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NAPA, Calif. -- As the play developed, Karl Joseph saw Marshawn Lynch bearing down on him. Khalil Mack Jerseys So the strong safety did what any defender would do with a violent-running tailback coming his way on a day when full-blown tackling was not allowed. Joseph reached in and stripped the ball from Lynch and his normally vice-like grip. "Hey, why you do me like that, man?" Lynch said to Joseph.

"I was like, 'S---, man, I was trying to make a play,'" Joseph recounted Tuesday, two days after the encounter that had the crowd hooting and hollering. Latavius Murray Jerseys "I just happened to be in the right position. The rest of the team came up when I made the tackle and I had the perfect opportunity to strip it." And therein lies Joseph's main goal for his second NFL season -- making some plays and helping the Oakland Raiders win games. Amari Cooper Jerseys The Lynch strip could serve as a linchpin, so to speak. Especially as the former first-round pick gets more vocal in the secondary and stays healthy after missing four games last season with turf toe.

"That's where it starts," Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said of Joseph speaking up. "The safety needs to be able to communicate to his corner on his side of the field and with the other safety. Bruce Irvin Jerseys Some of those things, I think, are growing pains, maybe, with a younger guy. I think him having his health in being able to get full, complemental reps is definitely helping him. He's gaining confidence. You can just see it. "He's growing where he can talk more and he is talking more. You need that out of your back end just for everybody to be on the same page."

A year ago, Joseph was still recuperating from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered the previous fall at West Virginia when the Raiders made him the No. 14 overall pick of the 2016 draft. It was not until this offseason, after he had an interception, a fumble recovery, six passes defensed, a stuff and 60 tackles as a rookie, when he said he finally felt fully recovered. Charles Woodson Jerseys Now, he is usually among the last players to leave the weight room outside the team's field house, getting in a post-practice lift. And despite looking more muscular -- he said he focused on his lower body strength and explosion coming off his knee injury -- Joseph said the mental part of the game has been the biggest difference for him thus far in camp. "I feel like [the game has] slowed down so much more," he said. "You hear people tell you that when you come in as a rookie, 'Next year, your second year, it's going to slow down.' And you're like, 'OK.' But when it actually happens, you start noticing, 'Yeah, you're right.' The game starts slowing down and you understand everything more."