Najee Harris Helped Robert Spillane Learn Rush And Coverage As He Hopes To Work With Josh Jacobs In LV
Arguably the biggest surprise of the offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers thus far has been losing out on Robert Spillane—presuming that they endeavored to retain him. It is unlikely, however, that they would have offered as much as he got from the Las Vegas Raiders, a two-year, $9 million deal.
He talked in his introductory press conference as a member of the silver and black about his desire to be an every-down player and to wear the green dot, an opportunity that he may get there. He probably wasn’t going to get it in Pittsburgh.
Another interest he’s bringing with him in Las Vegas is exploring every opportunity to improve his craft. He talked about working with Steelers running back Najee Harris, the two of them picking each other’s brains about how to beat each other, and the linebacker hopes to be able do to that with Josh Jacobs as well, his new running back.
“I love working with the running backs because you get to understand what their vision is, how they’re seeing the game”, he said, via the Raiders’ website. “At many points I would work with Najee Harris with the Steelers. ‘What do you see here?’. We bounce ideas off each other. ‘How can I trick you to think that I’m coming from the left when really the pressure’s coming from the right?’. I hope to really come friends with him and share those same sort of football ideas”.
A former college free agent out of Western Michigan, Spillane is a football lifer who has consistently sought to give himself every advantage. By his reasoning, doing so gives himself the best opportunity to do what he loves for the longest time possible.
This is a key opportunity with the Raiders, a chance to establish himself as a full-time starter. Still reasonably young at 27 five years on from when he first declared for the draft, he does have more than 1300 snaps under his belt, including nearly 600 last year, but he wants to be a 1100-snap guy.
After all, nothing makes you more indispensable than being an every-down player. And the Raiders are a team that can stand to upgrade at the inside linebacker position, if we’re being honest. Divine Deablo seemed to be coming along last season before he was injured, but Denzel Perryman is likely to be elsewhere in 2023.
One thing Spillane can never be faulted for is giving football everything he has. That’s not just in games or on the practice field but seemingly throughout his life. Anything he can manage that he thinks can help make him a better football player, that will make him understand the game better, he will absorb.