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Q&A with Vance Walker

A transcription of a conference call with new Raiders defensive tackle Vance Walker conducted with local media?

Q: What other teams were involved and what made you decide on the Raiders?

Walker: I was talking to Seattle, the Giants, Philly and a couple of other teams, but I feel like they had lesser interest. As far as the Raiders, I feel I’m a great fit for what they’re trying to do. They showed me a lot of love for what I’ve been doing for the past four years, an appreciation, and that’s what really drew me to the Raiders is the fact that they realized I was a seventh-round pick and it hasn’t been easy pickings since I got into the league. It’s one of those things, I’ve been able to build on each year since I’ve been here and I’ve been successful.

Q: What is your sense of what they’re trying to do on defense?

Walker: Honestly, I watched a good bit of film with the guys and it’s pretty similar to what I’ve done in the past. For the most part, they like my versatility, they like the fact that I can play the nose, the three-technique or the defensive end. So anything they throw at us we’ll be fine and ready for and I think I’ll be fine and ready for it.

Q: Which most comfortable position on the defensive line?

Walker: Honestly, they’re all pretty much the same, you line up and you run that guy over that’s in front of you, you try your best to get that done. With that being said, I’ve been playing defensive tackle all my life, so I’m more familiar with the speed of the game down inside as opposed to outside. Things happen slower, you have to use your eyes better, but nonetheless, it’s all the same about being physical and speed as well.

Q: Was staying in Atlanta an option?

Walker: It was an option, but at the end of the day it was a better option to see which team could I grow with? Which team would I be able to reach my ceiling with? And at the end of the day, I thought Oakland was that place. It’s just a great bunch of guys, and the coaching, coach T and coach JT, I love the Falcons, don’t get me wrong. They did a great job of helping me develop, but as far as moving on in my career, I feel Oakland was the better pick. So yes, Atlanta did want me to stay, but just complications from little things kind of prevented that as well. Just the biggest room to grow I think was Oakland, out of all the teams that I could look at.

Q: On rotation basis, how many snaps were you getting in Atlanta and you think that number will go up in Oakland?

Walker: Definitely want them to increase, without a doubt, I believe, per game it was hard to say, depending on what the game plan was in Atlanta. I know for sure that I played 51 percent of the snaps in Atlanta, so it was a little bit more than half. Obviously I would love to play more and I’ve got a lot to prove as far as rushing the passer, which is something I know I can do and it’s something I’m willing to bring and I will bring to the table with the Raiders.

Q: Raiders have made it clear they’re looking for guys that might be under the radar, not bring drama, that not only like to play football but love to study it . . . does that sum you up?

Walker: Yes sir. I came from a place, Georgia Tech, if there wasn’t any football we’d be studying long and hard anyway. I brought that to the Falcons but I’ll definitely bring that to Oakland. It’s something that, just being a student to the game, and learning everything about your opponent or whatever the case is, getting that one up before you even hit the field.

Q: As seventh round pick did you come into league saying you belong or take it game by game?

Walker: I definitely felt like I belonged in the NFL and that would be regardless of the round I was picked in, whether it was seventh or first. That’s just me as a person. I always feel I have to prove something regardless if evervybody is for me or everybody is against me. Being a seventh round pick put more pressure on me to produce being in the position I was in just because I didn’t have that time that a higher draft pick would have as far as errors are concerned. If I made mistakes, I would be out of there so that definitely pushed me to realize my potential a lot faster. Other than that it’s about me as a player and I know what I’m capable of. I always try to be the best. That’s what I’m trying to get out of life and playing football.

Q: DA says scheme depends on players, would you be happy as 3-4 nose?

Walker: I’m perfectly fine with it. I would love it. As long as I get to play football you won’t hear one complaint out of me.
Q: Impressions of Raiders from game last year?

Walker: I always watch the defense whenever we’re playing a game I always watch the other team’s defense. I don’t pay too much attention to the offense. Obvioulsy I was playing against their offense. For the most part they had speed and tenacity. They were getting after Matt Ryan a good bit. They were putting hits on him and forcing mistakes and bad decisions. I think that’s what they’re about. The attitude and teh fact they’re going to hit you and hit you hard. It’s all mental. That’s what I took away from it. They did a really great job of setting the tone during that game. We came out and obviously we had our game plan but you could tell they were trying to impose their will on us and they did a really great job. The Raiders did a really great job as far as their attitude, being up on the other so they submit.

Q: Seems like Falcons fans sad you left and Raiders fans excited you’re here?

Walker: I honestly I didn’t. I was kind of stressed. I’ve been in Atlanta for eight years with Georgia Tech for four and teh Flacons for four. I’ve built a lot of relationships. The fan base in Atlanta are great as well. Not that I expected them to be negative toward me but they showed me a good bit of love. Teh Raiders fans tehy welcomed me to the team with open arms and I do appreciate that. As far as the Falcons, a lot of the fans realize my potential. I’ve been around town and ‘Why did they let you leave?’ Everything happens for a reason. I’m not down on it at all. Not one bit. I’m very excited for my opportunity. That’s about it for the most part.

Q: Where did name Swagger Vance come from?

Walker: That’s funny. It honestly came from Philip Wheeler. Philip Wheeler actually gave me that Twitter handle. It’s in relation to the movie with Will Smith. Not that I’ve seen the movie sadly enough. The Legend of Bagger Vance so he switched it up and made it the Legend of Swagger Vance. So that’s how it started. That’s what Philip gave me as my Twitter handle. ‘You know what Phil? Good idea.’
Q: Play with Wheeler at Ga Tech?

A: Yes sir. I played with him

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • The Big Banana

    Morning, Nation

  • hwnrdr

    Sounds like a good soldier! BTW: Allen just said that he is not just handing the keys over to Palmer this year!

  • Dakota

    Vance….just Kill Kill Kill P. Manning!

    Thanks.

  • DutchRaider77

    2.hwnrdr Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 9:47 am
    Sounds like a good soldier! BTW: Allen just said that he is not just handing the keys over to Palmer this year!

    __________________________________________________

    Interesting…That means Palmer is going to be on the roster…I could imagine that might make a few people on this board mad…really mad!

    “Car fire near Oakland Raiders training facility deemed suspicious.”

    http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_22822955/car-fire-near-oakland-raiders-training-facility-deemed

  • I am the Salamander

    Hey all you Hubris Jackson rememberers:

    Did you know:
    We didn’t have one single 100 yard rusher our final 6 games. The most rushing yards by any one Raider was 78 yards from Bush vs. Green Bay, 50 of which came in the second half when we were down 0-34!!!! (77 for Michael Bush vs. Detroit – the only game during the last three where we had a rushing TD… from Louis Murphy on an end around.)
    Michael Bush had 2 Rushing TDs in the last quarter of the season: 1 vs. the aforementioned Caleb Hanie-led Bears… in week 12; 1 vs. Green Bay in the 3rd quarter… to make the score 7-34 in week 14.
    The TD vs. Chicago was the last “meaningful” TD scored by our running game in all of 2011. (“meaningful” = game still undecided)
    of the 8 TD passes thrown by Palmer those last 6 games, only 3 (maybe 4 if we can get the ball back, score and prevent further scores from SD in the 4th quarter with 9.5 minutes left. That last TD made the game 26-31… we lost 26-38. It was 26-38 when Carson threw that pick to Cason at 4:42) were meaningful.
    For the second half of the season, we had over 300 yards passing 3 times. One week we had 298. During the last quarter of the season? Twice. Detroit for 340 and SD for 417.
    One single, solitary 100+ yard receiver in a meaningful performance – DHB, with 155/1TD vs. Detroit. DHB had 130/1TD and Moore had 101/0TD vs. SD but you guessed it… mostly junk. 190 yards in second half of the SD game to those two, including a 78 yarder to Moore when it was 24-13 in the 3rd. I count that as garbage because anyone watching the game knew we were blown out by that point. Especially when they went up 31-16 halfway through the 3rd.
    Garbage time passing yards, where the game is lost, just during the last quarter: Miami – 174; GB – 143, SD – 226. These were blowout losses.

  • The_Judge37

    Sounds good. I would have rather kept Matt Shaughnessy but what’s done is done i guess

  • I am the Salamander

    And Vance Walker, Roach, Sims and Burnett are all good reasons to say:

    FIRE HUNTER S. THOMPSON

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.

  • hwnrdr

    Wow, someone set a car a blaze at the facility?

  • I am the Salamander

    And before anyone drops the “You forget Carson came off the couch” – no, I didn’t, actually. I’m well aware that he did…so why do people remember such dominance? It didn’t happen.

    We dominated one team in 2011 and that was the Jest. Rest is Fool’s Gold.

    Patience, REGGIE IS DOING A GREAT JOB. PROMOTE HIM NOW.

    Maybe “President of Awesomeness”

  • Al_is_theraiders

    pft…

    Walker joins Pat Sims and Jason Hunter as additions to the Raiders defensive line since the start of free agency. All are rotational players, which means the Raiders still need to improve the high-end talent….

  • Al_is_theraiders

    fire reggie now

  • RaiderRockstar

    Really wouldn’t think JC would want to be in Hue Jack City…didn’t Hue screw him over on how the Palmer thing went down?

    ***

    @Dutch

    Campbell was Hue’s starter when healthy. He went down for the year in a contract year. Hue opted to try and save the season with the Palmer trade.

    Why would Jason be miffed at that? I don’t think Jason would have expected Hue to ride out the season with Kyle Boller at QB. That might cost Hue his job!

    Raiders didn’t know at that time who the 2012 GM would be, so it’s not like it was Hue’s decision to cut Jason either. Jason can’t blame anybody for what happened. If he hadn’t have got hurt, the Palmer trade probably wouldn’t have happened.

  • inonewordraider
  • I am the Salamander

    Al_WAS_theraiders

    Then he traded a legacy for an ego.

  • I am the Salamander

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I don’t think Jason would have expected Hue to ride out the season with Kyle Boller at QB. That might cost Hue his job!

    _____________________

    Boller’s utter lack of anything near redemption should have cost Hue his job – but there was no one to fire him. Second most important guy on the team is the #2 QB – did no one notice he was terrible and say, “Hey, maybe we should get someone in here that can play football in case Jason goes down?” That’s on Hue.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Why diss the great Al Davis?

    Show some respect.

    Al Davis is a legend and an icon.

    People will still be singing his praises long after your grand children are dead.

    Just Win Baby.

  • Thec

    Honestly, they’re all pretty much the same, you line up and you run that guy over that’s in front of you

    +++++++++=

    Good TRENCHMEN Speak.

  • RaiderRich510

    #Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Terrelle Pryor could start over Carson Palmer. Allen: We’re not handing the starting job over to Carson.
    Carson is gettin traded…..

  • DutchRaider77

    @RaiderRockstar

    There has been stories on 95.7, our local radio station that Hue Jackson did not handle the situation in a very respectful way with Jason Campbell. Campbell found out through the media about the Palmer trade. Could be just a media story, but they made it kinda like a slap in the face to Jason Campbell.

    JC was a free agent, Raiders didn’t cut him…

  • SilverNBlackPA

    I believe that the Raiders aren’t just handing the keys to Palmer this season.

    On the other hand, they can’t really afford a 17 million dollar backup. No one can.

    I think if Palmer hasn’t been traded or taken a pay reduction by the first mini-camp/OTA in May, he’ll be cut.

  • I am the Salamander

    No diss at all – he was a legend and he was great. Grew up watching him and fell in love with this team as a direct result of all the things he did to make them what they were… WERE.

    Why do some people have such a hard time calling it like it is? You do disservice to the man’s best work by equating the last 10 years to those preceding them. The only disrespect I have is for people who continuously dog out what the new regime is doing while pining away for what once was… a decade ago.

    And you’d be surprised at just how many people will remember me, but that’s all right: ironic that a guy using the Hunter S. Thompson moniker would see others through such a small window.

  • gangosix

    well git your swagger on vance

  • Thec

    Carson is gettin traded…..

    ++++++++++

    Swap 1st rd picks with AZ, and give us the Az 2nd rd pick.

  • gangosix

    yea then draft kyle long

  • RaiderRich510

    Smart thing to do is cut Palmer and spend that money in Defense …maybe add a quality back…Blount! And a receiver Tayvon Austin! Star or Floyd and we have something. Even Millner looks good at this point. Imo

  • Gdog

    Seems like most of the FA hires were based on a hunger for more snaps. And they will no doubt get them. The key now is what they ACCOMPLISH with these snaps. This could work with perfect coaching! (There was a reason they weren’t getting full snaps.) Hopefully Tarver and Allen are up to the job… they had mixed results last year.

    A grease fire through 2/3 of the season with a strong finish.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Sally, How many people will remember you?

    Surprise me.

  • DJ Johnny

    Salamander, I hear you on Boller but many teams would be totally screwed if their QB went down.

    Look at Vhi. in 2011. 7-3 with Cutler then he goes down and Caleb Hanie “leads” them to 1-5 rest of the way.

    What happens if Rivers goes down in SD or Manning in Denver? Osweiller?

    Who’s the backup behind Eli?

    I agree that Boller was a horrible choice for backup. They should have know how bad that guy sucked.

  • SilverNBlackPA

    If I’m Reggie, I’m shopping Palmer for a 2nd, 5th and 7th but willing to be bargained down to just a 2nd.

  • DutchRaider77

    24.Thec Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:12 am
    Carson is gettin traded…..

    ++++++++++

    Swap 1st rd picks with AZ, and give us the Az 2nd rd pick.

    _______________________________________________

    You don’t think we could get a little more. Maybe throw in their 5th round pick would be nice?

    But I would take it…

  • Thec

    Jamey Eisenberg ‏@JameyEisenberg
    #Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Terrelle Pryor could start over Carson Palmer. Allen: We’re not handing the starting job over to Carson.

    +++++++

    Why would he say that when clearly the position for Pryor is Wr???

  • Gdog

    Oh gawd.. here comes the Dump Palmer Brigade… I am out…

  • http://profootballtalk.com Raideraholic (AKAHairyBush)

    yo

  • RaiderRich510

    If Reg is shopping Carson, that might mean Geno is in deck…VY was a smokescreen

  • DutchRaider77

    Look at Vhi. in 2011. 7-3 with Cutler then he goes down and Caleb Hanie “leads” them to 1-5 rest of the way.

    _________________________________________________

    That kinda is a bad example…Haine was the hero the year before…there were crazy Bears fans wanting to cut Cutler and ride with Haine.

    But your other examples are spot on…David Carr is the backup in NY?

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Gdog Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:16 am
    Oh gawd.. here comes the Dump Palmer Brigade… I am out…

    +++++++

    I can’t think of a single reason to keep Palmer.

    Say you win 6-8 games with him. Great, now you’ve got a middling draft pick, an aging QB and still don’t know if Pryor is a future answer or not.

    Start Pryor. Let’s say he tanks. now you’ve got a top 3 pick and can land a guy like Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater. Or he succeeds and you’ve got yourself a franchise QB and can move on to other things.

    I’d rather go 2-14 behind TP6 than .500 with CP3.

    Why? Because .500 with Palmer tells us nothing about the direction the franchise will need to take in the near future whereas sinking or swimming with Pryor will tell us pretty much everything.

  • I am the Salamander

    No problem, Huntress. You tell me your real name and what you do, I’ll respond in like manner. One link oughta do it.
    Right here, right now. Today.

    Till then, YOU have a little respect and stop assuming anyone who sees the end of Al as a sad testament to what he did before is being disrespectful or… whatever. Disagreement with your critiques on Reggie MAcCHETE aren’t the same as disrespect to Al’s formerly great body of work – get over it.

    Waitin’ on that link.

  • Thec

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:18 am
    Look at Vhi. in 2011. 7-3 with Cutler then he goes down and Caleb Hanie “leads” them to 1-5 rest of the way.

    +++++++++==

    No different than Boiller plate… How in the hell can a backup come in and look sooooooo baaaaddd?????

  • I am the Salamander

    DJ Johnny Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:15 am
    Salamander, I hear you on Boller but many teams would be totally screwed if their QB went down.

    Look at Vhi. in 2011. 7-3 with Cutler then he goes down and Caleb Hanie “leads” them to 1-5 rest of the way.

    What happens if Rivers goes down in SD or Manning in Denver? Osweiller?

    Who’s the backup behind Eli?

    I agree that Boller was a horrible choice for backup. They should have know how bad that guy sucked.

    _____________

    That’s all I’m saying. Boller was awful but… I’m guessing if Eli or Rivers or Peyton or Brady or… (you get it) go down, their guys can at least play in the NFL for a few snaps. Boller looked like he’d been woken from a 3 year long nap from snap 1. He was so bad that Hue had to risk the future to cover up the present. Yikes.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    here is the truth about hue and jc

    Jc came on the radio for his weekly show a couple of weeks after the palmer deal and stated very clealry that he di not hear about the trade from hue. he did not hear about the trade from the raiders.

    he found out via text message from friends and family and they told him to turn on espn and nfln.

    he saw this on tv while he was recovering from surgery!!!

    Hue claims he tried to call jc but jc was “out of it” due to surgery.

    JC was in negotiation for an extension from davis sr, that went on hold after davis died, and was off the table when carson came aboard.

    what followed? a quick decent back to the basement and fulL laughingstock status, comPlete with a crash and burn regression from the players that jc mentored dmo17 dhb, and dmac.

    Jc said meeting carson was very awkward, and he felt that this was his team and he deserved the chance to see it through.

    he stopped short of saying he was angry but it was clear that he felt mistreated by hue and jr.

    Now we have suffered the wrath of the football gods and the collar bone curse for 1 1|2 years and it wont cease until that bum carson is benched or gone for good.

    THANKS HUE JACK & JR!!!!!!!

  • SilverNBlackPA

    Boller looked like he’d been woken from a 3 year long nap from snap 1. He was so bad that Hue had to risk the future to cover up the present. Yikes.

    ++++++++++

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a QB look as bad as Boller did that half against KC….and I’m a Raider fan so I’ve seen some schitty azz QB displays.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    I want no part of manziel either.

    good college qb, does not have a pro game.

    You think pryor throws wobblers and floaters, watch johhny football throw it.

    he make bruce gradkowskis arm look like john elway

  • http://ibbahttp://i380.photobucket.com/albums/oo249/the408RAIDER/749px-I-420svg.png 4evaRaider

    Great Day in the morning! Good Morning 2 ALL!

    Havent been ere in a minute but…

    Always said Tom Bustajaw Cable was the coach 4 us and had the team going in the right direction.NEVER saw a flatfooted coocked Defence by the 3rd quarter.he was tough and no bullsh!t.Then Big Al R.I.P….Was prolly not in his right mind and he fired Coach….

    Didnt know 2much about Hue but I must admit i was jaded towards him because of correct assessment of Coach Cable…we DESEREVED 2 lose 2the Donkeys when a slow white kid from Florida BLEW past our multi-million $$$$ DB’s.We was slow and out of shape under Hue Jackson,he was 2nice or just didnt have that bustajaw attitude and it showed and hw was rightly fired.Damn we had the right Coach and we let him go and last I saw he was doing A great job .Way 2 go coach Cable.You are exactly who I thought you were…

    Soooo we back to where we were….nowhere

    Just like Gradkowski,Dmac cant stay healthy so if we get that Lacy RB from Alabama it would prolly save Carson Palmers life.We got the best pure timing passer in da league but he cant throw on his back.We still weak up da gut on D.Sorry Dakota but if Dmac cant stay hwalthy…well U know

    Gotta run and estimate a {everyone sit down} a JOB Love ya Nation an C Ya latter

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    SilverNBlackPA Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Boller looked like he’d been woken from a 3 year long nap from snap 1. He was so bad that Hue had to risk the future to cover up the present. Yikes.

    ++++++++++

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a QB look as bad as Boller did that half against KC….and I’m a Raider fan so I’ve seen some schitty azz QB displays.
    =============

    did you see carson vs gb?

    what about carson this year vs baltimore and cincy in the bungles bowl

    P U

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Sally, When people are signing Al’s praises long after your grandchildren are dead, they won’t say that man was a legend except for the last ten years of his career, they will simply call him a legend.

    Only a moron posts personal information online.
    But I’m sure we would all be impressed and surprised with your legacy and how many people will remember you after you die.

    I’m sure you are every bit the legend that Al Davis is.

    Just Win Baby.

  • guest123

    I’d rather go 2-14 behind TP6 than .500 with CP3.

    ***********

    loser talk. show me a good loser, and I will show you a loser.

    2-14 and drafting the next Johnny Football is not the panacea it once was. In this era of free agency and compressed salary caps, the window for a title run is tiny. You have to be surgical letting good players go during their prime while drafting their replacements. All the while careful to hold in reserve your corp components.

    Picking first in next year’s draft also probably puts the coaching staff and GM’s job in danger. That’s all we need. Another wholesale turnover. “This time we’ll do it right” yada yada…

  • poprox13

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:27 am

    JC was in negotiation for an extension from davis sr, that went on hold after davis died, and was off the table when carson came aboard.
    ______________

    Well there’s one good thing about the Palmer trade, that so called extension didnt get signed.

  • xraided

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:27 am
    here is the truth about hue and jc

    ___________

    really though, lets worry about the now. JC is not a starter on any team he’s going to play for(maybe the brownstains), Palmer is washed up past his prime but still serviceable(not worth the $), and Pryor has A LOT OF WORK TO DO before he’s a starter(if he ever gets there)

    we’re up sh!t creek for a solid starter at this point

    lets move on
    that’s where we’re at.

  • xraided

    ANYWAYS!

    after these signings, where do you all think we’re going with the #3 pick? i’m thinkin Star once his ticker checks out tomorrow. we are going to be out 4 DT’s and only 1 viable starter is on the roster(Walker may be a full time guy) … that’s my thought process at this point.