Though he’s only played one season, many are already counting out Clelin Ferrell. The Las Vegas Raiders used a very high draft pick on him so it was expected for him to have a bigger impact in his first year. Unfortunately for him, he was outshined by fellow rookie defensive end Maxx Crosby.
While Ferrell isn’t one to make excuses, there are a number of them he could make. One of them was the fact that the Raiders tried to play him at defensive tackle a bit. He had never done that before and struggled with the new role. He knows that he did but he feels like he’s getting better. He had a chance to talk about how he’s improving and also addressed his critics.
“I feel like the biggest thing is just cutting it loose,” Ferrell said of playing on the interior and outside. “Last year, kind of going through that process and learning about it, I feel like too much of me was thinking, trying to learn everything but it’s a learning curve regardless of what people got to say. People don’t know what it takes to play or do what was asked of me last year. But aside from that, I’m ready to go. Anything that’s asked of me, I feel like I’m ready to do it and do it at a very high level.”
Ferrell Believes He Had Good Rookie Year
Ferrell got hit with a lot of criticism throughout the year for his lackluster play. He talked about the added pressure of playing with high expectations and also acknowledged some of the harsh things people had to say about him.
“I never look at pressure as something that can break you down; pressure is a privilege for me,” Ferrell said. “I never listened to what people had to say. You definitely hear it, but nobody knows what I know internally or what we know internally as a team. I just block a lot of that stuff out. It don’t really matter. I know I had a good rookie year regardless of what anybody had to say about me. I’m just ready to improve on it and get to a Super Bowl this year. I’m excited.”
He’s only played one season so it would very premature to even consider him a bust yet. It’ll just take one good season from Ferrell to change the narrative about him.
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Paul Guenther Praises Ferrell’s Transformation
If Ferrell is hoping to be an impact player in the league, he’s off to a good start. According to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, the second-year defensive end is looking really good.
“He’s come back in tremendous shape,” Guenther said of Ferrell’s transformation. “He looks like a different guy, he’s a lot quicker, a lot stronger, so I’m looking for some big things from him.”
Not every rookie comes out of the gate swinging. J.J Watt only 5.5 sacks his first year, Khalil Mack had four and Chandler Jones had six. Now, that’s not to say that Ferrell will be as good as any of those guys but it is to say that he’s more than capable of turning things around quickly.