Oakland Raiders

Dallin Leavitt was a surprise to make the Raiders’ roster. Derek Carr reveals why

Oakland Raiders defensive back Dallin Leavitt (32) during an an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. Derek Carr compared Leavitt to Eric Weddle of the Los Angeles Rams.
Oakland Raiders defensive back Dallin Leavitt (32) during an an NFL preseason football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. Derek Carr compared Leavitt to Eric Weddle of the Los Angeles Rams. AP

When the 90-man roster was dwindled down to the NFL mandated 53-man roster, the Oakland Raiders kept one player that came as a surprise to many of the team’s fans.

That’d be safety Dallin Leavitt.

He wasn’t on any of the roster projections, but to Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, Leavitt stood out in an important area: special teams.

“He’s taken on two guys spinning off him, making a tackle, and he’s taken on three guys and spinning off them and threw somebody and made a tackle,” Carr said. “He’s forcing people out of bounds. He’s taken people out of their lanes.

“Just his all-around effort and understanding of the scheme really on special teams is what really did it.”

Leavitt last season signed as undrafted free agent and was placed in the active roster in late December and played in two games.

Carr said Leavitt is doing anything he can to help out the team and even compared him to Eric Weddle of the Los Angeles Rams.

“A lot of similarities in their style of play in disguising coverages,” Carr said. “I told him today, ‘I want you to disguise everything. I don’t want to know what the coverage is at all when you’re out there.’ He does a great job of it and confuses you and likes to mess with you. Just having a guy like that ... that right there won’t get press credit and get enough credit, but him doing that for me and for our team, that only makes him better, but also makes our team better. That’s invaluable to me. To be able to have a guy to say ‘Whatever you need, Derek, and whatever the team needs.’ He’s like that 100 percent. It’s no surprise why he made it.”

Antonio Brown, Xenith partner on helmet

After months of trying to get a helmet, Antonio Brown is going with Xenith Shadow this season.

“NFL athletes have a choice in what helmet they wear. I choose Xenith,” Brown said in a news release. “It’s not easy to make a change like this so far into your career, but the Xenith Shadow was the only helmet that could fit my needs on the field.”

Xenith said its “Xenith Shadow” is an evolution of the company’s patented Adaptive Fit technology which decouples the head from the hit. Its streamlined design improves fit and protection while increasing comfort and agility.

Brown in August lost two grievances filed against the NFL over a helmet he had used for the past nine seasons.

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Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.
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