felt like I had never really left. It felt like they were still my family."
The 27-year-old free safety still proved his worth to any NFL defense last season in Cleveland, producing 67 total tackles, with four pass deflections, two fumble recoveries and an interception. Despite whatever role Joseph will play in the secondary with Johnathan Abram and Jeff Heath in place, he's excited to embrace it with open arms. The safety also recognized that he and Abram still have some unfinished business to take care of.
"We played together one game his rookie year, and he went down unfortunately," said Joseph on Abram's torn labrum that ended his rookie season. "I'm looking forward to getting back out there and competing with him and helping push each other to be our best self."
The game plan that new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley is bringing to the Raiders appealed to Joseph, as he believes he'll be able to "grasp everything pretty quickly" after playing in what he considered a similar defensive scheme last year with the Browns. He also has been paying close attention to the team that Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock has been putting together since he left the organization. Joseph sees himself seamlessly plugging himself back into that equation and being a Raider for the long term.
"All the pieces are there and I think we're ready to win. Whatever I'm going to need to do to help us win, that's what I'm going to do."
"I told Coach Gruden that I didn't want to leave and that I thought I wanted to end my career as a Raider, so hopefully I get that opportunity this time around. This is where I was meant to be."
Take a look at action photos of safety Karl Joseph. Joseph returns to the Silver and Black after a one-year stint with the Cleveland Browns in 2020.