Long time, no see to the Raiders' "new" cornerback Brandon Facyson.
Facyson returns after a season hiatus from the team in 2022, following former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to the Indianapolis Colts. After spending his first three NFL seasons with the Los Angeles Chargers, he came into his own with the Raiders, signed off the Chargers practice squad Week 5 of the 2021 season.
"I've been smiling since I got here," Facyson told the media Thursday. "I got in late last night and just thinking about it and how it all kind of comes back around. It's nothing but God, I thank him every single day. I've been thanking him through this process and just trying to keep a one-track mind, just trying to keep myself working out by just staying focused and letting it play out how it plays out."
The cornerback led the Raiders in pass deflections with 13, and started some meaningful football games down the stretch that led to a playoff berth. He continued to make his presence felt in Indianapolis, with six pass deflections and 26 solo tackles in 2022.
"I feel a lot more comfortable, It takes time for you get acclimated to some things in every level of everything," Facyson said of improving his game since his first stint as a Raider. "[M]y first couple of years, I was doing more like special teams. I had moments where I'd get in on defense. In the past couple of years, I've been playing a lot more on defense, just feeling comfortable, just trying to train my mind and my body is to be ready for anything that comes my way."
"I just want to get in here and just gel with these guys and create a team camaraderie," he added. "This will be my first time I'll be able to get into actual OTAs, an actual camp with these guys. So, I think that will be important, but I think we're all ready for the challenge."
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A lot has changed since 2021 for the Raiders, as Facyson will now have a new head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach. While there's several reasons why Facyson would want to return, his teammates were kept at the forefront of his mind.
"Guys like [Roderic] Teamer, Maxx [Crosby], Amik [Robertson] Nate [Hobbs], all those guys. We kept in contact throughout the season and just hyping those guys up every chance I got when they made a big play, or I saw something," Facyson said. "We always kept a strong bond. I talked to those guys over the past couple of days and I'm excited to be back. I know they're excited to have me back.
"We gelled pretty well a couple of seasons ago. Even when I came in a little late, they welcomed me in with open arms. I felt like the mesh point was really good. I'm excited to get back to work with those guys and just see what we can do from here."