Q&A with Raiders LB Nick Roach


A transcription of a conference call with the local media and linebacker Nick Roach, signed Friday:

Q: How quickly did this all come about? Did you entertain offers from any other teams?

Roach: It was really just the Raiders and the Bears, obviously, what it came down to. I came out on the visit and we were just in position to gauge the Bears’ interest back and forth, and taking all things into consideration, it seemed like Oakland was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.

Q: Your understanding you’ll be playing middle linebacker?

Roach: The kind of just said they see me being able to do a lot of things that they want to do, so specifically the middle, I’m not sure if that will be the case. I think they kind of want to just get me in and see wherever the best fit is for everybody that they bring in.

Q: Took over last season for Brian Urlacher and got a good taste of what it feels like to be a middle linebacker, what is it you like about the position?

Roach: Obviously, you’re on the field a lot. You’re in the middle of everything and get to a lot of plays that maybe if you’re on the outside you can’t get all the way across the field to get to. Just being in the mix, I enjoy that. I enjoy being in the game and having to know the situations and all the adjustments that go along with it. Just the whole thing.

Q: How much did it help for you in terms of proving versatility, playing both spots?

Roach: It was huge. You don’t even know yourself that you can do something until you have a chance to really do it. It was big for being able to get the film out there and just for the confidence of feeling like your versatility is really worth something.

Q: What intrigued you about opportunity in Oakland?

Roach: It’s just exciting, the whole culture of the organization, that in my mind is on the upswing, and being able to come in and add to that, hopefully, is something to look forward to, I think.

Q: How much did playing with guys like Urlacher and Briggs help you develop into player you are today?

Roach: It’s been great. Those guys are friends of mine, and more importantly they’re great examples of how to be a pro, how to be successful at the highest level. Kind of being behind them and next to them for the last few years has really helped. Just kind of watching, leadership by example, what it looks like

Q: Raiders have been clear last two years they’re looking guys who are serious about football, love it, not a lot of drama, guys who want to play . . . does that sum you up?

Roach: Yeah, I think so. I think there are a lot of guys like that, the guys that are under the radar. You won’t make it for long in the NFL if you don’t really love it because you won’t have the motivation to do all the things that it takes. It’s just exciting to be able to get in and get to learn everything, and go from there.

Q: Any concerns as far as Raiders being in a rebuilding mode?

Roach: Honestly it didn’t really cross my mind. I was just, I guess that’s an opinion some people might have, but my concern was getting a chance to meet the coaches and just kind of see where they saw me fitting in, and if the situation seemed like the best for me and my family.

Q: See yourself as a guy that’s going to come in and take over as a leader with a lot of enthusiasm, or more of a guy who prepares and you lead that way?

Roach: I’m not a huge rah-rah guy or anything. I think I’m able to lead by example with the daily things, taking care of your body, study the opponent, that kind of stuff. I’m going to continue to do that and if that translates to the field it will be a good example.

Q: Won Ed Block Courage award, what does that mean to you?

Roach: Kind of what it says to me is you’re able to earn the respect of your teammates and your locker room. It’s obviously a huge honor, when you can get an award that’s voted on strictly by the guys that you play with, so we’re excited to go out there tomorrow and spend a couple days with the community and seeing what the whole award really is about in person.

Q: Gotten a feeling that having that award meant something to the organization?

Roach: Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m sure it kind of was, I guess you could call it a resume-builder kind of thing. It’s always good to have the label that says you’re respected by your teammates in the locker room that you’re in. I’m sure that might have been a consideration.

Q: When you came in to the league as undrafted free agent, was your approach just making it day-by-day, or with a chip in your shoulder, confident you would make it?

Roach: For me, it was just about, whatever opportunity was in front of me I would try to take advantage of it, I was ecstatic when I made the practice squad in San Diego. I didn’t really feel slighted or feel I deserved anything more than what the opportunity had presented at that time. It was just the daily things that kind of led up to this point where I was able to get a chance to play and produce a little bit.

Q: Last season Philip Wheeler came in here, having played Cover 2 in Indy, was able to be a play-maker after mostly falling into coverage for Colts. You played in Bears Cover 2, you think this system might allow you to spread your wings a little, do more things?

Roach: Yeah, I’m not sure yet. We haven’t had enough time to go that in depth on it. But it is a little bit different and I’ll be able to, I guess, use a little bit more versatility in terms of just football-playing ability. But I think in my time in Chicago, I fit that scheme pretty well, too. So to say that I’ll be able to do anything more or less, I’m not sure yet.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Twocents

    I want Pryor to succeed so badly that my opinion is biased.
    But the man has exceptional athletic skill and desire.
    I don’t think I would bet against him.

  • spiff

    even a 4th rounder for palmer works for me.

  • rediaR

    Raider Riff Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 5:19 pm
    Jackasspuria Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 5:12 pm
    Five of the six of the CBS/NFLDraftScout.com mock drafters say Raiders take Florida DT Shariff Floyd at the No. 3 overall pick.

    Only one offered a different perspective: Clark Judge


    (4-12) Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama: The Raiders didn’t have a decent cornerback last season, and they’re in a division with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. If they don’t fix the leak, they’re going to continue to hemorrhage yards and points.


    Ray, what good is a CB if we have no pass rush?
    Do we really expect a full defensive turnaround in 2013? Maybe pass rush is addressed in other ways this year and drafted for next year if Reggie thinks highly of Milliner and not so high on the pass rushers.

  • Raider Riff

    Seymour Bush Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 5:23 pm
    Of course QB’s get better over time, who said they didn’t?

    Not necessarily. Tell that to David Carr, Eric Couch, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, Jamarcus Russell, Matt Leinert, Matt Cassell, Brady Quinn…


    Well what do you know… ya think the org’s and the talent around them had something to do with that?

    David Carr – came onto a expansion team
    Eric Crouch – never really was a QB in college was he?
    Akili Smith – ummm, the Bengals? yeah, thats a model franchise right there
    Joey Harrignton – the Lions have traditionally been one of the worst run orgs in sports
    Jamarcus – didnt stand a chance with us. horrible WRs, crap O-line, meddlisome enabling owner, etc
    Matt Leinart – silver spoon complex. Typical USC product that is a by-product of the talent around him. can play good when surrounded with talent, but doesnt have the stomach to carry a team and deal with adversity. Welcome to Orange County.
    Matt Cassel – cant really say he didnt develop. Nobody has developed with KC. At some point you have to look at the org and wonder if they are the problem.
    Brady Quinn – again, what QB has the Browns or Denver ever developed? None in the last 20 years.

    If most or any of those guys go to the situations Big Ben, Flacco, or Matty Ice stepped into, then I think that its almost a certainty that their careers look a LOT different right now.

  • RaidersAllday_LtsGeTit

    Reggie could have signed Meyers if he wanted.. he didnt want him.

    Thats one move I would agree with.

  • spiff

    carson palmer =’s jay sheoder

  • rediaR

    Seymour Bush Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Dion Jordan? More of an OLB, but certainly a pretty good prospect.
    3-4 hardly seems out of the question either.

  • Thec

    Spiff Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 5:37 pm
    carson palmer =’s jay sheoder


    hahahahahahahahaha….Now that is pretty good…lol

  • spiff

    carson palmer =’s jeff george

  • GG

    Gdog Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 11:36 am

    DJ Johnny Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 11:31 am

    Didn’t Reggie come right into a winning situation at GB? Ron Wolf and Holmgren were there, so most of the moves they did were maintenance type moves for like 20 yr’s.

    I wanna say Reg got there in ‘93 and things were already turning around and I’m sure they didn’t toss a newbie like Reggie at the time, the keys to the franchise.

    The GB “rebuild” was already in full force when he came on which eliminated the need to jumpstart things with any big FA signings.

    They did have to get Reggie White to finally get then to the SB.


    This is EXACTLY right and why Reggie might be the exactly wrong GM for us right now. We are being set up to be the KC Royals of the NFL. He’s too scared to make any mistakes, and too conservative with his contracts.

    Players are going to come here as a farm system for better teams if he doesn’t either get more aggressive in free agency, or sign longer term contracts.

    The Adams contract was CRAZY stupid fer instance. Why offer such a young player a ONE YEAR CONTRACT??? If he knocks it out of the park, he will just leave for a better team next season, or at least one willing to fork out more money. One year contracts are for veteran players on their last leg like Seymour, IMO.


    Desmond Bryant, one of the young up-and-coming DTs, now a Brown because Reggie didn’t lock him up long-term. It’s okay to be frugal and get the cap down, and to build thru the draft, but you also have to understand the good talent already on your roster, talent you inherited, as part of that long-term rebuild, not just give them away or let them leave or not care about them, not show them you embrace them. It’s not just about crunching numbers or opening the wallets, it’s also about knowing your players and have them connecting with you.

  • Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora 2h
    with most deals in flux, reality is not much probably gets done until everyone gathers in AZ for league meetings. many clubs in transit 2day
    Time for Reggie to swoop in, while everyone else is in the air…

    Wait, is it corned beef & cabbage night at IHOP?…

  • spiff

    if reggie had the money, don’t you think bryant would be a raider. or one of these top corners who all signed big contracts. bottom line we coudn’t compete in these bidding wars . what’s so hard to see. seymour’s contract among others was part of the problem. if he had miami’s money you think he still sign the players we did sign. should he give palmer 13 million ?

  • Scourge

    KoolKell Says:
    March 16th, 2013 at 3:01 pm


    Most trolls are pretty thick. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take much intelligence to sus out that the troll life is a pretty pathetic one, and given the choice, even a gerbil would choose a more rewarding lifestyle.


    Wow, my life’s goal has been achieved! Wonder if we can get an early tee time at the country club. Now to catch up with some of the other posts.