When the Raiders signed cornerback Casey Hayward, General Manager Mike Mayock said “kids in the room are going to look up to him” because of the experience he brings to the lineup.
Hayward has nine years of NFL experience under his belt and the last four of those seasons saw him playing for the Chargers in a defense put together by coordinator Gus Bradley. Bradley was hired to do the same job for the Raiders before Hayward joined the club, which gives Hayward insight into the scheme that safety Johnathan Abram says has been valuable to his new teammates.
“Getting a chance to know him, be around him, he’s a guy who’s been in the system, going on six years. Just seeing the amount of things he saw. The starts that he got in this system. He pretty much knows it all,” Abram said, via Levi Damien of USAToday.com. “He goes out there, he talks every single play, in and out of the play. It’s just amazing to see. It’s very helpful for guys like me and other guys trying to learn this system. He’s been a tremendous help and I’m very glad he’s going to be a part of this team.”
The Raiders have not been impressive defensively in four years under head coach Jon Gruden and the move to Bradley was made in hopes of turning that around. Hayward will be part of that effort on the field, but his work off of it may be just as important in Las Vegas.