Linebacker Philip Wheeler agreed to a contract with the Raiders last Friday, a day after visiting them in free agency. He said all the love the fan base showed him on Twitter helped him make his decision.
“It was cool, that kind of helped me and my decision, because it showed me how big of a football city (Oakland) is,” Wheeler told the media Monday, per CSN Bay Area. “I mean, Indianapolis was a pretty good football city, but they didn’t get involved in the media or show us how much they care about the game. I’ve always wanted to play in a football city for a legendary team.”
Wheeler, who has just over 11,000 followers on Twitter, said he added about 2,000 followers since becoming a Raider. Even when he was making his visit to Oakland he was soliciting fan influence. He even tweeted about the love he was feeling last week:
Dang Raider Nation ain’t no joke. They deep. Lol
— Philip Wheeler (@Philgood50) March 29, 2012
Raider Nation showed love. Preciate that. Legendary place.
— Philip Wheeler (@Philgood50) March 30, 2012
There’s plenty of criteria players use when choosing a new home in free agency, and there’s no doubt they like to feel wanted. Wheeler should just keep in mind that the magnitude of warmth he felt from the fans will be the same but in a negative manner when he makes mistakes on the field. With more fans comes more pressure to perform.
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