Las Vegas Raiders: 3 players who need to impress against Seattle
Tanner Muse was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft and was expected to be a versatile linebacker for the Las Vegas Raiders defense and on special teams. Unfortunately, he missed all of last season thanks to a toe injury that he sustained in training camp, but now that he is healthy again, he’s really found a way to make an impact at camp.
So much so, that Muse was listed as the team’s starting strong-side linebacker.
Since Muse missed so much time in 2020, Las Vegas will likely want to see what he can do in a real-game setting on Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks. He’s obviously impressed enough to get the start, but practice reps are very different from reps during training camp, so let’s see how he adjusts against new competition that he’s never seen before.
Muse will have to show that he can stop the run with efficiency, as the team needs a linebacker who can excel in that area. Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley may also see how Muse handles pass coverage in this game in case he ever needs to drop Muse into coverage.
Muse’s ability to play well as both a run stopper and a pass covering linebacker will rely on his ability to be explosive and move his feet.
Last season, before his injuries, Muse was playing very flat-footed, which limited his ability to get ahead of blocks and stay on receivers. He’ll have to show that he fixed this issue if he wants to retain his starting spot, as Nick Kwiatkowski is surely looking to be the starter again once the regular season kicks off.