Ex-Raider Clelin Ferrell calls Vegas tenure ‘blessing’ ahead of joint practices

Aug 7, 2023, 4:30 PM | Updated: 4:42 pm

Defensive end Clelin Ferrell #99 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates during the NFL game against th...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 26: Defensive end Clelin Ferrell #99 of the Las Vegas Raiders celebrates during the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at Allegiant Stadium on September 26, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Raiders defeated the Dolphins 31-28 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

While only being with San Francisco for a few months, some things have changed for Clelin Ferrell since leaving Las Vegas.

The former Raiders pass rusher has been a steady presence in San Francisco’s training camp, having his best day of work Monday. But while his tenure with his former team didn’t go to plan, he still holds close relationships with many people in the organization.

“I think my time with the Raiders was a blessing,” Clelin Ferrell said. “You know, regardless, I can live and be happy with what happened because I know that at the end of the day,  I developed as a player. I gave my all to the organization and then left it better. The Raiders weren’t the same organization that it was when I came in…”

Ferrell, 26, spent four seasons with the Silver & Black, playing more than 1,800 snaps. Unfortunately, he was never able to get his footing on the field, only recording 10.5 sacks with the Raiders.

That’s why this season has been so crucial for him, able to start from scratch in a new environment.

“I think just the aspect of being in a new environment has been really, really big for me,” Ferrell explained.  “I think having coach Kris [Kocurek] has been really really big for me, just from the aspect of me taking a lot of reading out of the game and more so now, I’m just reacting [to plays].”

The former Clemson standout has taken the advice of former Raiders Arden Key and Maurice Hurst, getting their thoughts on the 49ers’ approach. Each one of them benefited greatly from defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. And so far, Ferrell has as well.

“He’s a guy where, whatever ceiling you might have set for yourself, coach Kris is someone who takes the ceiling off and tells you never let somebody put a ceiling on you. I think the ability for him to give his players confidence [is huge]…” Ferrell said.

That rings true for the DL unit’s potential as a group, with Ferrell eager to see what it looks like when they put it together. Already dominant without Nick Bosa on the field, it could be a scary scene when the group is at full strength.

“Definitely, definitely…Obviously, in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking like, ‘man, we’re not even close to our potential’,” Ferrell stated. “At the end of the day, we have a really, really good group. And we’re just trying to mold ourselves. I know Nick is working hard wherever he’s at right now. I just know that once this whole [unit] really comes together, we really will have a chance to do something special…”

For now, the 49ers are focused on the task ahead, with joint practices beginning Thursday with the Raiders.

Ferrell knows the ins-&-outs of playing in a robust city like Las Vegas, having to move around the constant distraction of gambling. And while San Francisco presents its own challenges, the player is fully locked in on returning to Allegiant Stadium in early 2024 for a Super Bowl run with the Red & Gold.

“We’re more worried about being in Vegas in February,” Clelin Ferrell said. “This time right here, this is a work trip.”

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