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Las Vegas Raiders Tashawn Bower Talks Defense

A loaded Las Vegas Raiders defensive line includes a savvy veteran in Tashawn Bower

HENDERSON, Nev.-The Las Vegas Raiders defensive line is loaded with the likes of Chandler Jones, and Maxx Crosby at the defensive line position, but, don't overlook Tashawn Bower as well.

The savvy veteran Bower is making plays and impacting the Raiders in this training camp.  He spoke recently about the depth of the Silver and Black and much more.

You can watch the entire interview below, and read the transcript:

Defensive End Tashawn Bower

Q: How did it feel to get a sack against your former Minnesota Vikings teammates on Sunday?

Tashawn Bower: "It felt good. I had ten other guys on that play doing their job – cutting me out, getting to the quarterback. It felt good to play against them, see a lot of familiar faces, and just have fun out there.”

Q: How has it helped your adjustment with the Raiders having played for the Patriots in the past?

Bower: "Seeing familiar faces just helps you kind of relax more and you just feel better in that environment. A little bit more comfortable, you don't feel as much pressure. You get to be a little bit more of yourself and just really vibe with your teammates. You get to have an easier time learning and adjusting to all the new schemes and such.”

Q: What was it like having everyone on the defense out there at practice today?

Bower: "It was good. Having everyone as many bodies as you can out there is always going to be a great thing. I think those guys, they're just trying to get back at whatever pace they may need. We're obviously supporting and doing whatever we can to help them. I think it's good having everyone out there, having more communication, and everyone talking and getting on the same page."

Q: How do you feel the defense as a whole is coming together right now?

Bower: I think we're coming together well. I think every day we have more stuff to work on. But I think every day we also get one percent better. We evaluate the things that we're doing well, and we take it from there. But as a whole, we haven't played the regular season game yet, so it's hard to tell. I think every day we just get a little bit better and hopefully, first week we're ready to go."

Q: What have you learned as a pass rusher that's molded your game?

Bower: "I think everything starts with that same process – trusting your eyes, feet and hands; letting those things bring you to where you need to go. Keep your eyes on your key and it take you wherever you need to go. Just having that discipline, that patience, on every single play. They're going to throw their formations and things at you. As long as you're locked in on your key no matter what, you should be good."

Q: How good is the defensive end room when you look at Chandler Jones, Maxx Crosby, you, and others?

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Bower: "I think it's a great room. I think you have great guys to look up to, great guys with a lot of experience. There are so many guys that are just staying under their wing, like myself, Maxx and Chandler are phenomenal leaders, great guys who bring great energy; Cle [Clelin Ferrell] as well. I think our room just really brings a good energy to the whole defense, to the team. As long as we're running and having positive energy, I think that just brings a whole positive energy to the team."

Q: What's something you've experienced with the chemistry of this defense in this defensive line that you may not have had with another team?

Bower: "I think just off the field, in between meetings when we're together, everyone isn't just going right to their phones. We're talking a lot about whatever we may need to do you, trying to get tips from Maxx [Crosby] and Chan [Chandler Jones]. Or questions with coaches that we maybe didn't understand. Just trying to hammer down on every little thing before we go into practice so that we can execute at a high level."

Q: How was your experience at the Von Miller Pass Rush Camp this summer?

Bower: "I took notes on what every guy had to say. A lot of it was just keeping your rush looking the same. You’re dictating the motion, making sure that you know you stay on track, or you stay on your steps. Like I said about the run, having your eyes in the right place and pad level. Just taking as much as you can with the ball. And just little things, little hand movements, things that can really change your rush completely."

Q: Are you looking forward to joint practices with the New England Patriots?

Bower: "It's exciting, but we're still worried about Miami. But next week, it's going to be the same. Whether we're playing against us or other team, we have to stay at a high tempo, a high speed. We're just going to play ball; we can't play so we can't worry about New England when we have to play Miami first."

Q: Senior Defensive Assistant Rob Ryan brings different equipment to practice like soccer balls and tennis balls, how has that helped in practice?

Bower: "It's a lot of eye discipline. Going from our man to trying to bat a ball down; it's all about having your eyes in the right spot so you can play fast."

Q: What did you think of the guardian caps?

Bower: "There is a difference, you know, it's a lot easier to buckle and unbuckle your chin strap. But we're still trying to keep our head out of it, play safe. I think there's a little bit of difference, but it's not too much where it's changing the way you play."

Q: The Patriots are your former team, any thoughts on the joint practice with them and then the game against them?

Bower: "Even though I was there, I still need to treat it like any other team. It's going to be good going against the guys I played with before just because we can get better. Some of them know how I rush; I know how they set. But we got Miami and when it comes to New England, I'm sure we'll get after it and everything, but we have to play this week first."

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