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Raiders coach Jon Gruden compares Lamarcus Joyner to Ronde Barber

Jon Gruden, Lamarcus Joyner, Ronde Barber, Raiders

The Oakland Raiders have had a very busy offseason, and one of their biggest acquisitions has been defensive back Lamarcus Joyner.

While Joyner played safety for the Los Angeles Rams each of the last two years, he also played cornerback earlier in his career and has been one of the more versatile defensive backs in the league.

Oakland head coach Jon Gruden says that Joyner reminds him of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber, whom Gruden coached and won a Super Bowl with during the mid 2000s:

“I have so much respect for him,” Gruden said, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “I’m so excited to coach him I can’t even tell you. . . . When I was in Tampa, I coached a guy named Ronde Barber. He may have been, perhaps, my favorite player I ever coached. He wasn’t the biggest guy and he wasn’t the fastest guy, but when he put the helmet on, something happened to him. Joyner is the closest thing I’ve ever seen to Ronde as a slot corner. I think he’s the best. I think he has a chance to be dynamic in there.”

Joyner, who played his collegiate football at Florida State University, was originally selected by the Rams in the second round (41st pick overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The 28-year-old is coming off of a 2018 campaign in which he played 15 games and registered 78 tackles, a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery and should provide a nice lift for a Raiders defense that desperately needs it.