Aaron Curry is going straight into the lineup at weak side linebacker in place of Quentin Groves.
“I don’t get into what happened wherever he was,” coach Hue Jackson said. “I just know what I know, and what I see. I brought him here of reason and he’s going to play.”
The No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 draft, Curry was the Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker at Wake Forest but struggled for both Jim Mora and Pete Carroll in Seattle, losing his job this season to fourth-round draft pick K.J. Wright.
“It’s been very eventful, very exciting,” Curry said after his first practice. “Just to know that coach has faith 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 play hard, play fast and just fit in with Raider football.
Curry believes the Oakland scheme will free him to run and hit, as opposed to the more read-and-react system he played in at Seattle. He feels fortunate to be out from the pressure of being a high draft pick that didn’t perform to expectations.
“It’s like a breath of fresh air,” Curry said. “One of the first things coach said was I didn’t have to worry about any of the opinions that were formed on me before the day we met. I had a clean slate, and that he doesn’t care what happened back in the past and it’s all about moving on to the future. When he told me that, I took a deep breath _ that was my biggest concern was if the opinions would pass on from club to club or person to person.”