Originally published by RaidersNewswire.com
The Las Vegas Raiders boast a much younger roster heading into the 2023 NFL season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll struggle as their youth appears ready to take the next step forward.
The defensive side lost one of its leaders in Denzel Perryman, who now leads an even younger Houston Texans defense, but in his stead awaits Divine Deablo. Deablo got off to a strong start in Las Vegas as he played in all 17 games as a rookie, even starting five of them. However, even though he was named one of their starting linebackers in 2022, Deablo struggled to play through injuries and only appeared in eight games before being placed on injured reserve.
Entering this year’s offseason, though, Deablo is healthy and has even bulked up in preparation for a bigger role. In fact, Deablo’s already been assigned the green dot to lead the defense, and he said he’s ready for his new responsibilities.
“A lot more confident than I was last year. Last year I was the new kid on the block, I was nervous. It was my first year in the system. So now I’m more comfortable, I’ve been doing it for a while now, so yeah I’m ready.”
Working in Deablo’s favor is he’s played multiple positions in the past, so he feels like that experience will translate over to being the defensive leader. “Honestly it makes myself proud because when I was younger I played quarterback, so now being the green dot is like quarterback of the defense, so it puts a smile on my face.”
As a former safety, Deablo’s no stranger to patrolling the backend of the field and ensuring his teammates are in the right spots, but now that becomes his full-time role. With the green dot in his helmet, the linebacker will need to be aware of everything happening on the field and be able to communicate that in a timely manner.
The defense last year largely struggled to get on the same page, but hopefully, after a full year under Josh McDaniels, the players feel more comfortable and familiar with what’s being asked. Deablo certainly seems up to the task so far, but how he performs when the games matter remains to be seen.
Chandler Jones feels a lot faster coming into 2023
Another player the Raiders are hoping has a bounce back is Chandler Jones. Jones definitely started to show his age more in 2022, but the pass rusher said he’s feeling a lot faster coming into the new season.
The post Raiders News: Divine Deablo More Confident Heading Into 2023 Season appeared first on Raiders Newswire.