One of the more interesting topics surrounding the Oakland Raiders' Organized Team Activities is linebacker Sio Moore moving from the strong side to the weak side. The Raiders drafted Khalil Mack in the first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft and his natural NFL position is strong side linebacker. Because of the addition of Mack, Oakland has used linebacker Sio Moore on the weak side. That is a switch Moore is embracing.
“I did this in college,” Moore said. “I started out as a WILL, and then moved to SAM, where the SAM was an outside linebacker and a down free safety. Moving form SAM to WILL here again, it’s nothing that’s abnormal. I just try to use my versatility and continue to show our coaches and my teammates that I can do anything on the field and I want to continue to work at it, no matter what position.”
That is a refreshing take from a second-year player, who is putting the team first. Moore was a nice boost to the Raiders defense during his rookie season, starting 11 games and amassing 50 tackles as well as 4.5 sacks. Moore showed that ability to get after the quarterback which will give defensive coordinator Jason Tarver so many more (pun intended) options with him learning the weak side spot.
One of the things that will change for Moore on the opposite side is more coverage responsibilities. That will put a learning curve on the second year linebacker, but he was known for very good coverage skills coming out of Connecticut. It will be a matter of learning and getting comfortable and that is what Moore is working toward during the OTA sessions.
“I’m just doing what I’m asked to do, really play the WILL spot right now,” Moore said. “Learning. Really taking it day by day because the good thing I have on my side now is knowing that I was able to play SAM last year and if I learn how to play WILL this year, I can play any of them. Right now, my goal is not to be just a linebacker, it’s to be the best linebacker there is. The more that I can do, the more that I can learn and the faster that I can learn it and the faster that I can produce and be a part of something, then we have a situation.”
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