Wilson ready to walk the line for Raiders

October, 25, 2013
10/25/13
8:00
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The line between being stung by being cut and feeling wanted by someone else is a fine one indeed.

It's also one about to be walked by new Raiders linebacker Martez Wilson, who was claimed off waivers from the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday and practiced Thursday with Oakland.

"A new beginning, that's the best way to do it," Wilson said. "You don't forget your past but you let it fuel you, to where a new beginning is about to start. Just take over and dominate."

[+] EnlargeRyan Tannehill
Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY SportsMartez Wilson had four tackles, including this sack of Ryan Tannehill, in four games with the Saints this season.
That path, though, won't be traversed this week. Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Wilson will not have had enough practice time to suit up against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.

But there is a reason the Raiders essentially chose Wilson, a third-round draft pick out of Illinois in 2011, over defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi, who was a member of Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie's first draft class as a sixth-rounder out of Georgia State in 2012.

"There are some athletic things that (Wilson) does pretty well," said Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver. "He's shown the ability to rush the passer. It's a new team for him, so all we know is what he does from this point forward.

"In the future we'd like to see what he's going to do in practice. Then we'll teach him the scheme and see what he can do."

In New Orleans, Wilson played on the outside in the Saints' 3-4 scheme. With the Raiders, who play a 4-3, he will play as a strongside linebacker.

"I can play every linebacker position there is: on the line of scrimmage, off the line of scrimmage, I can blitz, I can rush," Wilson said. "So I feel like the more I'm capable of showing ... the coaching staff that I can play and I'm very versatile with my ability, the sky's the limit."

In two-plus seasons with the Saints, Wilson had five sacks and 30 tackles, two passes defensed, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Raiders cornerback Tracy Porter played with Wilson in New Orleans in 2011.

"I definitely seen flashes of his athletic ability and the potential that he had, to provide sacks for us and cause fumbles and rushes on the quarterback," Porter said. "So I know the potential that he has and I'm excited that he's here."

As is, the 6-foot-4, 252-pound Wilson.

"It's been great so far," he said. "The coaches seem very excited. The players have been very warm welcoming.

"Man, I'm just excited and ready to ball out."

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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