There was a lot of talk about how the Raiders filled most needs this offseason, but ignored middle linebacker. They didn’t ignore middle linebacker – they just felt more strongly than others they already had him.
That was proven when Ben Heeney was given the green dot as defensive playcaller and an extension of defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. on the field. It’s something Heeney earned after starting the last five games last season and showing great football sense and a nose for the ball and continuing that stellar play and dedication throughout the offseason and the early parts of training camp.
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As he told Bair, Heeney is excited for the opportunity to perform a duty that was one of his goals coming into the league. “It’s been the goal the entire time,” Heeney said. “I’m happy to be there, and I’ll do whatever I can to keep the spot. Coach Norton has confidence in me heading into the second season.”
Heeney has made a large impact in his short time in the Silver & Black, playing with a fire and passion loved by coaches, teammates and fans alike, and it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts to his new role on Friday night, even if it’s in the preseason. Based on his track record thus far, I expect it will go quite smoothly.
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