For those who follow Raiders football, you know that Jon Gruden’s first year as head coach was suboptimal. From several questionable roster moves to an in-season front-office shuffle to not knowing where the team will play next season, and finally, to a bad product on the field.
But, from Week 11 on, one constant held true. That is Karl Joseph’s play. His disruptive abilities in run and pass defense were one of the bright spots for the Raiders.
Joseph played only 11 snaps during the first eight weeks, was benched at one point, missed time with a leg injury, and was subject to trade rumors before the trade deadline. By mid-season, his future with the team was in question. Now, he’s one of the building blocks in the secondary. He played a total of 13 games, starting 8. Joseph finished the season with 48 tackles, 2 sacks, and one INT.
Then, in Week 11, something clicked. He finished the year as not only the team’s best defender but was one of the league’s top safeties during the second half of the season.
#Raiders highest graded defensive players for the 2018 season:
Karl Joseph 74.5
Erik Harris 73.5
Jason Cabinda 73.5
Maurice Hurst 72.4
Johnathan Hankins 66.5
— PFF OAK Raiders (@PFF_Raiders) February 4, 2019