Cornerback David Amerson
After getting waived by the Washington Redskins, David Amerson knew that he would get another chance to prove himself on Sundays. What he didn't know, was how quickly he would take advantage of that next opportunity, and how seamlessly he would fit in his new home with the Oakland Raiders.
"To be honest, I was talking to my manager not too long ago about this situation – it's just crazy how it all played out," said Amerson. "In my head I kind of visualized it going like this, not as fast, but I always thought that once I left the Redskins, once I get my opportunity to get back on the field, I'm trying to make that place – wherever it is – my home. Lucky for me, it just happened to be Oakland, and everything just fell like I thought it would. It's been a blessing."
Amerson joined the Raiders prior to the team's Week 3 matchup with the Cleveland Browns, and over the final 14 games of the season he was one of the best statistical cornerbacks in the NFL, and as a result of that production, the Raiders inked the athletic defensive back to a four-year extension Tuesday afternoon.
"It's a blessing," said Amerson following the signing of his extension. "I couldn't be in a better situation. I thank the Lord that I'm here, and I have coaches, and a General Manager, and [front] office guys that want me here – that want me here and that believe in me. It just gives me that confidence to go out there and really show what I can do."
It's been a roller coaster year for Amerson – after being waived by the Redskins, he set a Raiders franchise record with 26 passes defensed – and while he's now found a franchise to call home, he did admit that at times during the journey, there were moments of doubt.
"I think that's human nature," Amerson said. "You kind of naturally go into that mindset. I think me, myself, I just try to keep a positive mindset and a strong mindset. I knew I believed in my abilities and what I was capable of doing on the field, and I just knew once I got my opportunity to show it again, I had to take advantage of it."
And Amerson certainly took full advantage of the opportunities he was afforded in 2015 in what was arguably a Pro Bowl-caliber season with the Raiders. So what clicked for him upon his arrival in the Bay Area?
"I think just maturity," Amerson said. "I think me getting cut, and me coming here and starting all over again, I had to really grow up as a person, as a man, as a player, and I think that really helped me. I really started locking in to what was going on and trying to perfect my craft, and really trying to get better each game and just improve. I think that was the biggest thing for me."
Now, his extension is signed, and in just over a week, Amerson and the rest of the Raiders will report to training camp at the team's Napa Valley Training Complex, and the real work will begin for No. 29 and the rest of the Raiders' defense.
"That's the main thing, just putting in the work," he said. "There's a lot of expectation, a lot of people are expecting us to do this and do that, but when you're really going out there and putting in the work and giving 100 percent effort in everything you're doing, and putting in your blood, sweat and tears into it, it becomes easy on the field, and it's just natural for you to do good."
After an impressive first season in Silver and Black, Amerson isn't afraid to predict what he and the Silver and Black will put on film this season. When asked about his expectations for 2016, he gave a quick, succinct answer – one that should be music to the ears of Raider Nation.
"The best way to put it, is better than last year," Amerson said. "That's the best way I can put it."