Football

Who is Kyle Wilber? Fans wondered after he was named one of Raiders’ captains

Oakland Raiders linebacker Kyle Wilber goes through practice this week at the team’s practice facility in Alameda, CA.
Oakland Raiders linebacker Kyle Wilber goes through practice this week at the team’s practice facility in Alameda, CA. Oakland Raiders

Kyle Wilber may not be a household name, but don’t tell that to his Oakland Raiders teammates.

Wilber was voted as one of the team captains along with quarterback Derek Carr, safety Reggie Nelson, defensive end Bruce Irvin, center Rodney Hudson and linebacker Derrick Johnson.

“He’s our special teams captain,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “He gives us some real leadership and playmaking in that unit. Some people tend to forget that they can help you win games.”

When the Raiders social media team posted an image of the six players last week, some fans asked who Wilber was and why would the team make him a captain.

Look no further. Wilber is no stranger to the NFL. He’s entering his seventh season in the league — playing his first six with the Cowboys after getting selected in the fourth round (113th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Wake Forest.

Wilber, listed at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds, played in 16 games last season, playing mostly on special teams. He also played linebacker and defensive end.

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Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) carries the ball on a kickoff return under pressure from Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Kyle Wilber (51) during the second half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015. Patrick Semansky AP

In 89 games, Wilber had 16 starts, 90 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, five fumble recovers and two passes defended.

Gruden said Wilber, 29, could be a force on special teams like other players that donned the silver and black in the past.

“They had (Andre) Holmes, (Brynden) Trawick and (Daren) Bates,” Gruden said. “We lost those players and I think special teams suffered last year a little bit. We wanted to bring in some core special teams guys. Dwayne Harris who’s been in the Pro Bowl and Kyle Wilber who played for (Raiders special teams coordinator Rich) Bisaccia in Dallas. He gives us some real leadership and playmaking in that unit.”

Anthony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, @agalaviz_TheBee
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