Cornerback David Amerson
With the signing of Raiders cornerback David Amerson, he now has high expectations going into next season. The North Carolina State-product was a standout player last season as he was statistically one of the best corners in the league. He recently talked with Alex Marvez and Bill Polian of SiriusXM NFL Radio about the experiences of last year and the expectations surrounding 2016.
Here are the quick hits from his conversation.
Although Amerson has only been with the team one year, the cornerback has a good understanding of the team's culture and what it means to be a Raider.
"I definitely knew it's a team that's built off tradition in past history. I knew that the fan base is really strong. I knew Jack Del Rio was a defensive-minded head coach and I just felt like I was going into a good situation…It's one of the best honors you can really have playing football. Like you said, with all the tradition and the crazy fan base and how passionate they are, I think as a football player you got to be excited to be a part of such a great franchise. It's really just motivation to go out there and work hard and be prepared, and know that when you step on the field on Sundays that you can give your all."
The Raiders have made several offseason acquisitions and with all the expectations circulating around the team, Amerson elaborated on what needs to be accomplished.
"Expectations are just expectations, you really got to go out there and prove it. We got to go out there and work, we had a great offseason, and now we're about to crank it up a little bit, another notch. Going into training camp and getting ready for the season, the biggest thing is just showing up every day and putting in the work."
After being brought into defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr.'s defensive scheme a little late, Amerson is feeling more acclimated and comfortable going into 2016.
"I know ever since I got there they've done a great job of simplifying the defense for me. Not really making it to complicated, just going out there and just playing ball. You know, there's a lot of man-to-man kind of in your face defense, it allows you to go out there and show your ability…I think it's just being around the coaches and players period. You know, I think I really grew to build a relationship with everyone and just being familiar with everyone in general. Of course, with the schemes and picking up on some of the calls… All that stuff matters and it just clicks, I'm a little bit more fluid than me showing up last year and just being thrown in the fire."
One of the biggest storylines this season was the retirement of safety and future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson. Amerson discussed the leadership of the veteran and the team stepping up to fill the void.**
"Charles is definitely one of the best safeties I've ever played with. It was the little things, if it was a double move he was always there making a play from the post, on the go ball, on the double move, or something. If you missed a tackle he was always there saving a tackle. You guys have seen some of the interceptions he had, I haven't seen a guy do some stuff like that ever. As far as leadership, he was one of those guys who didn't say a whole lot, but when he said something everybody listened, his leadership was off the charts…Leadership just comes naturally, it can come from whoever steps up this season or takes that role. I think Khalil Mack, he's a young guy, but he's definitely kind of stepping into that role with him being so dominant on the field. Kind of stepping into that role of rallying up the guys and doing this and that, it's going to be interesting to see where it comes from."
The Raiders have debatably one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Being able to compete with high-caliber players like wide receivers Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree is an opportunity Amerson plans on taking advantage of.
"I got a little taste of him and Crabtree during OTAs, like I said, both of those guys are dogs. Definitely getting the best of the best work when it comes to receivers. I think, just the repetition against those two guys will prepare you for just about anybody you see on Sunday."