New Las Vegas Raiders offensive lineman Jimmy Morrissey came into the University of Pittsburgh as a walk-on. After making the roster, he earned a scholarship and earned team captaincy during his career, but it was his hard work and gritty love of the game that stood out to the Raiders.
Following the NFL draft, Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi spoke highly about Morrissey, but this time we're going to hear it straight from the man himself.
Morrissey joined the "Pritch & Clay" morning show with co-host Hondo Carpenter, Editor and Publisher of Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven, on Raider Nation Radio (LINK TO LISTEN LIVE), and he spoke about his journey getting to the NFL.
"I think with the combination of working as hard as I possibly could and my love for the game -- I knew it would carry me. Luckily it's paid off and now I'm a draft pick and now I'm going to put all those values and the lessons I've learned while being a walk-on and then playing for Pitt, and I'm gonna have to use that to being a Raider now," Morrissey said about the values he learned as a walk-on and potentially using those values in the NFL.
Morrissey is one of those humble guys, a player who loves the game of football. He's a student of the game, he's brilliant, and now that Morrissey is in the NFL, he's going to love the game even more. The NFL might be all about business, but this is a guy that money won't change.
On the day he was selected, he had his family with him, supporting him. For the first two days, he and his family heard name after name, waiting patiently for his name being called.
Heading into the seventh-round, Morrissey recalled the conversations he had with Raiders offensive line coach Tom Cable. The legendary offensive line guru told Morrissey that, "He will do everything that he can to make sure the Raiders get him with one of their late picks."
Morrissey was on the phone with a friend looking at teams in free agency when a call from a Philadelphia area code showed up in his caller ID.
Morrissey's first reaction was that he couldn't believe the Eagles were going to select him that early.
"Pretty surreal at the hectic and stressful day. That phone call just made everything, all these hard years of work and sacrifices and made everything worth it, and I could not be happier to be a Raider," said Morrissey, as instead of the Eagles calling, it was no other than the Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock, another Philly native.
Mayock joked with him for a few minutes about his high school rivalry after giving him the news of the Raiders using their last pick of the night on him.
"I'm extremely excited to be draft pick for the Las Vegas Raiders and I am ready to win a Super Bowl, with the team, and I love Coach Gruden and you know Mr. Mayock and what they've done with the organization so far. And that seems like my kind of guys, you know, love the game of football, work hard and do things the right way, so I can't wait to, you know, actually be able to put on that Raiders helmet and go out and represent the organization," Morissey added about being extremely excited about being selected by the Raiders and already ready to strap on that Silver and Black helmet.
Before the NFL Draft, Raider Maven heard how excited the Raiders were about Morrissey. The Raiders were looking for a guy with the ability to play any spot on the interior line. That is what Cable liked about getting Morrissey. They brought in a guy with the football character of Gene Upshaw and Ted Hendricks, players who will come in and out-work everyone.
Morrissey will close it out and tell Raider Nation what he is all about: "I'm Jimmy Morrissey, the guy who loves this game of football. I don't know what I would be doing if I didn't play football. This is what I was called to do, they're going to get a guy that's going to outwork you, know everybody in the room and try to make that team a better place. You know I'm going to help lead the offensive line. When I get the chance to, I'm gonna pay my dues as a rookie and just put my head down and work."
Morrissey will be a player to watch out for, and here at Raider Maven are expecting him to make the roster.
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