The pressure is off.
The Las Vegas Raiders got their first takeaway of the 2023 NFL season in Week 4 when safety Tre’von Moehrig nabbed an errant Justin Herbert threw in an eventual 24-17 Las Vegas road defeat. It was Herbert’s first pick of the season.
Now, that the Raiders got their first takeaway, it’s time to add to that. The team has struggled in this area for years and it’s expected a change this year after emphasizing it all offseason and in training camp and adding ball-hawk starting cornerback Marcus Peters. He and the rest of the Raiders’ defensive players have had their chances, but it hasn’t developed.
There is a chance to continue the takeaway trend Monday night at home against the Green Bay Packers. First-year Packers quarterback Jordan Love has thrown three interceptions in four games. With the 1-3 Raiders losing the turnover battle 10-1 so far, Las Vegas defensive coordinator Patrick Graham knows the turnovers must continue and Moehrig is a big part of it.
The 2021 second-round pick shined as a rookie, but struggled in a new system under Graham last season. He has been showing signs that he is adjusting well this season.
“Tre’von is just working hard in the classroom and on the practice field. And the conversations he’s having with whether it’s Chris [Ash] and Simo [Jason Simmons] in terms of the coaches, getting insight from Josh [McDaniels] in terms of in the quarterbacks,” Graham said. “I’m sure he’s talking to those guys, too. The safety position, you got to be an information gatherer, ‘How does this look to you guys?’ So, I think that’s part of it. You have to talk to him specifically, but I see a lot of conversations going on between periods. I know with myself just talking to him, the football maturity, just the position takes a little while in terms of just to see all the different looks from that position. I think I’ve compared it before, never coached position, but similar to a quarterback, just getting to see more and more looks and that’s how you become more comfortable with it.”
Now, it’s time for more. But Graham preaches that Moehrig and company have to stay the course.
“Each week is different; we’re going to continue with the process in terms of working it in practice and making it a point of emphasis, just like most defenses throughout the league, and see where it goes from there,” Graham said. “But each week is so different, with Green Bay they present different challenges, different looks, different ways they’re going to scheme us up. So, we’ll see how that plays into it. But obviously as a defense, you’re trying to get the ball. That’s a big point of emphasis in every defensive room.”