Editor’s note: Every Wednesday, as part of her “Vegas Nation: Takeaways” podcast, producer/videographer Heidi Fang talks to a Raiders player or personality. This has been edited for clarity and completeness. This week: rookie linebacker Tanner Muse.
Heidi Fang: People have started calling them the Clemson Raiders. So what is that experience going to be like once you get on the field with guys that you’ve already competed with?
Tanner Muse: Yeah. It’s gonna be great. ‘Cause I already know how they play and how we can play together. So especially Trayvon [Mullen] being a corner. So he’ll always be to my side, if I’m on his side. And, Cle [Ferrell], he’s one of my best friends. I just can’t wait to get back with them and restart the fire that we had at Clemson. Just keep it going.
HF: How goes the transition from safety at Clemson to linebacker with the Raiders?
TM: I think playing a numerous amount of sports through high school — basketball, baseball, or football — just being able to do so many different things and being able to adjust on the fly, as soon as the season ends, a new one begins. So I was always learning new things and figuring out how things work. So I think that translates to football. I played safety for a long time through high school and college. Now I’m a linebacker. So it’s easier to adjust for me.. But obviously, it’s a whole ‘nother level. So I’m just going to have to get used to this whole linebacker thing and see how I really develop and what I need to work on.
HF: General Manager Mike Mayock has said he wants you to play both the middle and weakside linebacker roles. How much of a challenge has that been with only virtual workouts available?
TM: Yeah, it’s a lot to learn, especially on these Zoom meetings. I’m just not used to them. I don’t think anybody is. I like
to get out on the field and learn. You’re going to make mistakes. I’d rather make a mistake and then be able to have that
memory of the mistake and know what I could’ve done better and then rewatch it and learn from it. Now I just have to watch somebody else’s mistakes and learn from that. But obviously, I gotta do my best with these Zoom meetings and learn from them.
HF: There’s a lot of eyes on the linebacker position, especially with the addition of Corey Littleton, Nick Kwiatowski and yourself .So when you start looking at this linebacker core as a whole, what goes through your mind?
TM: Yeah. I think it’s hard ‘cause you got new guys, but you don’t really know how they’re going to adapt to this new system. So you see what they’ve done at other teams. They got to prove themselves to the Raider Nation. Then you’ve got myself wanting to prove myself. So it’s gonna be a lot of competition. I’m really excited about that, but I think there’s a lot to learn from these guys. So it’s gonna be my job just to fall in line, learn as much as I can, as fast as I can.
HF: I wanted to find out if, because you’ve run a 4.38 40-yard dash, do you plan to have a footrace with Henry Ruggs to see who is faster?
TM: (Laughs). Henry Ruggs. I don’t know. What was it? A 4.28 laser? Yeah, I don’t know. I think there needs to be a 225-plus, mega-race in the NFL. Now that I can get behind. I can compete there.
Heidi Fang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Download the Vegas Nation podcasts three times a week at www.LVRJ/podcasts.