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Silver Minings: KJ Wright says he’ll be a ‘calming presence’ in the locker room and on the field

Don’t worry, the former Seahawks linebacker is still bringing his signature fire to Las Vegas, and admits in his introductory press conference that he’s “been pissed off all offseason.”

Wild Card Round - Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks
K.J. Wright
K.J. WrightPhoto by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

While news about the signing broke several days ago, the Las Vegas Raiders officially introduced K.J. Wright as a Raider on Monday.

Wright held his introductory press conference at Las Vegas’ facilities yesterday and was noticeably excited to be a part of his new team.

Unsurprisingly, the 11-year veteran is expected to take on a leadership role with the Silver and Black, but he spoke about how important it is for him to build a relationship with his teammates first:

“For me, I just want to get to know the guys. I’m not going to come in here and just tell the guys this is how we should do it. I want to get to know my teammates and have a positive influence on them. I’ve been successful in my career and there are some things I could start implementing as we go along, but first things first, I’ve got to learn my teammates, how they respond to certain things, how they learn certain things and then we can start gelling from there.”

Wright would go on to talk about how he wants to keep a level head as a leader for the Raiders:

“When things go bad, when things go good, I’m that calming presence that’s in the locker room, that’s on the football field ... I’ve been in some situations where I felt like my presence made an impact on us being successful ... There’s so many other guys in here too with Maxx [Crosby] and Yannick [Ngakoue], guys that have played in this league a while. We’re going to all collaborate and make sure this defense is one of the best.”

Later on, Wright would again speak about and continue to emphasize the leadership that his new teammates have already shown him and how he’s excited about being a part of that.

Someone asked the former Seahawk if he still had the same fire he once did and if this offseason added any extra motivation. He left no ambiguity in his response:

“Come on now,” Wright replied. “Listen, this offseason, I’ve been pissed off all offseason. I’ve been very, very angry. I’ve been at peace, but I’ve been mad at the same time if that makes sense ... I had a lot of people doubting me this offseason and I’m still keeping it going. I’m thankful to be here but that burning desire you’re talking about, yeah, it’s on 100 right now.”

Having played for new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley in the past, Wright obviously has some familiarity with the Raiders’ defensive scheme. When asked about what stood out to him about his new teammates and how well they’ve adjusted to the system so far, here’s what the newest Raider had to say:

“I would say how fast they play, how detailed they are to the scheme. I know this scheme, I’ve been doing it since my rookie year and they take care of all the intricate details that Gus wants to accomplish. So when guys are on the details throughout the season, you won’t see too many mistakes with this defense ... This scheme is just simple, you got the call, you got the stuff up front, you just execute it. Gus doesn’t throw too much at us, we just want to play fast and that’s what the good defenses do.

Finally, Wright wrapped things up by talking about what he expects his role to be this season:

“I would say, to play the OTTO position and if [Bradley] needs me to play any other positions on nickel to know it and play it at a high level. I’ve prided myself on knowing all three [linebacker] positions, I’ve done them throughout my whole career, started at SAM, MIKE and WILL. So whatever the coach needs me to do on Sundays and Mondays, I’ll be there for him.”

That’s spoken like a true leader right there.

In other Raiders’ links:

  • Muse cut: The 2020 third-round pick was waived before even taking a regular-season snap for the Silver and Black.
  • Raiders least-liked sports team in US: This is based on a study conducted by The Action Network using Linkfluence AN reviewed social listening data to analyze negative sentiments of teams from the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS leagues between July 2020 – July 2021.
  • Rolando McClain helped Raiders get Waller: The 2010 No. 8 overall pick signed with Baltimore after leaving Oakland and was later traded to Dallas for a draft pick. The Ravens used said pick on none other than the Raiders’ superstar tight end.