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Watch: Getting to know Raiders rookie LB Shilique Calhoun

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By Courtney Cronin, ccronin@bayareanewsgroup.com

One of the best pure pass rushers from the 2016 NFL Draft class is now a protege of two of the best to do it in the league.

Former Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun is used to blowing up opposing backfields with his explosive speed off the edge. When the Raiders third round draft pick arrived at training camp, more was asked of Calhoun and his athletic abilities as he began cross training as a strong-side linebacker.

“I’m adapting to it very well,” Calhoun said. “Playing behind a guy who comes from Seattle, who has had a great pass rushing background, who has a great coverage background as well in Bruce Irvin and then on the opposite side I play behind a guy who is a Pro Bowler in two different positions and is just a monster defensive lineman all around in Khalil Mack. It’s great to get feedback from both of those guys and add it to my game.”

As a rookie, Calhoun hopes his versatility at both positions will lead him to seeing the field this season, backing up Irvin at the strong-side linebacker spot or relieving Mack in a sub-package defense.

Calhoun played primarily in a three-point stance during a collegiate career where he racked up 27 sacks with 18.5 coming during his junior and senior year. At outside linebacker, he’s learning to play snaps standing up, which has been adjustment.

“It’s definitely a big change,” he said. “When I was in college I actually wanted to stand up in the two-point so now I have the opportunity and I’m trying to take hold of it.”

The bright side of that change? Calhoun can see the entire defense from a two-point stance while watching plays unfold before executing his assignment.

Long before his NFL rookie debut last week, the 6-foot-4, 251-pounder was a star on the hardwood in high school, averaging a double-double of 17.5 points and 10 rebounds during the 2010-11 season at New Jersey’s Middletown High School North.

Bay Area News Group’s Courtney Cronin goes one-on-one with the new Raider on learning a new position, the part he enjoys most about being an edge rusher and who from Oakland’s 90-man roster, besides himself, could have a future in basketball.

Follow Courtney Cronin on Twitter @CourtneyRCronin.

Oakland Raiders' Shilique Calhoun speaks to reporters during an NFL football rookie minicamp in Alameda, Calif., Friday, May 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Oakland Raiders’ Shilique Calhoun speaks to reporters during an NFL football rookie minicamp in Alameda, Calif., Friday, May 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

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Jon Becker

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    That really sucks, at least she avoided being raped.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I think we all try to avoid saying dumb things.
    Some of us just aren’t very good at it.

  • MachoManRandySavage

    Lochte is a 20 something jock that had a barnburner of a night and got in trouble for being rowdy. No need to get all indignat and say “lord almighty the gringos come in here and think they have their way with us like a stud in mating season”…. there is no law and order in Brazil. everyone knows this. please try and remember that.

  • Rather drink bleach

  • DutchRaid

    True…it is pretty funny in some regards…the story came out b/c he told his mother he got robbed…but the part where he tells how the gun was put to his head by a guy in a police uniform is a little bit extreme even for a meat-head.

  • idahoraiderfan33

    I want to see Carr throw a TD strike to Amari in this game!! And the continued growth of our running game..

  • MachoManRandySavage

    I want to see Amari catch every pass that hits his hands. Realistic expectation or too much to ask?

  • DJ Johnny

    I’d settle for him being somewhere in the middle of all receivers in the dropped pass stat. He led the league in drops last yr.

  • RaiderCODE

    to be fair the guys broke the law – then told a complete lie to the cops and then to the press (for what reason makes zero sense other than to increase his own ‘brand’?) which was then broadcast all over the *world* – it made Rio look *very* bad… yes Brazil has problems but that was unnacceptable

  • DJ Johnny

    This probably will hurt him as far as endorsements etc. Olympians usually capitalize on those things.

  • MachoManRandySavage

    Another quick note. Really had not tuned into the Olympics until track and field started… Usain Bolt, wowza, might be the greatest athlete of all time. incredible how much faster he is that the rest of us. 3 straight olympics, 3 golds in 100, 3 golds in 200? and a nice goofy personality to go with it, none of the “badazz” attitude, just having a good ol time.

  • MachoManRandySavage

    I think this was Lochte’s bid to make Trump’s cabinet as Secretary of State.

  • Dakota

    Just while scripted.

  • RaiderCODE

    Amari could use a good game – I guess they’ll play the 1st qtr… so should have 2-3 drives to get something – I heard Rodgers is not playing so…

  • Dakota

    27 heroin overdoses in 4 hours? MistaBrown family reunion?

  • Rifflicks

    face a judge and jury for protecting yourself or take your chances with a Criminal.

  • MachoManRandySavage

    it didnt make Rio look very bad. it made Rio look like frigin Rio. Lochte might have made up a story, but it wasnt like the press or the government said “now that is strange”… everyone said, “yup you have to be careful in Rio”… so Lochte will face the music, but its not his fault Rio is viewed as a melting-pot of corruption and prostitution.

  • Rifflicks

    or somebody forgot to cut it before distribution

  • Rifflicks

    OR……our country is bad enough without American prima donnas making it worse

  • MachoManRandySavage

    is that the whole “game of thrones” drug thing?

  • LondonAl

    A credit to Jamaica.

  • Dakota

    Never heard of that….just a headline on CNN

  • MachoManRandySavage

    well, then dont host the olympics.

  • DutchRaid

    That is also true…this time they were not at fault…I have a friend I played football with who family’s really into competitive roller skating (Yeah, I know weird), well he went to the World Roller Skating Championship in Rio for the U.S. His coach leaving his hotel (right outside), was punched in the face and had his watch stolen…brazen attack in broad daylight…

  • LondonAl

    It’s hard for the locked-in starters to shine as they are very limited in playing time.

  • Rifflicks

    yeah……Americans have the right to file false police reports in the pursuit of publicity

  • Dan78

    Lochte’s is an idiot..

  • RaiderCODE

    be careful man…

  • R8RCatDave

    32

  • MachoManRandySavage

    well. nobody has that right. but its not like the brazilian police go after every petty criminal… so. lets not get all puffy chested about one false report, put it on the list of crimes to solve, like the hundreds of unsolved murders, kidnappings, rapings, human traffic, drug trafficing, human organ trafficing, LOL, the list is long.

  • Dan78

    Are people really defending Lochte… Doofus lied…

  • ForHundred8

    Stumbled upon this. Lot of Raiders at the start!
    https://vimeo.com/4683642

  • Dan78

    Lochte could have just said the truth from the beginning…

  • Rifflicks

    yeah…. all the false reports get international attention….this one is no different

  • MachoManRandySavage

    I agree 100%. He should have. And he should face the consequences for lying. but its not his fault that foreigners think Rio is a lawless place.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    The Olympics would be a lot better if they had an average Joe trying to compete in each game…

    Could you imagine?

  • Rifflicks

    got any Nascar crashes or live cams from Ambulance drivers too?

  • DutchRaid

    Isn’t the story he made up a story to his Mom and his mom told the leaked the story to the media?

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    Like what if you were out there doing the high dive, or the hurdles, or the bicycle race, or the rowing, or…. well any of the games really.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    It would be interesting to see.

  • JLofty

    That’s not interesting. That’s disgusting…

  • ForHundred8

    Didn’t even know this was out there. League couldn’t have liked it…

  • DutchRaid

    But, but….(refresh)

  • Dan78

    He told the reporters his account on the robbery..

  • DutchRaid

    The events might take a little while longer….

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    “Might be the greatest athlete of all time….”

    If short burst, basically straight lin speed is your only measure of athleticism, then perhaps, yes, but it’s all he can do according to him and his trainer. He can’t run distance and he doesn’t even have to train for what he does much (no sprinter really does compared to athletes in other events.)

    The guy is fun to watch for sure, but the great ATHLETE, I’d argue, would have to include many other criteria. That he might have other talents had they been developed, I’d guess is true, but there’s no portfolio of other skills.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    Just a little… heheheheheh

  • Dan78

    Lol.. Good ole Lonnie.. Or should I say Lionel..

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    As a liar, he’d fit in well with Hillary’s group.

  • R8drTahoe in SF