Can Raider DT William Joseph over come his "Giant" problems?
Interestingly enough, so has the man drafted after him, offensive tackle Kwame Harris, taken by the 49ers and now joining Joseph for the 2008 campaign with the Oakland Raiders.
The former University of Miami line man may have gotten off on the wrong foot in NY posting the longest hold out for a Giants 1st round pick since 1995. He eventually signed a $6.95 million dollar contract Aug. 5th 2003 after missing 17 practices. Many blamed his agent Bus Cook, but the damage had seemingly already been done.
Rocky start to his career aside, he appeared in a reserve role during 14 games in 03' and finished with 6 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
On April 20th, 2004, Joseph suffered a torn pectoral muscle that had to be surgically repaired and again, missed most of the spring work outs and training camps. Still, he made 15 appearances and started 4 games that year until a knee injury in the last game of the regular season against Dallas.
Joseph showed promise in 2004 making 25 tackles, 2 sacks and defending 2 passes.
He missed 6 out of the last 7games in 2005 due to elbow and then ankle injuries, but started 10 games including the NFC Wild Card game. He ended the year with 19 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble and 3 passes defensed.
Joseph actually made it to and started the 2006 camp working out with the second unit but suffered a deep tissue bruise to his leg and was held out of several pre season practices. Despite this, Coach Tom Coughlin decide to let Joseph play in the 1st pre season game at the Baltimore Ravens.
Coughlin stated for the press later he was displeased with how soft his interior line was and how they were "pushed around" by the Ravens O line.
Micheal Eisen of Giants.com reported Coach Coughlin going further and stating he felt Joeseph hadn't lived up to his 1st round draft potential at this time.
6 days later on the 19th of August Vinnie Di Trani of the Bergen Record quoted Coughlin saying he was happy to see the improvement made in practice by his defensive unit, especially in Joseph, yet the New York daily news reported rookie DT Barry Coefield seeing most of the 1st team reps in place of Joseph.
By Sept. 4th, Coefield was named the week one starter in 2006.
Joseph appeared in all 16 regular season games but didn't see real action until week 10 when he replaced the injured Michael Strahan and filled in for several games.
2006 saw him finish with 3 starts, 21 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 passes defensed.
In August, Strahan again provided opportunity. This time, in the form of a hold out, allowing Joseph 1st team reps again at defensive end.
9 days later Joseph moved back to defensive tackle garnering reps with not only the 1st team but the 2nd as well, but by Sept. 9th Joseph was declared inactive for week one and by Sept. 11th, suffered a back injury and was placed on IR (injured reserve) effectively ended his entire 2007 season.
In Feb. Joseph's agent, now the infamous Drew Rosenhaus, stated he expected his client, Joseph, to hit the free agent market.
He talked to Miami and Cleveland in early March, but by the 14th a deal was announced making him an Oakland Raider.
Due to his stalled out career and despite sporting a Super Bowl ring, Joseph will make roughly $645,000 for his one year contract.
He'll have to live up to the promise he showed in 2004 before teams offer to pony up sums in the millions again and Oakland is the opportunity for him to do that. Joseph and offensive tackle Kwame Harris aren't the only 1st round disappointments playing for Oakland in 08'. This one, unlike Harris, plays on the same side of the ball.
Taken with the 3rd overall pick in the 1st round of the 2001 draft by the Browns, disappointment Gerard Warren joined Oakland last year in a surprise trade with Denver at the beginning of the season last year.
At least Joseph won't feel like hes the only one in a bid to get his once promising career back on the rails.
Joseph needs a good, solid, injury free year to even begin to show he can live up to his 1st round potential.
There have been road blocks from hold outs, injuries and inconsistent play so far in his checkered career, but the slate has been wiped clean for him in Oakland and like many who came before him, Joseph may just need a change of scenery (and Coaches) to get him back on the right track.
Or, he could be counted among the many over the years who've found the Silver and Black to be the last stop for their once promising careers.
Either way, it couldn't really hurt the Raiders especially considering the trouble they've had against the run these last 5 years and who knows, Joseph could be the next big Raider reclamation project.
At least he hopes so...
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