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Former NFL players turned Raiders defensive coaches connecting with their position groups on a different level

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Like Caldwell, Alexander believes his unique lens as a former player can take his position group to a higher level, especially with a young corps.

“[T]here’s a certain level of insight that you can kind of relate to them in regards to where they are in their journey and just understanding maybe some of the mistakes and be able to understand how you coach them, but I don’t lean on that,” said Alexander. “It’s my job to provide the clarity and development and things like that for their success. So, whether it be me, and obviously with AP, he’s done an awesome job in regards to doing the same thing as he’s now our leader going forward and just providing that relatability, that example, that push.”

This isn’t Manning’s first stint with the Raiders. He spent a short time on the team’s practice squad in 2009. It was the last NFL team he signed with before going into coaching three years later. The Fresno, California, native was also a fan of the Silver and Black growing up.

“I come here and Patrick Graham and GA [Gerald Alexander], Mike Caldwell – I’m surrounded by guys that have coached in this league and are great dudes,” Manning said. “So, that right there, just being around it, I’m like ‘Oh, man, this is awesome right here.’ I’m learning something every day.

“To be here in this legendary organization while AP is doing his thing, it’s awesome. It’s a blessing for sure.”

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