Safety Karl Joseph
With the 14th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft the Oakland Raiders selected safety Karl Joseph out of the University of West Virginia. In his first season with the team, Joseph put up good numbers, but is ready to build on his performance in Year Two. Thursday afternoon, the second-year player spoke with reporters about his rookie season, and what he hopes to accomplish this season.
Here are the quick hits from Joseph's media session:
The former Mountaineer broke down how this year's Mini-Camp was different from last year.
"It's a whole different world. I feel like night and day, really, from now to last year. I came in hurt and I couldn't really do much. This year, just being able to go through the offseason with the guys, more than just the football part of it, but like just being able to bond with the guys and get a feel for some of the guys I think has been very helpful."
Joseph discussed rookie draft picks cornerback Gareon Conley and safety Obi Melifonwu, and how they've meshed with the team so far.
"They've been great, man. They're very smart. I think they are probably a step ahead of where I was last year because I couldn't participate in everything, so they picked up everything pretty fast. I think it's definitely going to be helpful for us."
He talked about the team's communication on defense, and how they're trying to enhance it in 2017.
"That comes with everything in practice. They put a big emphasis on that. [Safeties] Coach 'Vies' [Brent Vieselmeyer], [cornerbacks coach Rod Woodson] 'Wood' and [assistant head coach – defense] coach [John] Pagano, that's the main thing they talk about is communication. As long as we're all on the same page, we can't be wrong so we've been doing a lot of that stuff, disguising our coverage and I think we're a big step ahead of where we were last year around this time."
Joseph shared how working with quarterback Derek Carr, and talking about defensive schemes benefits both parties.
"I talk to D.C. [Derek Carr] sometimes after practice like, 'What did you see in some of our disguises.' I think him being one of the best quarterbacks in the league, a lot of our disguises, he'll pick it up but just a regular quarterback wouldn't be able to pick it up. He's been very helpful for that too when I ask him like, 'What did you think you saw there?' I think we've been pretty good, me and Reggie [Nelson] and Obi and Keith [McGill II] and all the safeties. We've been pretty good as far as disguising and stuff like that."
With Training Camp six weeks away, he talked about the importance of staying in shape during the break.
"Just really being smart, taking care of my body. That's one thing that I learned last year too. It's a real long season. I think taking care of your body is just as important as learning your playbook and everything like that, so I'm definitely going to keep improving in the weight room, trying to get more explosive, working on my strength and everything, working on man coverage in the offseason. Just everything that I know that I've spoken to the coaches that they feel like I can improve at. That's going to be my main focus this offseason heading into camp."