ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Getting released by Washington early last season was the wake-up call and “self-check” David Amerson needed.
Well, that and the Oakland Raiders claiming the cornerback off waivers and Amerson thriving in his new team’s scheme.
“The situation I was in at Washington was getting cloudy for me,” Amerson said this week in the wake of his signing a four-year, $38 million contract extension worth $38 million with the Raiders, with $17.5 million guaranteed.
“I think a new start, definitely being with an organization that was on the rise, young and hungry, it was definitely the best situation that I could have been in. It was a perfect spot for me. I’m just glad to be here.”
The four interceptions were the second-most on the team to the retired Charles Woodson’s five picks, and Amerson was also credited by the Raiders with a franchise-record 26 passes defensed and a career-high 62 tackles.
But it did not start smoothly.
“I remember when I got here the third game and I barely knew the plays,” he said. “We’re breaking the huddle (and) I’m asking the guys, ‘What coverage is this? What do I got on this play?’
“But I was still able to go out there and compete and play fast football. I think my point is that it’s a little bit of all those things that played into the success of last year and I just want to improve off of it.”
With the Raiders reporting to Napa, California, for training camp next Thursday, Amerson will have plenty of reps to work opposite new cornerback Sean Smith, signed away from the division rival Chiefs.
“He’s one of the most athletic people I’ve ever met,” Smith said of Amerson this offseason. “D.A. can make all the cuts, all the breaks. I’m definitely looking forward to working with him.”
A second-round draft pick of Washington out of NC State in 2013, Amerson is the epitome of “a dude realizing it was all slipping away and waking up in the nick of time,” according to a tweet by The Undefeated’s Jason Reid, who covered Amerson in Washington.
You’d have a hard time getting Amerson to disagree.
“It wasn’t really rocket science for me, to be honest with you,” Amerson said. “Once I got here, I matured. I came in the league and I was 21 years old. Not saying I’m much older now, but three years (later), I’m 24 now, I’ve learned a lot in three years.
“When I was in Washington, instead of going home and playing video games all night and stuff like that, it was a much different approach (in Oakland). I was going home and I was in my playbook or watching the film or looking at my notes on whatever team we were playing that week -- just the little stuff. It’s really just the little stuff. That’s what football is; it’s a game of inches. It just gave me that extra beat that I needed on Sunday to make plays out there.”