The Oakland Raiders and general manager Reggie McKenzie sought to make some needed changes to the defensive line, bringing in Bruce Irvin as well as an able draft pick, Jihad Ward out of Illinois.
But at middle linebacker will remain Ben Heeney, which shows McKenzie and company have faith in their 2015 5th-round pick.
“It definitely lets you know they have confidence in you,” Heeney said, per the Napa Valley Register. “It makes you feel good but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s just what you do on the field every day.”
“He’s smart, he’s fast, and he’s relentless,” defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said. “He has a nose for the ball, very instinctive. Ben is going to be a very good football player. He cares a lot, he’s always getting better. You can’t get him out of the film room, asking all the right questions, and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
“Ben Heeney is a dog,” Bruce Irvin chimed in. “He’s not the biggest guy, but he plays bigger than what he is. The guy leaves it out there for me. It’s just practice, so I can only image what he does for me in a game. He’s a team guy. That’s the biggest thing, having a bunch of team guys who are willing to leave it out there for each other. I can already tell Ben is one of those guys.”