One of the more intriguing players in the Las Vegas Raiders’ training camp this summer has been Tanner Muse.
Muse was somewhat of a forgotten man in the Raiders’ program this offseason after he missed his rookie season due to a toe injury. The 2020 third-round pick from Clemson was expected to be a special-teams ace when the Raiders drafted him.
Las Vegas was moving him from a college safety to an NFL linebacker. Of course, the injury derailed that transition. Eyebrows were raised about Muse’s future when the Raiders drafted Divine Deablo of Virginia Tech in the third round this year. Like Muse, Deablo is moving from safety to linebacker and they project as similar players. However, Deablo got hurt in the offseason and just returned to practice this week.
Here is a great film review of Muse by our Matt Holder:
Muse took advantage of his own health and had a good start to training camp. He was even working with the first-unit linebackers in some situations. Las Vegas coach Jon Gruden was asked this week about Muse’s performance in his first ever NFL game action, a 20-7 win over the visiting Seattle Seahawks last Saturday.
“Well, he looked good on special teams. His speed shows up, his instincts show up on special teams,” Gruden said. “Defensively, he made a couple plays. We’re not in our base defense a whole lot, so you don’t see a whole lot of him. But I did like when Richard Smith put him in at a different linebacker spot in our nickel, he got a chance to play a couple positions and he showed some versatility. He still has a ways to go, but he is improving.”
Last week, Muse told reporters he needed to make up for his lost time and studying the playbook was a big part of that process.
“It takes zero physical effort just to stay in the film, stay in the book and just be mentally sharp and ready for each and every week,” Muse said.
The final two preseason games, Saturday night at the Los Angeles Rams and against the San Francisco 49ers on August 29, will be vital for Muse and he tries to carve out a role on defense and be a key member of the special teams.