As the Raiders entered training camp this year, the first team corners were firmly in the hands of Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin. Until they weren’t.
Not one day into camp, that all change. Conley went back on the shelf, where he has spent most of his short NFL career thus far, and it was already time to see what the Raiders had in the next man up.
There is no player more suited for that spot in terms of a combination of youth and experience than Daryl Worley.
The third year corner came available unexpectedly this offseason due to an arrest in Philadelphia with charges that included DUI, resisting arrest, and illegal weapons possession. He had been traded by the Panthers to the Eagles a short time before that and after the arrest, the Eagles cut their losses and cut Worley.
With the Raiders still desperate for help at corner, Gruden was interested. Joseph supported the move and so four days after Worley was released by the Eagles, he was a Raider. It’s a second chance he doesn’t plan to squander.
“This opportunity, it was amazing for me,” said Worley. “Just to be able to get another opportunity because many people don’t get a second chance. I was just blessed to be able to get another chance and just make the best of it.”
The West Virginia alum had a friend in Oakland in Karl Joseph. The two spent three seasons together as starters for the Mountaineers and even came out in the same draft. Joseph was a first round pick and Worley was a third rounder.
“I knew he could come in and help us at that position,” Joseph said during minicamp. “We need some help in that position so when he asked me about him I was excited. That’s my brother. We played almost all of our years in college together. So when he asked me, I co-signed for him immediately. He’s a heck of a player.”
“Karl’s my guy,” said Worley. . . “He kind of got me acclimated to everything. Even though he may have had a few weeks in front of the coaches in front of me. He just let me know what they expect and being able to come in make the transition was very helpful.”
For different reasons, Worley and Joseph have a lot to prove. Joseph has yet to live up to his draft status on the field and the two are hoping being together to elevate both of their games.
“That’s definitely a thing that we talked about,” said Worley. “It’s definitely time to take it to the next level. With us both being in our third year, we know it’s time to elevate our game the same exact way we did in college. We always push each other, whether it’s on the field, off the field, we have little talks and whether it’s said or it’s not said, we’re always competing with each other to make plays.”
For the team’s sake, they very much need Worley to put his off the field woes behind him and get back to playing good football.
Worley can play the slot if asked, but he is far more comfortable as an outside corner, which is a good thing because putting all their hopes in Conley is proving worrisome.
On the other hand, there is the issue of whether Worley will receive any discipline from the league in the form of a suspension. That, I’m sure, is a source of concern for the Raiders. Worley says he has not heard anything from the league one way or the other.
“Honestly, I just took it as a learning experience,” Worley said of the incident. “It’s something that happened, you can’t change the past. Just like plays on the field, you can’t change what happened, you just have to move on to the next one. I was thankful when I talked to coach Gruden on the phone, it was a very passionate conversation. He was understanding, I mean, people make mistakes in life. It’s not about the mistake, it’s about whether you learn from it and what you do continue to go forward in future.”
It would be a lot easier for him to move forward and chalk it up as a learning experience if it comes without a league suspension. But that’s hard to predict. All he can control is what he does on the field and right now he’s doing what he needs to do.