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Raiders’ Karl Joseph confident he’ll regain starting safety spot

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Karl Joseph was listed Tuesday as the Raiders' second-team strong safety for the season-opener. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Karl Joseph was listed Tuesday as the Raiders’ second-team strong safety for the season-opener. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

ALAMEDA — Karl Joseph wasn’t down on himself Tuesday after the news came out that he was shifted to second-team safety on the Raiders’ depth chart for Sunday’s season-opener against the New Orleans Saints.

“I didn’t expect anything given to me,” Joseph told this newspaper. “I’ve just got to keep learning, keep getting better and keep growing as a player and everything else will fall in its place.

“I have a lot of confidence in myself and I have no doubt in myself that I’ll get my spot back.”

Veteran Nate Allen now is the listed starter at strong safety ahead of the Raiders’ first-round pick, who had held that spot since the initial depth chart was released Aug. 8.

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio had hinted recently that Joseph had a ways to go.

“He’s still growing,” coach Jack Del Rio said of Joseph on Aug. 27 after the Raiders exhibition game against Tennessee. “He’s still competing for time, still developing. Remember, he missed the whole offseason. For a young guy, as far as getting reps, he was there mentally doing the best he could but it takes time. It takes reps and experience. He’s getting it on the run right now. He’ll continue to work on it.”

The Raiders drafted Joseph with the No. 14 pick from West Virginia with the idea that he’d step right in as a starter. But that was always taking the most optimistic approach as he returns from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that cost him most of his senior season of college.

“I don’t use that as an excuse,” said Joseph, who missed the whole offseason program rehabilitating from the injury. “I’ve still got to learn go in there, put in the extra time that some of the guys that have been here don’t have to.”

Joseph has learned that high expectations follow first-round picks wherever they go, but he says those aren’t weighing on him.

“(There’s) a lot of high expectations from the outside world, but it doesn’t phase me too much because of the expectations I put on myself,” Joseph said. “Everything else is just outside noise. I try to block it out and just try to stay focused, stayed grounded and just learn what I’ve got to do and do my job.”

Even if he doesn’t make the start Sunday in New Orleans, Joseph is excited to finally partake in his first NFL game whatever the role may be. His teammates have noticed that he’s ready to make his first real NFL hit.

“He’s been so anxious to hit,” free safety Reggie Nelson said last week. “I’ve been like, ‘Look here, you don’t hit like that in the league in practice, man. It’s mostly mental reps. They’re not going to let you just pounce on all these people. Everybody’s getting paid a lot of money and they ain’ t trying to get them hurt.’ He’s been anxious to hit. I was just glad to see him out there running around, having a little fun.”

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Hell yeah we did

    How are you Plunk?

  • Raider Bren

    The NFL knows how to hype and sell thier product. But the build up to Week 1 doesn’t need all that for the average fan.
    Hurry on up Sunday!

  • inonewordraider

    Why did you miss last season and the last preseason game? The guy is coming off of wrist surgery

  • Christian W
  • PlunkforHOF

    Got some kind of stomach bug and we all know how fun those are.

  • Tough place to win a game

  • Christian W

    Don’t forget Calhoun

  • MachoManRandySavage

    no problem, just trying to share something great. everyone should listen to this song at least once. a Mexican treasure.

  • 504 Raider

    The dude who does the weekly predictions for our local newspaper here is Picking us to beat the Saints.

  • Yep – about as fun as blogging with Jame Gumb

  • Raider Bren

    Worth repeating: Iron Mike Ditka said it’s good for the NFL when the Raiders are good.

  • Raider Bren

    504 where?

  • R8der4evr

    Bruce Millers forehead looked like Jon Ritchie’s after a game

  • Guest123

    Is that a good thing

  • inonewordraider

    On the rotation sure McGee and jelly can sit

  • R8der4evr

    Not for Bruce
    He is done

  • Raider Bren

    I imagine he’s in the remorse phase right now.
    I don’t wish bad on anyone, we’ve all tipped one too many…but that’s bad.

  • Christian W

    I loved Jon Ritchie he was a raider!! Always bleed for us!! Lol

  • Guest123

    Glad to hear it. His kind don’t deserve a roll in this league.

  • inonewordraider

    The 70 year old had a good right cross

  • 504 Raider

    Raised in N.O. East now live in Metairie

  • R8der4evr

    His DV last year was swept under the rug
    Now a 70 year old man is suffering

  • Christian W

    Jon Richie reminded me of alstott alot

  • R8erEduc8er

    Menstrual?

  • MachoManRandySavage

    alright! thanks for the props!

  • Christian W

    Lol funny

  • R8erEduc8er

    Everyone deserves at least a dinner roll

  • R8der4evr

    No doubt but unprovoked attack?
    No not a good look

  • 504 Raider

    Saints cut him.

  • Raider Bren

    My goal is to be physically fit and active at age 70. I know old guys at the gym and they’re inspiring.

  • Raider 8

    maybe not a roll…but maybe some other kind of pastry?

  • PlunkforHOF

    I’ll just go ahead and stick with the runs.

  • R8der4evr

    Hell yes

  • Raider Bren

    Right, no free pass here.

  • 504 Raider

    Saints cut Khalif Barnes and Courtland Finagan. Signed Sterling Moore.

  • R8erEduc8er

    Lol

  • inonewordraider

    All the big names want to play for Dennis Allen

  • Guest123

    Now he’s behind bars where he belongs right brother evr?

  • R8der4evr

    You are probably right though
    Sober up and it’s like oh man, I just ruined my life.

  • R8der4evr

    He will learn from this
    Hope he invested wisely for his sake.

  • Guest123

    Khalif already had the scarlet letter of shame so getting cut by the Saints is kinda no biggie, but Finagan has office hit rock bottom

  • Guest123

    What if he doesn’t learn? I’d rather his kind rot awhile before they take up study

  • R8der4evr

    Hey Wentz
    This isn’t N. Dakota St
    Lol that’s what I’d be saying

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Mine isn’t.
    Doesn’t seem to be working out, though.

  • NFLN #11

  • R8der4evr

    You toss 300-400 lb Llammas around though right Mountain Man
    Lol

  • Guest123

    Don’t worry. Thankfully for him he gets to begin his career on training wheels playing the Cleveland Clownz

  • Guest123

    Saw that and I think they way overrated us

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Like in ‘The Mummy’?

  • R8der4evr

    That is a lucky draw