This week, Raiders CB Rashaan Melvin appeared in Sirius XM NFL Radio on Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan’s show to talk about his Chicagoland football camp as well as his new team, the Oakland Raiders.
The hosts started off by asking Melvin what it was that attracted him to the Raiders in free agency.
“First off, I have to give a shout out to the Oakland fans. It’s a staple in the NFL that the fans are crazy, and that makes me elevate my game because I feed off the energy from the crowd. On this team and this defense, we have guys at every level who can make plays. It’s 10 other guys, it’s not just me.”
Melvin played on the 30th-ranked defense in Indianapolis last season, so he is not used to playing with as much talent as he has around him now.
“Jon Gruden is there, he’s a wonderful coach. His style of coaching, the energy he brings to the team, for me that’s a spotlight. There will be a lot of eyes on the team. It’s an opportunity for me to show that I am one of the very best cornerbacks in the NFL. That’s why I chose to go to Oakland.”
Miller and Kirwan then inquired whether Gruden ever goes over to the defensive side of the ball to coach, or whether he stays focused on the Raider offense.
“It doesn’t really happen, he’s an offensive-minded guy. He lets coach Guenther take care of all the defensive stuff. Gruden takes care of all the offensive stuff and being the head coach. Gruden always says, we want to beat the defense’s ass every day. And we on the defense say we want to beat the offense’s ass every day. So we all go out there and have a slugfest.”
Melvin then spoke about the veteran makeup of the team and how that is beneficial to the organization as a whole.
“It’s a veteran group. We have a 12-year vet in every position group. We have guys who have been successful in the league, and who can teach the young players how to be successful in the system. On offense we have the same thing, a running back and offensive line who have been together for a while and guys who have been to multiple Pro Bowls who can help mold the organization into what you want it to be.”
The Raiders have been searching for stability at the corner spot for a long time, and with Melvin and last year’s first round pick Gareon Conley manning the position they may just have found it. Let’s hope the Raiders’ veteran-first approach works as well as Melvin seems to think it will.