The secondary of the Las Vegas Raiders has been getting a lot of attention recently with the addition of former All-Pro cornerback Marcus Peters. But the franchise also made a big addition earlier this offseason, signing former Philadelphia Eagles starter Marcus Epps to pair with second-year safety Tre’Von Moehrig in the defensive backfield.
Epps was a big part of the Eagles having one of the best defenses in the NFL last season, starting all 17 games and ranking third on the team with 94 tackles along with six passes defensed, four tackles for loss and a forced fumble. The Raiders are undoubtedly hopeful his pairing with Moehrig gives the defense some solidarity on the back line.
And the two are already getting along great as Moehrig noted that the duo is already getting a great feel for each other both on and off the field.
“Man, he’s awesome,” Moehrig said. “That’s my dawg, ever since we came in the first day we’ve been talking, just picking his brain about what he knows, and he’s been picking my brain just trying to help each other out. But outside of football, he’s just a good person and just fun to be around.”
The defense is a question mark for the Raiders, especially after a rough 2022 in which they ranked 26th in points allowed and 28th in yards allowed while finishing with a league-low six interceptions. The lack of takeaways in particular is something the Raiders are looking to turn around, and that will take an entire team effort.
Epps isn’t someone known for taking the ball away as he has just three interceptions in his career. But his solidarity and reliability in the middle of the field can have an impact on the rest of the team, particularly allowing Moehrig to be more of a center-field type safety who can make plays.
In his last two collegiate seasons, Moehrig totaled six interceptions and 20 passes defensed so he is someone who is always around the ball. The fact that he and Epps are already building that chemistry together is a good sign for the potential of them to shine this season.
With Maxx Crosby leading the way at the line of scrimmage and Peters being more than capable of taking the ball away from the opposition, there are some promising pieces in place for this Raiders defense to surprise. Moehrig and Epps turning into an above-average safety combination would only further increase that defensive potential.