Aaron Curry Q&A


A transcription of an interview with Raiders linebacker Aaron Curry following his first practice:

Q: Has it been a whirlwind, learning you’re traded and now starting on Sunday?

Curry: It’s been very eventful, very exciting. Just to know that Coach has faith in me that I can come in and play right away is a great confidence-booster for me, just to know that he believes in me. My job is to get out there and do my job, be held accountable to do my job and just play hard and fast and fit in with Raider football.

Q: How does it feel to have a fresh start?

Curry: It’s like a breath of fresh air. One of the first things Coach told me is that I didn’t have to worry about any opinions formed on me before the day that he and I met. I’m starting with a clean slate and he doesn’t care what happened back in the past. It’s all about moving on to the future. When he told me that I took a deep breath because that was my biggest concern was would the opinions pass on from club to club or from person to person. With him telling me I had a clean slate that gives me the opportunity to come out here and develop what I want him to see and who I want him to know.

Q: Can you pinpoint why it didn’t work in Seattle?

Curry: Not necessarily. I can’t really pinpoint it. If I could have pinpointed it I might have fixed it. It just didn’t work out. It sucks that it didn’t but I’m excited to be here in Oakland and playing for the Raiders. My brother Eric Barton played here for five years so I’m just getting a shot to carry his legacy on. I’m excited about that.

Q: Strange to get here today, start Sunday?

Curry: When you look at it from the outside in it looks weird but I’ve been practicing all week whether I was wearing blue or whether I was wearing black. I’ve been working on my linebacking skills for the last four weeks, just honing all my skills and learning everything about football, not just about where I was playing in our defense. So I’m prepared to play football. When it comes down to it, who has the ball?

Q: What do you do best?

Curry: Run. The best thing I do is run. Wait for the runner to make a move and run in his direction. That’s my best asset.

Q: Can you see how this system suits that?

Curry: Yes. Definitely. From alignment to assignment, we’re allowed, the whole entire defense, we’re allowed to line up and run and hit. That’s what’s good about this defense. That’s what’s going to be so exciting about this defense.

Q: Have to think before you ran in Seattle?

Curry: Sometimes. Sometimes I was putting too much pressure on myself to do too much thinking versus just running and hitting. When coach told me ‘We’re coming down here to play fast and we’re coming out to play smart as well, but we’re going to play fast and we’re going to run and we’re going to hit, we’re going to be a physical defense,’ … that’s right down my alley.

Q: Moving from Sam to Will, is it a big transition?

Curry: Not a big deal. It would seem like it but as far as the scheme goes, no matter what you name the linebacker it’s pretty much what I played when I played up north. It’s just going out there, similar keys, some different fits but it’s all going to boil down to getting to the football.

Q: Were you upset or angry with how things were going in Seattle?

Curry: I was at first. Naturally, I was just frustrated but I got my focus back and before I left I was at complete peace. I was done focusing on my circumstance. I handed that to my God and let him handle it and he put me where he said I should be. That’s why I’m so excited. I’ve been placed here for a reason. There’s a purpose for me being here and it’s not because of anything that anything that we do. It’s because a divine person said for me to be here. That’s why I’m so excited.

Q: How would you assess your pass coverage skills?

Curry: I would say I’ve gotten way better from my rookie year and it’s going to get even better here because it’s not as complex. We’re using simple terms and we’re going to keep it simple so that we all can play hard, we can all play fast and really hone in on our individual skills.

Q: How were you greeted by your new teammates?

Curry: Everybody’s been excited. Everybody’s been happy saying that they’re happy to have me here. I’ve just been letting them know how excited, how I can wait to get out there on Sunday and play in front of the Black Hole and just go crazy. The last time I saw them I was playing for Seattle so they weren’t for me but when they were cheering for the Raiders they were going nuts. Even the stuff that they were saying toward us, they were going crazy so I just can’t to feel that emotion.

Q: Some of your former teammates are saying now you can relax, without feeling the pressure of being the No. 4 pick . . .

Curry: It was of very, very high expectations that early on I let the pressure get to me, and then when I did let the pressure get to me that was an issue. So it was kind of a back and forth. I really think the expectations are extremely high, and now coach said I’m allowed to come here and just relax and be me. The only expectation is to play Raider football, follow the rules that we follow, play the ball that we play, and take it from there.

Q: Wake Forest defense, how did that role translate to being in NFL?

Curry: Well, the difference when I was in school and the NFL, we played two defenses, when I was in school and we didn’t care that people knew what we were in, we knew how they were going to attack it to beat it. That’s the biggest difference. I played the same thing every snap. If I didn’t play it this way, I played it that way, and it never changed. We didn’t have any exceptions, we didn’t have any options. This is how we play it, this is how you do it. Do it fast, and that was the biggest difference between school and college (think he means school and the NFL) where up north, we had a lot of stuff. You had to be able to do everything. Everybody has to be able to do everything, versus just being just given a role and just taking off with it.

Q: Nervous, this is is your third coach . . . wondering what’s coming down here, what will playbook look like, etc.

Curry: Yeah, of course. The first thing I thought about was the playbook. I knew from the history of the Raiders and their defense, how they do things. I knew some of the stuff. I knew that some of the things they were going to play and how they looked like some of the stuff we did in Seattle, but still, everyone has their own stuff, and so, of course I thought about it and once I got it in my hands yesterday it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Not yet, at least.

Q: Was Wednesday your last day in Seattle . . .

Curry: Tuesday was. Wednesday I didn’t practice. Tuesday was my last day.

Q: When did you start hearing you might be coming to Oakland?

Curry: When they called me and said, that Oakland was looking and was interested. And it was like Wednesday.

Q: What has Blackstock said about being here?

Curry: Blackstock is awesome, man. He just told me we’re going to be given a shot to do what we do as linebackers and he’s really expressed his passion for linebacker play and how we should play, and he’s shown his excitement and he’s helped me with the playbook along with coach Biek, he’s helped me with the playbook and he’s just constantly talking to me and telling me to put the past behind me. He said the same thing, there’s a purpose, and there’s a reason why we’re both here. Last time I saw him I was a 195 pounds coming out of high school and so we both believe that there’s a purpose for us both being here and that’s for us to, for all of us, to go out there and play Raider football. Like, I keep seeing on the walls, it says, `build a bully’ and that’s what I’m excited about.

Q: Had a chance to talk to Groves?

Curry: Yeah, we chatted. I met Groves after one of the preseason games, so it wasn’t really like, we didn’t have to introduce ourselves to each other, it was what’s up, good seeing you again.

Q: Have you talked to your brother Eric Barton about being a Raider?

Curry: Yeah, Eric’s way more excited than I am. I’m excited, and he’s like over-the-mountain excited. He’s like, I mean, when can I come up? Where can I stay? I’ll be there tomorrow. I’ll see you tomorrow. What’s the defense look like? Tell the coaches I say hey? I think he’s revisiting his time here and he had some special time here. I believe he went to the Super Bowl in 2002, so he’s extremely excited. He should be here today and he’s going to show me the ropes and he’s going to tell me all about Raider football, and I’m also excited about that, to actually have the history in my blood and be able to talk to him, he’s going to tell me how it should look and how we should do it.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 707raiders

    Right on Thec, one of these games we need to drive in together and have a super tailgate…

  • Thec07

    707raiders Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 8:04 pm
    Right on Thec, one of these games we need to drive in together and have a super tailgate…


    I will be flying up for the KC game as I am in SD, we do need to hook up at a tailgate….Truth…

  • Thec07

    707raiders Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 8:03 pm
    Campbell pissed me off

    The offense is slightly behind schedule.

    He has got to start connecting with his wides when they are open… Too many missed opportunities.

    This sunday I expect a complete game in all phases…

    Once this trend happens, and it will this team is going to be tough to beat by anyone in the NFL…

  • Thec07

    Anyway I am outtro…

    1 sports NATION exist in all of the sports….

    Coach Davis built that NATION….RAIDER NATION…

  • 707raiders

    Thec, its all good bra, hit me rburris97@gmail.com…. I keep it cracking… I’ll be there for kc game… So let’s do it, B@uce fks with ya boy every game…


    priesttj Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Mizza I disagree RoMac is NOT slow at all a neither is groves IMO he’s just not good in space which has nothing to do with speed.
    mizza Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 6:45 pm


    Your entitled to your opinion. But when i see Mcclain, i see someone that simply can’t keep up with these guys. He also doesn’t seem to be able to get sideline to sideline on those outside runs.

    Mizza, I have to agree with you and wonder what games BHP is watching. McClain seems very slow. If he’s not slow of foot – then he’s either been continually injured, suffering from illness, or just not putting out. Seems positively lumbering in pursuit. However, contrary to what BHP states, he seems to operate pretty well in space against the pass because he has good ball awareness once it’s in flight and uses his length extremely effectively.

    One other comment about Alex Smith and the whiners. Smith certainly isn’t an elite QB, but he is playing much better and has some talent. His improvement can be attributed to several factors. He’s maturing through experience and the game has slowed down for him. Harbaugh is doing a good job simplifying things for him and not asking him to do too much. But most importantly, he’s got the NFL’s best run blocking offensive line in front of him.

    I don’t like the whiners, so it pains me to admit it, but the run blocking of their OL is superb. That wasn’t a fluke when they pushed the Raids around in the preseason. They’ve got some beasts up front and utilize them very well. Saw the Saints DL embarrass this unit on pass protection early in the preseason and I wrote the whiners off. Big mistake. They are probably the best run blocking OL in the NFL.

  • Thec07

    Aaron Curry college highlight reel…


    Pay close attention to who he hits at the around the 4:05 mark

  • Kirk

    Is it just me, or should Aaron Curry be a middle lineback and RoMac be an outside linebacker?

  • GG

    Looking at that video, Curry looks like a natural at all three LB positions.

  • priesttj

    RoMac is NOT slow just based on his combine time he’s playing slow this year and I and everyone else have criticised him for it but that kid can run for a guy that big. the same is true Groves and Wimbley. RoMac has made several big plays in the passing game this year. But as far as the run he just seems like he’s jogging all the time. Why I cannot tell you but he can run that is a fact. He timed very well at teh combine as did Wimbley and Curry without a doubt can run. RoMac’s effort has pissed me off often this year tho.

  • mizza

    why would we move a fast lb with questionable instincts to mlb and move a slower lb without much coverage skills to the outside?

  • GG

    It’s too early for Curry to play Mike, as he doesn’t know the playbook. Imo the coaches have given him an opportunity on the weakside, at short notice, and see how he goes. If he plays to his potential, in the weeks ahead he could move strong side to have more responsibility covering the TE with Wimbley on the weak. And if he continues to impress, and gets the playbook down, can be the QB of the defense, then he could end up MLB.

  • priesttj

    Both curry and Romac can play MLB curry can play all 3 Romac is a natural MLB and can play SLB I wouldn’t put him at WLB but both can and have played MLB.

  • NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi believes that both DE Robert Mathis and WR Reggie Wayne are available for trade at “the right price.”
    Mathis and Wayne are both in contract years, and neither would be a reasonable candidate for the franchise tag in 2012 because Peyton Manning is holding captive so much salary cap space. Wayne turns 33 years old next month and is obviously in decline. Mathis is 29. He’d cost a pretty penny to re-sign.

  • anhdazman

    Raiders 34-16.

  • Thec07

    Curry should play Will, keep Romac at MLB…

  • Thec07

    No more screens to RB’s breaking for 50 plus yards on the weakside Curry will have all that on lock….

  • Hagar the Horrible

    Here’s a take from the Browns and how they view us on Sunday.Game Preview: Browns-Raiders
    By Matt Florjancic, ClevelandBrowns.com Staff Writer

    Posted Oct 13, 2011

    aaCoach Pat Shurmur and the Browns will face many challenges when they play the Oakland Raiders Sunday, in the first of three western trips this season.
    The Browns return from their bye week and get an interesting welcome back to the schedule when they travel to Oakland, Calif. for a game against the Raiders.

    The Raiders are coming off an emotional week after the death of their long-time owner, Al Davis, last Saturday. They earned a 25-20 win over the Houston Texans on the road and return home for their first game in the O. co Coliseum since Davis’ passing.

    “I made them aware and the players are very well aware of what the organization is going through with the passing of Al Davis,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. “They’re aware of it, you make them aware of it, take them to the game and when the game starts, you try to get that all out of your system and go play, let it be all about the players. We’ve got to try to not make that something that distracts us.”

    In addition to the emotion, the Raiders will bring a lot of skill and talent to Sunday’s game.

    Led by quarterback Jason Campbell, Oakland’s offense has averaged 27.2 points-per-game. The Raiders have converted 38.7 percent (24 of 62) of their third downs and average 381.6 yards of total offense.

    Campbell has completed 94 of 156 attempts for 1,118 yards and six touchdowns against four interceptions. He has completed passes to 13 different players and averages 11.9 yards-per-completion.

    Shurmur spent a decade as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles and faced off against Campbell, who was then a member of the Washington Redskins.

    “What he’s doing very well is, he’s executing within their scheme,” Shurmur said. “A lot was made of his progress coming through college and the NFL, how many offensive coordinators he’s had and how he didn’t get a chance to settle in. This may be one of the only times in his career where he’s basically got the same play-caller two years in a row. That’s probably helping Jason. He can throw the football; he can see. He’s had times in his career when he’s been very efficient. Some of that is all coming together for him.”

    While defending Campbell will be one key for the Browns, containing running back Darren McFadden will be another challenge.

    McFadden leads the NFL with 519 yards rushing on 91 carries. He averages 5.7 yards-per-carry and has scored three touchdowns through five games.

    During the first two years of his career, McFadden rushed for just 856 yards and five touchdowns. In 2010, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound runner gained 1,157 yards and scored seven touchdowns on 223 carries.

    “Every team that they play has to deal with that speed, that unique speed that they have at a lot of positions,” Browns defensive coordinator Dick Jauron said. “You really have to have an edge on every defense and where you set the edge is going to be important. The field, as we know, is only limited in width, so there’s only a certain amount of space that he’s got to outrun you to the edge. If you don’t set the edge at the proper depth — you’ve got to make him bubble to get to the outside — you’re going to struggle because he’s very fast and can beat you quickly. Whoever’s responsible for creating an edge to our defense needs to be there and has to do their job. We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us.”

    Offensively, the Browns will be going up against a defense that allows 299.6 yards-per-game through the air. However, led by Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, the Raiders have registered 14 sacks through five games.

    “He’s very disruptive, always has been,” Shurmur said of Seymour. “I tangled with him when he was in New England and we were in Philadelphia. I remember the first play of the Super Bowl, he planted Donovan (McNabb). I’m very well aware of what he is as a player and I think he’s playing at a high level.”

    In addition to rushing the passer, the Raiders do a nice job of batting down passes at the line of scrimmage.

    “I think they had seven last week, which is a huge number,” Shurmur said. “They do a good job of getting their hands up. They’re so tall and there’s not a lot of jumping going on. It’s just hands going up, so it’s important we throw in lanes. There are times where we’re throwing the ball inside and we’ve got to do a good job of getting their hands down.”

    They sure feel that we’re a tough opponent this Sunday and rightly so. Go Raiders.

  • Thec07

    fck shumar mmcoy…. mccoy will go down and go down hard…

  • Sullivan44


    Raiders are 2-2 this year with Al.

    The Oakland Raiders’ franchise at present day is 1-0, 1.000 without Al.

  • Hagar the Horrible

    Thec07…brilliant comment…you’re on a role.

  • Sullivan44

    Now, Rob, don’t go rooting against the team Sunday to downplay their productivity in Al’s absence.

  • Good Night Raider Nation…..

  • HueKnows

    ready 2 answer me?

  • SharkCatcher

    Don’t know if anyone heard about the seal beach murder that happen a few days ago? ( This guy went into a beauty salon and killed 8 people.) So I’m here at home just watching the footage of when the guy was being arrested and pulled out his car…..why does this f8cker have a Raiders sticker on his truck!! Great, The Seal Beach Murderer Was A Raiders Fan.

  • Sullivan44

    Hue, you were correct. No NFL QB averages 38 points a game.

  • HueKnows

    Maybe only part of him sharkcatcher he is bipolar.

  • Sullivan44

    Shark, not all too shocking, really. A death threat was just made in this comments section tonight. Brien makes them frequently. A lot of Raider fans believe that violence and even murder is part of the Raider culture, unfortunately. The lunatic in Seal Beach was probably one of them.

  • Thec07

    Hagar the Horrible Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 9:42 pm
    Thec07…brilliant comment…you’re on a role.


    The article was a good read, was nt coming at you Bruh…

  • Thec07

    So I’m here at home just watching the footage of when the guy was being arrested and pulled out his car…..why does this f8cker have a Raiders sticker on his truck!!


    Vehicle was stolen….

  • Thec07

    Curry will not be bouncing from 1 LB spot to another.
    Coach Jackson will find out what LB spot is best suited for him to take advantage of his skill sets…

    Curry Translates great at Will…

  • djohnnyg

    325.SharkCatcher Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 9:45 pm
    Don’t know if anyone heard about the seal beach murder that happen a few days ago? ( This guy went into a beauty salon and killed 8 people.) So I’m here at home just watching the footage of when the guy was being arrested and pulled out his car…..why does this f8cker have a Raiders sticker on his truck!! Great, The Seal Beach Murderer Was A Raiders Fan.

    …and Jeffrey Dahmer was Catholic. Doesn’t mean all Catholics are mass murderers.

    Raider fans do have a bad rep from the “outside” world though. It’s all hype and B.S. for the most part as we know.

  • Sullivan44

    djohnnyg Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Raider fans do have a bad rep from the “outside” world though.


    I wonder why:

    “autopalm77 Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    …who if not for the anonymity of his computer would be missing several if not all his appendages and residing face down in a gutter….PERMANENTLY……”

  • djohnnyg

    GG Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 8:40 pm
    It’s too early for Curry to play Mike, as he doesn’t know the playbook.

    Either does McClain.

  • qodrn

    Dedicated to the legacy of Al Davis
    Protected by the rally squirrel and Coliseum rodents

    First: Ghostraider (exact score)
    Second: Sullivan44
    Third: Pretty Rick
    Fourth: Sullivan44
    Fifth: Fingers

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  • JB

    priesttj Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    RoMac is NOT slow just based on his combine time he’s playing slow this year and I and everyone else have criticised him for it but that kid can run for a guy that big. the same is true Groves and Wimbley. RoMac has made several big plays in the passing game this year. But as far as the run he just seems like he’s jogging all the time. Why I cannot tell you but he can run that is a fact. He timed very well at teh combine as did Wimbley and Curry without a doubt can run. RoMac’s effort has pissed me off often this year tho.

    I can forgive a lot, especially for a second year athlete. This year it appears that RoMac was regressing. What he could do to help us get over his shortcomings is to blow some people up every now & then just to remind us why we picked him. Hopefully the addition of Curry will benefit both of them. I fully believe Curry will thrive here because he will be doing what he does best – search & destroy. I want our LB’s to send a message – “cross this line and get your a$$ kicked big time”. “Wanna get blown-up, c’mon down, we’ll help you out”. Our LB’s should be our enforcers – handing out some pain here & there. We are well on our way of getting where HuJack wants this team to be – fearless & ferocious. Romac, Curry & Wimbley need to form an unbreakable bond to be the best we can be. Our front 7 is going to be be a formidable force once they all get on the same page. They will be unstoppable.

  • anhdazman

    McClain is still young with a bunch of talent. We just need to be patient and continue to surround him with good players. The light will come on. You got to let the players have at least 3 years to truly evaluate.
    But, with that said, I am surprise how he does get caught up in traffic, more often than not. In Training camp, our coaches says he looked great and blowing up people. Didn’t he put Taiwan Jones out for 2 games? Therefore, he should be quicker than OLinemen, and stronger than RBs, TEs, and WRs. I’ve seen WRs take him out of plays. This shouldn’t happen.
    What McClain needs is more attitude at MLB. Get pissed. Get mad. And get a little crazy!!!

  • Hagar the Horrible

    Anhdazman…post 337:

    You’re so right about the attitude, the hate and the passion, and that’s what Rolando lacks big time. Especially at his position, you need a crazy, take no prisoners attitude where you convey to the opponents that you’re out to hurt and destroy.

    All the great LB’s, especially middle, had that anger and hatred for their opponents. McClain is out there passing out lolly pops and daisys, he’s too laid back.

  • Hagar the Horrible

    Romanowski wasn’t a great outside linebacker, but he was feared because he played with hate. All week long he would focus on who his opponents were going to be…and he would hate them…and hate them. Come game time, Romo was out to hurt and destroy and that’s what made him better than he was, and that’s what allowed him to play those extra years. Ya, he basically had a long career for that position, but it was more so for his attitude. I loved when he would gouge an eye-ball or spit in their face or rip out a nut-sack.

    Ya, Rolando, you need some attitude and hate.

  • Hagar the Horrible

    Come to think of it, I doubt if Rolando will ever change, you are what you are and that’s not him. He’s too laid back, too calm and collective.

    Like Seymour said before our Texans game to the other players: “Some people want to be good but I want to be great,” etc etc.

    Rolando may end up being good because of his size and hard work, but he’ll never be great. Not at a linebacker position. To be great at linebacker, you need an attitude, you need hate and you need the desire and will to inflict pain, big time pain to all opponents. Take no freaking prisoners, just destroy!

  • Hagar the Horrible

    It’s look like all of you dudes have called it a nite, I’ll do the same. Have a good one tomorrow. Wow, it’s already tomorrow. The other tomorrow, Sunday, will be the day to start that long climb to the top of the mountain. It all starts Sunday and it continues for the following two Sundays at home. If we can’t win three home games against average teams at best, then
    we’ll be average to. If we win like we can and should, we’ll be ready to go and “beat down” the dischargers in their house and take over the division. The division takes us to the summit, from the summit we can take the top of the mountain.

    Good nite.

  • charles2521

    i was really hyped about the curry trade until i read this http://mynorthwest.com/275/562153/Aaron-Currys-play-was-disappointing-and-baffling