Reggie Nelson Drawing High Praise from Coaching Staff in OTA’s
The Raiders’ long path to resurgence culminated with a playoff berth last season, thanks in large part to the tremendous additions via the NFL Draft and free agency by the front office and general manager Reggie McKenzie since arriving in Oakland. While drafting two cornerstones in quarterback Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack in 2014 deservedly drew headlines, the shrewd and savvy free agency additions have certainly left an equal impact; enter Pro Bowl safety Reggie Nelson.
What will Reggie Nelson’s role be this season?
Perhaps no former free agent has made a greater impression than veteran safety Reggie Nelson. The retirement of Charles Woodson stung, but Nelson has performed admirably in his role as a veteran leader since he joined the team last year. As Karl Joseph continues to develop and Obi Melifonwu transitions to the NFL, Nelson’s ability to teach the craft has become paramount to the long-term success of the Raiders. Yesterday, the coaching staff spoke about his importance during OTA’s, the season and beyond.
“He knows how to play this game, he’s been playing for a long time. I think our team is so young it’s important for a guy like that to continue to set an example for a lot of the younger players.”
-Defensive Coordinator Ken Norton Jr.
New defensive assistant John Pagano is certainly impressed with his veteran safety as he shared these thoughts on Nelson:
“He’s somebody that understands the game and it’s just good to be around a guy like that. He’s a great example for our younger players to be able to, you know, watch a guy like that and be able to see how it’s supposed to be done.”
Even with age catching up with the safety it’s fair to say the Raiders will continue to need Nelson’s knowledge, one could say even he’ll be a de-facto defensive backs’ coaching assistant as Nelson spoke about his role as a mentor:
“It’s always something I can get better at and that’s what I keep trying to tell the young guys. I mean, don’t think you made it because you’re here. I mean, there’s always something you can always get better at and work at.”