Raiders CB Nate Hobbs

Aura Of Aggressiveness Has Taken Hold Of Raiders Cornerbacks During Camp

As training camp gives way to the preseason, an aura of aggressiveness permeates throughout the Las Vegas Raiders defense, namely the cornerbacks.

Let’s mince words here: the pressure on defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to deliver improvement after a horrendous 2022 season is omnipresent. To help remedy that, general manager Dave Ziegler reloaded the defense at several positions, but none more than cornerback. Well, arguably, at least.

’23 Feels Different For The Raiders’ Cornerbacks

Even before signing veteran Marcus Peters after camp had begun, noticeable changes had been made. The group was comprised of David Long, Duke Shelley, Sam Webb, Brandon Facyson, and, of course, Nate Hobbs. Another player that’s been making waves is rookie Jakorian Bennett. As you can see, with preseason beginning this Sunday, this is quite a deep group. In fact, I dare say, it is an underrated one as it stands. It’s more than just the names on a sheet of paper; the vibe surrounding the cornerbacks (and the defense to a large extent) is one of hunger. They’re out to prove something.

Speaking of Hobbs, he’d be the first to tell you how much of a different tune his unit is singing since Peters’ addition. While speaking to the media this week, Hobbs shed a little light on these musings.

“Man, MP [Marcus Peters], I just think his football IQ is on another level. His instincts, his feet, and his body position. A guy like that just brings a whole new energy to our defense, and there’s nothing like having a vet back there who can just see everything; it’s crazy to me. It’s like he’s in practice and walking so slowly.”

Nate Hobbs Looking To Bounce Back, Marcus Peter’s Impact Has Been Profound

You could argue the Raiders’ cornerbacks, Hobbs included, are really playing with a chip on their shoulder. There’s no doubt that Hobbs is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2022, which saw his play take a big hit following an unfortunate hand injury. Still, the cornerbacks are making the most of camp, pushing each other to new heights. Tyler Hall, for example, who’s looking to earn playing time this year, mentioned what it’s been like out there in Henderson.

“It’s been a healthy competition. A lot of those guys in that room want to prove themselves. Everybody is trying to learn from each other.”

The thing about this particular set of cornerbacks is that not only are they competitive amongst themselves, but the reason being aggressive is paramount is due to the competition in front of them as well. Hobbs, Peters, Bennett, etc. are all lining up against the likes of Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow on a daily basis. Let’s keep things real; if you don’t show up, these receivers are going to embarrass you, simply put. In fact, Bennett himself alluded to that this week during his media availability.

“You’re arguably going against some of the best receivers: Hunter [Renfrow], Jakobi [Meyers], Davante [Adams], and Phillip [Dorsett]. So just by kind of going against those guys, you’re going to lose some and win some at the end of the day. It’s cliche, but iron sharpens iron. So, just kind of going against them and trying to get better each and every day I just kind of look at it as just kind of sweating a lot right now, so it’ll make the game a lot easier.”

Brace yourselves, Raider Nation; your team could be onto something special with these cornerbacks this season.

*Top Photo: Raiders Official YouTube Channel

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