When the Raiders selected Karl Joseph fourteenth overall in 2016, they envisioned a stalwart. For years, the secondary, especially the safety spot lacked the presence of a thumper. By definition, Joseph fills that role. On paper, his style of play fit what the Raiders sought in a safety. However, as time passes and regimes change, they need for Joseph to evolve becomes clearer.
Forget the Past
As mentioned, Karl Joseph is a missile, bent on destroying receivers. Meanwhile, those entrusted with his development, as an NFL player never seemed to get the most out of him. For example, reports surfaced that former defensive coordinator Ken Norton and Jack Del Rio were not exactly the most hands-on. As a result, things appeared to fall through the cracks. For example, remember any adjustments after halftime? No? Me neither.
Enter Paul Guenther. With Guenther, every aspect of the defense from line to back end will change. Gone are the days of the rah-rah, impassioned speeches. Now, Joseph will actually possess a set of criteria and gameplans. For Joseph, they remain to get up to speed rather quickly.
When Derrick Ansley took over for Rod Woodson, a collective cheer roared from fans. Although Rod Woodson is a Hall of Famer, his subsequent bitterness raised questions about his tenure with the Raiders. If he immediately ran to television after his release, what else would he add about the players? On the other hand, Ansley comes with an aggressive, detailed attacking style that will suit Joseph
Style of Play
In the modern NFL, players will need to adjust o even stricter standards of play. That is to say, Karl Joseph needs to alter how he strikes opponents. Over the offseason, the league passed a rule outlawing any lowering of the helmet to deliver a blow. Standing roughly 5’10” and meeting receivers and tight ends four or five inches taller, Joseph launches himself. Under those circumstances, the league will throw a flag without hesitation.
In reality, Karl Joseph resides in the perfect situation for the Raiders. First, at only 24, the team can rely on several quality seasons. Next, despite objections, Reggie Nelson can implement the Guenther defense by teaching Joseph the nuances of the scheme. In Joseph, the Raiders can shape a secondary that actually benefits his skillset.