Originally published on SBReport.net on March 15, 2013
Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders officially announced the signing of former Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Roach this morning.
Roach took some time to talk to local media Friday afternoon to discuss the process of being signed, what he sees with the Raiders, and how he feels he will fit in with the team.
You can see the full transcript from the conference call below:
Can you tell me a little about how quickly this came about? Did you entertain any offers from any other teams?
It was really just the Raiders, and the Bears obviously, who it came down to. So, I came out on the visit and we were just in a position to kind of gauge the Bears interest back and forth, and taking all things into consideration, it just seemed like Oakland was an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.
Is it your understanding that you’re going to come in as middle linebacker?
They just kind of said that they see me being able to do a lot of things that they want me to do, so specifically at middle, I’m not sure if that’ll be the case but I think they kinda want to just get me in and see wherever the best fit is for everybody that they bring in.
You took over for Brian Urlacher at middle linebacker a lot last season, and got a good taste of the it. What do you like about the position?
Obviously you're on the field a lot and in the middle of everything, kind of get to a lot of plays that maybe if you’re on the outside you can’t get all the way across the field to get to. Just being in the mix, I enjoy that. I enjoy being in the game and kind of having to know situations, and knowing all the adjustments that go along with it, so just the whole thing.
How much do you think it helps for you in terms of showing the versatility and showing you can play both positions?
It’s huge. You don’t even really know yourself that you can do something until you have the chance to really do it. It was big, being able to get the film up there and obviously just for compliments of feeling your versatility is really worth something.
What is it about the opportunity here in Oakland that intrigued you?
It’s just exciting. The whole culture and the organization. In my mind, it’s on the upward so being able to come in and add to that hopefully is something to look forward to.
How much did playing with guys like Urlacher and Briggs help you develop into the player you are today?
It’s been great. Those guys are friends of mine, and more importantly they are great examples of just how to be a pro and how to be successful at the highest level for both of them. So kind of being behind them and next to them for the last few years has really helped to just kind of watch their leadership by example of what it looks like.
McKenzie and Allen have been pretty clear that they are looking for guys who don’t necessarily have to be on everybody’s radar, but those that love football and work it everyday. Does that sum you up?
Yeah I think so, I think there are a lot of guys like that, because there are a lot of guys that are under the radar. Just because, you won’t make too long in the NFL if you don’t love it just because you won’t have the motivation and stuff to do all the things that it takes. Like I said, it’s just exciting to kind of get in and be able get to learn everything and go from there.
Any concerns from your part about the Raiders being in kind of a rebuilding mode?
Honestly, it didn’t even cross my mind. I guess that’s an opinion that some people might have but, my concern was getting a chance to meet the coaches and just kinda seeing where they saw me fitting in and seeing if this situation was best for me and my family.
Are you a guy that’s going to come in with a lot of enthusiasm and takes over the defense, or more of a guy that just comes in and nobody can see how you lead that way?
I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a huge “rah rah” guy or anything, but I think I am able ot lead by example with just the daily things like taking care of your body and making sure you study your opponent and all that type of stuff. I think if i’m able to continue to do that and still translate to the field, that will be a good example.
Take us through what you’ve done to earn the Ed Block Courage Award and what that’s meant to you.
What it says to me is that you’re able to earn the respect of your teammates in your locker room, so that’s obviously a huge honor that you can get an award that is voted on strictly by the guys that you play with. I’m excited to go out there tomorrow and spend the next couple of days in the community and seeing what the award is really about in person.
Did you get the impression that having that award meant something to the Raiders?
Honestly I’m not sure. I’m sure if you want to call it a “resume builder” type of thing. It’s always good to have a name that says you’re respected by the teammates in the locker room that you’re in, so I’m sure that might have been a consideration.
When you came into the league as an undrafted free agent, were you just trying to make it past the first practice and the next practice and then the next practice? Or were you the type that said ‘I should have been drafted, I’m going to be in this league, and that’s that’?
For me it was just about whatever opportunity was in front of me I would try and take advantage of it. I was ecstatic when I made the practice squad in San Diego. I didn’t really feel like I got slighted or that I deserved anything more than what the opportunity presented at that time. Like I said, just the baby things have led up to this point where I was able to get the chance to play and produce a little bit.
Do you see a scheme here where it might let you spread your wings a little more than the Cover 2 like it did with Philip Wheeler last year?
I’m not sure yet. We haven’t had enough time to go that in-depth on it, but I know that it is a little different and we’ll be able to use a little bit more versatility in terms of just football playing ability. But I think that my time in Chicago I fit that scheme pretty well too, so to say that I’ll be anything more or less, I’m not sure yet.