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Q&A with Vance Walker

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at 9:42 am in Oakland Raiders.

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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  • I am the Salamander

    Mistic –

    check out the stats on #5 – I’m telling you, this guy is no savior. The little General made that happen and now, as with our cap mess, we are left to sift through the mess and see what is salvageable.

    IMHO, Reg is doing a damn fine job of it. Basic math and the physics of the natural world are limitations, but with that in mind… damn fine job. All signees this offseason are low risk, high reward, low co$t measures. And… based on every single interview from every single guy signed so far, all guys who are smart enough to play in Tarver’s Defense.
    Plus – gasp – love football. Weird.

  • hwnrdr

    OMG…4eva! Man, good to see you still around!

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    bruce was awful thats all

  • Godeep

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 9:52 am
    FIRE REGGIE NOW.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Doc please get a new slogan!!! This one is beyond getting old!!!

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    No problem Godeep. Anything for you.

    How about MARK DAVIS IS A DISGRACE-FIRE REGGIE NOW!

  • DutchRaider77

    53.Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:38 am
    bruce was awful thats all

    ________________________________________

    To a certain extent yes, but he wasn’t as bad as Kyle Boller. There are a lot of NFL QBs on rosters worse than Bruce Gradkowski…

  • UCLA Raiders

    So touching! Get napkins ready for the tears:
    Dennis Allen says his master, Saints’ Sean Payton plays big role in his maturation:

    http://videos.nola.com/times-picayune/2013/03/raiders_coach_dennis_allen_say.html

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Godeep and Salamader:

    Don’t feed the troll.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    boller> bruce

    ham-burglar> bruce

  • hwnrdr

    Really Mistic? Boller was greater than Bruce?

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    You are sad oakglenn.

  • I am the Salamander

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:31 am
    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.

    ________________

    So no p¡ssing contest, eh? Too bad. I don’t post my stuff on line… it’s just there. My public profile isn’t gonna change one iota from what you and your brilliant mind come up with. So just so we’re clear: invitation’s open. You can dog me out once you discover what an insignificant, unintelligent “moron” I am – but not until then.
    You post, I post.
    Then: Open season.
    Till then, pretty please, sugar on top: Shut yer trap.

    Never once claimed to have had the impact of Al Davis – that’s you, making a decision without all the information. Or just kind of makin’ stuff up. Once again proving Hunter S. Thompson is a friggin’ ironic name to take on.

    Aside from your rambling and ranting, you still can’t admit that what Al did the last decade soiled what had at one point been an undeniable – despite the best efforts of the sour grape gobblers that own these square-arse teams – legacy. I get it: it’s hard to let go. But be that as it may, your blind allegiance doesn’t negate harsh reality: Reggie inherited a colossal mess. It’s lame, weak, and incredibly small minded to blast on the man while he tries to sift through it. You should be singing his praises – cause if it wasn’t him, it would most likely still be Hubris Jackson and we’d all be in for a long, sad, choking death.

    And speaking of respect: Reggie was an Al Davis draft choice and was given the blessing of Ron Wolf and John Madden as a man capable of doing this job… so why don’t you back off for a minute and show a little of that respect you keep ramblin’ on about?

  • NGRaiderfan

    40.I am the Salamander Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:25 am
    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.

    ==============

    we all saw what happened when peyton went down in 2011. Brady was a differetn story because cassel was capable and they still had a really good vet team around him.

  • willy91137

    TARDE CARSON PALMER TARDE CARSON PALMER TRADE CARSON PALMER

    TARDE CARSON PALMER TARDE CARSON PALMER TARDE CARSON PALMER

    TARDE CARSON PALMER TARDE CARSON PALMER TARED CARSON PALMER

    Now all you Carson Palmer haters won’t have to keep typing this all day
    ****************************************************************************

  • RaiderDebo

    Mistic1 Tha Supavillain Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:44 am
    boller> bruce

    ham-burglar> bruce

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Miley Cyrus = Bruise

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Pissing contest? Okay Sally.

    Why don’t you tell us how important you are? What is your profession.

    You don’t have to include your name.

    I trust you.

  • RaidingTexas

    ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk 3m
    Raiders give Rolando McClain’s agent permission to seek a trade, apparently with a straight face http://wp.me/p14QSB-7DYD

  • NGRaiderfan

    I agree manziel is overated. he was great last year, especially as a runner, but so was colin klein haha. manziel also had two offensive tackles that will be top 5 picks. Joeckel this year, and the other guy, i forget his name but he is supposed to be even better, but decided to stay for another year. he also had a blazig fast receiver, an underrated rb that is starting to shoot up draft boards after his pro day, and a really good defense. He is also an entitled little pr!ck off the field. the type that makes it big and doesn’t give a F after that. has bust written all over him. probably wil have a down year this year.

  • Dakota

    Here are the facts:

    Bruce > Pryor & Boller & Lienart
    Pryor > Boller & Lienart
    JC > Bruce & Pryor & Boller & Lienart
    Palmer > JC & Bruce & Pryor & Boller & Lienart

  • NGRaiderfan

    67.RaidingTexas Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:52 am
    ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk 3m
    Raiders give Rolando McClain’s agent permission to seek a trade, apparently with a straight face http://wp.me/p14QSB-7DYD

    =====================

    this is just happening now??

  • raiderinparadise

    Man i really wish Reggie would look at a player trade.

    Rolando McClain for Legarrette Blount.

    McClain 23 … Blount 26

    both team needs.

  • NGRaiderfan

    raiderinparadise Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:54 am
    Man i really wish Reggie would look at a player trade.

    Rolando McClain for Legarrette Blount.

    McClain 23 … Blount 26

    both team needs

    ================

    I would try and trade mcclain to the ravens for a 5th. it’s possibnle. they really need MLB, run a 3-4 and might be willing to take a chance on a 23 yr old who could have just not been a good system fit here. that would give us a 5th that we lost in the curry deal.

  • DutchRaider77

    Wow, the Steelers just signed Bruce Gradkowski to a three year deal.

    Tomlin met personally with Gradkowski to “woo” him into signing and gave him “Steelers Winner speech.”

    Not saying that Tomlin is a better evaluator of talent than Mistic and Debo though.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Sally, Where did you go?

    I’m taking you up on your invitation.

    Where did she go?

  • raiderinparadise

    On a pure basis of football knowledge alone …

    Palmer could have thrown for 5,000 yards in that terrible offense if there weren’t so many drops.

    Just saying.

    Palmer you keep, for this year, make your decision during or after this year, Pryor may surely be the future guy but he also needs to beat someone out in camp rather than just start because they dump Carson.

    Be real.

  • raiderinparadise

    @NGRaiderfan

    Another good option. Slolando is 23 yrs old, he was a 3-4 guy in college.

    Also I remember the Giants really liked him out of college in that draft.

    basically dont dump him, get a pick, anything.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    RaidingTexas Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:52 am
    ProFootballTalk @ProFootballTalk 3m
    Raiders give Rolando McClain’s agent permission to seek a trade, apparently with a straight face http://wp.me/p14QSB-7DYD
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    LOL

  • DutchRaider77

    @NGRaiderfan

    Think maybe the Rolando trade could be for a player instead of a pick, kinda like the Bruce Campbell for Mike Goodson trade?

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Sorry Sally. You painted yourself in a corner.

    Forget it.

    You seem really important so I’ll just take your word for it.

    Just Win Baby.

  • raiderinparadise

    Someone set a car on fire in the raiders facility?!!!

    had to be that guy that always says…

    FIRE REGGIE NOW

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    LIGHT REGGIE ON FIRE NOW.

  • NGRaiderfan

    78.DutchRaider77 Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 11:03 am
    @NGRaiderfan

    Think maybe the Rolando trade could be for a player instead of a pick, kinda like the Bruce Campbell for Mike Goodson trade?

    ===============

    what player though. it would have to be a player that the other team isn’t planning on using like carolina on goodson. Maybe we can get a corner from baltimore for depth purposes. they always seem to be able to plug CBs in. maybe another 3-4 team would be willing to take a chance on him.

    shot maybe the niner would be willing to trade kendall hunter or larry grant for him to back up bowman and willis.

    i don’t know.

  • TrueIndianaRaider

    I think Reggie is making solid moves nothing super exciting but bringing in good,solid player. Roach is solid and being from Indiana I know the Bears really liked him and pretty sure the same goes with Vance in Hotlanta! I didn’t like the fact Big Reg let Sean Smith sign with the Chiefs!! They say it was down to us two and WE need a big physical young corner an that’s Smith. Should have ponied up and signed him FOR SURE. Gotta trade back an I think there’s a lot of suitor. Dolphins anyone? Trade Back DRAFT WARMACK!! Resign Veldheer an we have a solid young line for years to come especially if we can get Long with one of our picks too!! Quanterus Smith could be a steal an the pass rusher we need in the later rounds!! USe our comp pick on a Knile Davis or Kenjon Barner, Big Bruiser back! With our 2nd rounder we pick up the biggest nastiest lineman available…. Thoughts

  • xraided

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:57 am
    Wow, the Steelers just signed Bruce Gradkowski to a three year deal.

    Tomlin met personally with Gradkowski to “woo” him into signing and gave him “Steelers Winner speech.”

    Not saying that Tomlin is a better evaluator of talent than Mistic and Debo though.

    ___________

    LMFAO

  • xraided

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 11:03 am
    @NGRaiderfan

    Think maybe the Rolando trade could be for a player instead of a pick, kinda like the Bruce Campbell for Mike Goodson trade?

    ___________

    that has to be why Reggie is holding onto the guy
    the problem is teams KNOW we are going to out right release him before the money for 2013 is owed… so they’re just going to sit there. Bruce Campbell was different.

  • raiderinparadise

    Well fact of the matter is thats OAK is officially seeing what if/any they can get for him.

    So its clear he will not be cut till after draft just to wait and see.

    For instance if a team wants to trade down with oakland, reggie could say, ok but you have to take rolando and offer us a player as part of deal.

    something like that.

  • willy91137

    POST 75

    You’re making way too much sense for some people in this blog

    We have to trade Carson Palmer why I don’t know

    They don’t seem to know either

    Through for too many yards

    Because they want prior play

    Or Geno Smith

    A or is it because you just don’t like Carson Palmer

    Because he’s the quarterback and it’s always a quarterback fault

  • xraided

    yea but i doubt any team will take on the money that’s owed to him this year. they’d have to eat his contract if he were to be traded to them, right?

  • I am the Salamander

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 10:50 am
    Pissing contest? Okay Sally.

    Why don’t you tell us how important you are? What is your profession.

    You don’t have to include your name.

    I trust you.

    ______________________

    Nice try. You post, I post. Any day now. You hold the keys, “Doctor”

    Never said I was important either – again, that’s just more jive nonsense you keep confusing with reality. I said you’d be surprised just how many people would remember me. You assume… too much. I’m not anonymous and I don’t assume you are – guess I’m just tired of reading your babble as if your opinion were so weighty and mine were so insignificant. So… let’s see. I’ve done some carving of my own name in this world we live in – so whenever you’re ready, let’s do this! I got no fear, punkin’.

    Till then… all due respect, it would be so awesome if you could find a new thing to gripe about non-stop while the grown-ups go about the serious, difficult business of fixing the mess Al Davis left behind – and the true fans go about the exciting business of enjoying a new era. Cool? Cool.

  • I am the Salamander

    Haha… Hunter really doesn’t have much patience, does he? I’m right here, super awesome guy.

  • I am the Salamander

    Dude waited all of 7 minutes to decide I was on the run. I know you’re sitting at your desk somewhere, reading this so… still interested in my invitation?

    Let’s see it.

  • raiderinparadise

    I am on the record as a 110% Carson Palmer supporter.

    I just think this is his year to prove if he can take care of the ball and get wins out of his production.

    Thats all I mean.

    This offense if back to generating play action if they get mcfadden rolling, then we get the screen game back and then the toys in Reece, DMC and Moore and Ford, Streater get rolling again.

  • I am the Salamander

    aiderinparadise Says:
    March 19th, 2013 at 11:19 am
    I am on the record as a 110% Carson Palmer supporter.

    I just think this is his year to prove if he can take care of the ball and get wins out of his production.

    Thats all I mean.

    This offense if back to generating play action if they get mcfadden rolling, then we get the screen game back and then the toys in Reece, DMC and Moore and Ford, Streater get rolling again.

    _________________________________

    I want you to be right, man. I really do. Just… don’t see it. DMC still hasn’t been healthy a whole year (neither has Ford. Or… Moore?) A lot is dependent on these guys staying healthy – doesn’t that seem odd? What other team puts so much weight on shoulders so consistently unable to bear the burden?

  • willy91137

    Rolando could be a very good linebacker in a three 4 that is what he played in college that is why he was such a high pick

    He does has to grow up ; who knows Raiders my keeping HIM If were going to be playing the 34 , Somebody will pick him up if he goes whether playing 3\4 it will probably have a breakout year. : and I’m sure teams that were looking at him in that draft would be very interested in him.

  • raiderinparadise

    DL : Sims, Walker, Hunter
    LB: Maiava, Roach, Burnett

    6 additons, all solid players … all done with little money.

    Oakland signed 3 good LB’s for less than what Miami signed Wheeler for.

    and 3 talented run stoppers on DL for wayyyy less than what Cleveland paid for Bryant.

    Bad teams overpay for average talent, thats why they stay bad teams.

    Reggie is doing great with his piggy bank.

    Tommy Kelly the next order of business, I expect.

  • raiderlization

    I am on record as I never 100% liked Palmer as a Bengal more less a pathetic choice making QB for the Raiders. He throws before the player is even breaking on the ball get’s INT’ed and has no awarness to run when needed to get a 1st down or extend play! Who cares if our D plays most of the game and he launches prayer’s! Please tell me what makes you think we wouldn’t see what we already have the past two seasons? Aren’t you tired of the same excuses and reasons for his lack of success? I don’t think he is worth 5.5 mil this year or ever! This is why he has to be released alone he thinks he is worth more and got you fools believing him! LMAO!

  • willy91137

    Dr. Hunter you’re so knowledgeable I’m so lucky to be on the same blog as you

    you seem to have all the answers

    please tell me more

    I want to know all about you

    fire Reggie

    and hire the world-famous Dr. Hunter: troll of the blog

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    New post, little willy.

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.

  • raiderlization

    to create a compatition you have to have two of the same or equal opponents and Palmer will never believe he should have to prove anything due to his Resume! That’s the problem his Resume! lol

  • I am the Salamander

    Doc! Imagine my surprise that you’re still here and STILL haven’t actually responded to my invitation! I’m tired of waiting – gotta go get huge like the Hulk. Probably gonna need a new keyboard, HULK SMASH.

    But as ever… the door is still open. You post, I post. Lets all be in awe of each other.

    PROMOTE REGGIE NOW TO KING OF THE WORLD AND PRESIDENT OF AWESOMENESS