New Raider defensive lineman/linebacker Dave Tollefson arrived on Monday to join his new teammates. He comes over from the two-time Super Bowl winning New York Giants where he played alongside some truly great defenders. And he see similar talent on the Raiders defensive line.
Some of the names the guys that Tollefson played next to and behind were All Pro players like all time single season sack leader Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, and Jason Pierre-Paul. His experience with these players were invaluable to his becoming the player he is today.
"It's huge." said Tollefson. "To be the best, you have to be around the best. You have to be surrounded by people that are successful in order for yourself to be successful. Being with those group of guys during that period of time was really special. I just got here today, got my first workout today but there's a group of guys here that can play ball upfront which is exciting to see. I'm not quite an old wily bet yet, you know, I got a few years left though I've seen quite a bit in this league. They got a group of guys here that can do some big things also. So, I look back fondly on my time with those guys and it was special for sure but you can't dwell on the past. You got to keep moving forward and make toward the future."
The players of whom Tollefson is referring on the Raiders line starts with three time All Pro Richard Seymour along with Tommy Kelly, Matt Shaughnessy, and Lamarr Houston. The Raiders expect big things out of this group next season. Seymour is coming off another Pro Bowl season, Shaughnessy and Kelly have both looked like they are poised to head to Hawaii in the near future. Houston took a step back last season but showed the potential to be a fine defensive end the latter half of his rookie season.
It appears Tollefson will be filling a similar role to that of Kamerion Wimbley who was the team's sack leader the past two seasons though he was technically the starting strong side linebacker.