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Usama Young Chats with Media

Q: Was DJ [Hayden] not feeling well last week? Did anyone notice anything was wrong?

Young: For a quick second, I was out there with him and you could tell he was under the weather. And I thought that was it, he was under the weather. So now I'm getting news that he's been in the hospital, out the hospital, I'm not sure what the deal is. I've just been in communication with him via text, says he's doing a lot better. I'm looking forward to him getting back  out here with us. It took me by surprise. I didn't think he was that sick.

Q: Was that Tuesday last week or were you there?

Young: All the days are running together now. We got the same routine. Come in, getting to meetings, go out to practice, come back in. I don't know when Thursday hits, when Monday hits, it's all running together.

Q: How was he coming along at the time though?

Young: He looked pretty good, looked like he was moving well. We had done individual drills, we did some seven-on-seven and did some team drills. He looked good, looked fast, looked quick, had good hands. You can't really tell too much about a player right now without any pads on, but he was looking the part.

Q: Is it tough for a rookie missing out, not being back until training camp, missing the OTAs and then mini-camp? Is it hard?

Young: I've never had to deal with it. I've always come in and got right into it. I don't know first hand. Coaches could tell you, other players that go through it might be able to tell you a little better than me. Just going through this process, it is a little nice to get a little bond with who you're working with. Off the field as well, going out with guys, getting out to eat, doing a little bit of the camaraderie type stuff, but he'll catch right back up, he won't miss a step. I'm sure he's going to be professional about it, but first off, we're worried about his health, just making sure he's all right.

Q: Is it nice to have Tracy [Porter] here with you?

Young: Oh yeah. We had an early bond in New Orleans, got to win the Super Bowl together and I expressed to the guys that he was probably the worst rookie I have ever been around. Tracy was one of those rooks that was not going to do anything. Nah, he's a good guy, younger player when we were there. Now you can tell we have both developed into veterans, and just having fun out there with somebody that you do know. Coming out to the West from down South- he's from down South and I'm from out East - but it's been good. It helps you get used to things a little bit better with somebody that you know.

Q: How do you react when the team signs somebody like Charles Woodson that in one hand, 'my god, we just got Charles Woodson,' but on the other hand, you guys play in the same back end?

Young: Its one of those things where you want the best players to be on your team and a guy like that who's name everybody knows, Charles Woodson, probably going to be a hall-of-famer, pro-bowler, all-pro, he started his career here. I'm looking forward to picking his brain a little bit, the same way I do any other vet that's been a good player in this league and an elite player in this league. Talking to him, trying to get as much as I can about the game before I get to year 15, God-willing.

Q: It's a competition out there, if he's going to be a safety, free safety and you're going to be a free safety, it could mean less snaps for you. Does that even enter your mind?

Young: Definitely a competition, that's the first thing you think about. Good player first and then, 'oh yeah, we got to compete out here.' So my plan is still the same when I first came out - competing to start. And going up against a guy like that, that's going to bring out the best player in myself as well because I look at him, I'm taking notes, I'm seeing how he moves, seeing what he's looking at, asking him questions and hopefully it amounts to me making some plays as well. But he's a good player, you see him out here, he hasn't skipped a beat either. He's been off for a little bit, he came out here, got the plays quickly, been in meetings with us, doing the same thing.

Q: He doesn't have a number yet though. How is he going to resolve that?

Young: That's one thing I've been talking to Tracy about, and Tracy's been probably hearing from everybody, 'hey, hey, you've got to give Woodson that 24.' I wasn't sure if he was going to wear 24 or 21 but coming out in a black jersey today, I don't know. We'll see. There's going to be some numbers crunched in the locker room probably.

Q: Has Tracy talked to you about any terms yet as far as what the number might go for?

Young: They're keeping it "hush-hush." They're keeping it real "hush-hush." I don't know what the deal is. It's one of those things where you usually don't pay too much attention to it. I came here, I've been wearing number 28 my whole career, I asked [Phillip Adams], 'hey man, what do you want for that 28?' He said, 'I'm not budging.' That's all I needed to hear, I'm going to go with 26, I'm cool with it. But Woodson, it's a little different. He played, I want to say, seven, eight years here, wearing 24. He wants that thing. We'll see. We'll see what the deal is.

Q: Has he already made an impact in the locker room and in those leader rooms? Can you already tell?

Young: Still early to tell. Having a seasoned vet, he's going to make his mark. Hopefully it will be all positive. I'm sure it will be. [Woodson] is a true pro, and guys in their first, second years looking up to him and I'm in my seventh and I still look at 'that's where I want my career to be once I hit that, if I do hit that.' So yeah, I'm sure he'll have a positive outlook, positive vibe in the locker room.

Q: What do you like about Coach Allen from your days before and watching him out here…

Young: It's funny because playing for four years in New Orleans under Coach Allen, it was just seeing that progression and he probably saw progression in me as a player as well. But he went from position coach to defensive coordinator to head coach and when he was a position coach; you could see how much knowledge he had of the game. Not just in the secondary, not just on the defense, but knowledge in terms of putting the whole game together and he had a sense of command. So, you could see him in this position that he's at now and we still joke around about it because I'm like, 'man, I remember you were out here doing back-peddling drills with us,' and he'll step over and he'll throw the ball a little bit. He still has his heart on that defensive side of the ball. Coming from being a college DB, it is not leaving him. He's sticking with the defense.

Q: I know you had a stop over in Cleveland, but of course, you are well known for the style that stayed in New Orleans, to what degree do you think they're depending on you to bring the winning attitude, the winning ways of doing things from the Saints to an organization like this?

Young: I took a lot from it. Starting my career there and playing four years there, I took a lot from, 'Hey, this is how you lead. This is how you go about being a winner. This is how you go about being a pro.' We had several guys that you could look up to that were veterans, and now I am in that position to lead. So, I look forward to being that leader and showing them, 'hey, this is what we got to do.' You can't cut the corner short; we got to go about this the hard way. It's one of those things I think it was good for me to start my career there. I had fun, I got to enjoy the food, got to enjoy the fans, but coming out to Oakland, I'm looking forward to making my mark here and getting this team some W's and helping out in any way I can.

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