Robert Spillane came into his own with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022.
Now, the linebacker is ready to continue to take the next step in his career with the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders identified Spillane as a priority free agent early in the process after he had a career high 79 tackles with the Steelers.
Now, it’s time for him to be part of the Raider’s rotation at linebacker in 2023. He recently said when the Raiders called in free agency, he was excited about the opportunity.
“It was more about how excited the Raiders were when they called me during free agency,” Spillane said. “I truly felt that love from the organization from the first second I got on the phone with Dave Ziegler and Coach [McDaniels], and even a guy like Maxx Crosby reaching out and giving me a call means a lot. So, feeling like I was walking into a family made it feel like it was okay to leave Pittsburgh for me.”
Spillane was attractive to the Raiders because over the final nine games of the season (including a game against the Raiders) Spillane played every snap on defense and on special teams. He said he will bring that mentality to the Raiders.
“One of the first things I learned when I came into the NFL under Mike Vrabel was, ‘Availability is your best ability.’ And that holds true to this day, and it will hold true as long as there’s the NFL,” he said. “I had a coach tell me in college, ‘You’re going to have to learn how to play hurt.’ Guys get hurt all the time and even you might be injured, and you got to learn how to play injured as well. So, it’s all about mental fortitude.”
Spillane spent the offseason getting used to playing in a new defense and feels completely comfortable in Las Vegas as training camp begins.
“I mean, all of these NFL teams are so multiple in packages in terms of fronts. We have all the same fronts here that we did with Pittsburgh – nickels to dimes to full house packages,” Spillane said. “So, we got it all in in the playbook, and I’m excited to see where it takes us this year.”