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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.

  • Raider 8

    i go into this saints game very hopeful…but very cautiously optimistic. didn’t see anything in preseason from the defense to make me think they are any good. the additions of irvin, smith and nelson SHOULD make a big difference you would think. hope so…but i have no idea what to expect.

  • Guest123

    No that was master planning

  • R8der4evr

    Only Jesus can fix him

  • R8der4evr

    It’s all about the Cbs
    Best we have had since CWood and Allen IMO

  • R8erEduc8er

    Jesus Gutierrez?

  • Dakota

    Cubs?

  • Guest123

    What you saw in preseason is what you get. Musty isn’t going to razor dazzle anybody with on field adjustments. Need to execute better to win. Simple as that

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Duh!
    That’s the point.

  • Guest123

    Good man

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    jesusraiderjim.

  • Aussie Raider

    Duds.

  • Guest123

    Crown them already

  • R8RCatDave

    Shoulda let the goat in

  • Raider 8

    we’re gonna need em to play really good on sunday.

  • Guest123

    Jesus is just alright with me

  • R8erEduc8er

    Both ends, huh?

  • Yep, officially we are now a hype machine with an NFLN Power ranking of 11

    Check what Vegas says…where the MONEY is…

    OAK@NO

    Line: EVEN

    That’s all u need to know…

    NO—> 27 accd to NFLN !

  • Guest123

    Vegas knows

  • R8erEduc8er

    Never heard of them

  • Exactly…

    I hope the players are not buying into the media BS

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    Probably why they’ve got games instead of just calling it a season after predictions.

  • R8RCatDave

    Guess I’m not getting any Raiders plus 600 this year

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    No, more often the other way around.
    Still keeps you somewhat fit.
    A 125 lb girl llama(like sex makes a difference) is the one that dislocated my elbow.

  • Guest123

    Wait for #Chargers week

  • Raider 8

    we’re so used to seeing our guys look shaky and nervous. big game on the road..hostile environment….don’t wanna see false starts and dropped passes….or 3rd and 9 choreographed draw plays or screen passes with guys draped all over em to bring em down immediately. limit the 3 and outs with good play calling and execution.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I assumed you knew a lot of saps…

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Sure Barnes is cut by NO.
    They’re all done talking to him about his Raider experience.

  • ENGLANDRAIDER

    Lot of jelling needed on the Raiders.

  • Guest123

    Rotoworld is saying Latavius is going to another 300 touch RB. Lord help us if they are correct

  • Raider 8

    maybe on defense, but we essentially added just one player on offense and it’s (in theory) a huge upgrade w/ osemele. we should be as ready or more than any other offense in the league.

  • R8RCatDave

    Is jelling like labour or organise?

  • RaiderCODE

    NFLN : only 25% of teams that go 0-1 make the playoffs

  • WOOOOSH on the point….

    One is Hype….NFLN

    Other is closer to reality….follow the $$$ (not hot air)

  • Sweep the leg

    PUT YOU PANTS RAIDERS!!!!!!

  • Raider 8

    isn’t he one concussion away from his career being over? guys don’t wanna admit the impact that the pittsburgh game had on him…maybe cuz its giving too much credit to mike mitchell? i don’t know..but the fact is he has not been the same ever since. whether it was mitchell or not…is arguable…but the fact is he just has not been the same since he got popped in that one.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    No.
    That’s gelling.

  • Raider 8

    amazing that the poster omoran…who was here for like 10 or so posts back on the old blog…would have such a lasting impact. Lol. i wish that guy would come back.

  • R8RCatDave

    Thought maybe different across the pond

  • Sweep the leg

    i know, right!

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Colour me embarrassed.

  • R8RCatDave

    Clever ha

  • jesusraiderjim

    So where Finnigan begin again?

  • jesusraiderjim

    No. That’s the blog whiners

  • inonewordraider

    Fred too

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    He led Aragon on a lead the whole 7 days.
    They’re both pro’s, tho.
    the two rookies had to briefly, and took right to it.

  • R8RCatDave

    Look at dale Jr, not the days of take a salt tablet and get back out there anymore

  • HELLSBELLS

    By week five will be a split in the backfield as fas as carries.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Red whine?

  • Raider 8

    yeah good ole fred. talking about reggie making a super bowl sandwich…but like a fine chef it will take years to complete his culinary masterpiece. or comparing reggie to betsy ross..that he’s weaving a quilt…that will take at least 10 years to complete.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    Way, way more than 10 posts.
    I actually started understanding his language.
    A bit.