it’s Sunday. Which means we are exactly 6 weeks from the start to the Raiders 2017 season. It’s also day two of training camp. With 42 days until the season opener, so let’s look at the man wearing number 42 these days for the Raiders.
S Karl Joseph
Entering his second NFL season, this is the first full offseason for Joseph. He was drafted at 14 overall despite having suffered a torn ACL during his senior season at West Virginia that would require a good deal more recovery before he would be ready to play.
The 5-10, 205-pounder was ready to play by the start of last season, but admitted he wasn’t quite himself because he was thinking about the injury. With that now far behind him, he figures to be the ball hawking ‘Hitman’ he was with the Mountaineers that would have made him a top ten pick prior to the injury.
Once again Joseph will line up at strong safety. He is better suited at free safety, but with Reggie Nelson starting at that position, Joseph’s move to FS will probably have to wait until after this season.
Who wore it best: S Ronnie Lott (1991-92)
He spent just two seasons with the Raiders, but the first of those seasons was a spectacular one. Though he was reaching the end of a long storied NFL career after ten seasons with the 49ers, and came to the Raiders and showed he still had it. That season the 9-time Pro Bowler and 5-time All Pro free safety switched to strong safety and was again named All Pro.
He had 8 interceptions that season, which was the second most of his career. He also added 93 solo tackles. That was his final All Pro season in the NFL. In his second season with the Raiders he raised his solo tackle total to 103 with just one interception. He would play two more seasons with the Jets and then retire.
What Lott is probably most known for as a player is the time he got his finger crushed by an opponent's helmet and stayed in the game. Later the tip of that finger would need to be removed. It's that attitude that had him as one of the best players on a 49ers team that won four Super Bowls. And it also made him a perfect Raider. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Lott recently attempted to make a late push to keep the Raiders in Oakland. He headed up an investment group which made a fairly formidable pitch to the NFL on a stadium plan. Those efforts ultimately fell well short of the insane money Nevada was putting up to get the team, but Lott’s efforts are commendable. It’s obvious he maintains strong ties to the Bay Area and cared deeply about keeping the community from losing the Raiders.