When former Oakland Raiders and Florida Gators defender Neiron Ball passed away, the football community was left in shock. At only 27 years old, Ball appeared to have a long life ahead of him, but complications from brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) took that away from him. All that was left was honor his memory, which is something that was done by thousands of football fans on Tuesday.
Wednesday afternoon, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr offered his thoughts on Ball during his media availability. The former 2014 second-round pick was entering his second season with the team when Ball joined the Raiders, so the pair faced off with each other during practice. And while the linebacker's athleticism certainly left an impression on Carr, the biggest takeaway for him was the way in which Ball approached every single day.
"I never saw him in a bad mood."September 11, 2019
"Neiron was, he always smiled," Carr said. "Every single day I saw him, I never saw him in a bad mood. And it's crazy to think he was that young. He's in a better place now, that's for sure, but anyone who knows him – and I get chills talking about him – just knows the life that he brought."
As Carr continued to explain, one of the things that made Ball special was that he was always smiling and laughing. Making an NFL roster is no small task, and it has been a major source of pain and frustration for thousands of players in history. However, Ball never had a bad day. He was always smiling.
Additionally, Carr said that the linebacker was someone that was interested in his teammates. Ball would check in on them every single day when they walked in the building. The 27-year-old was described by many as someone that cared about those around him, and Carr's comments on Wednesday proved this to be true.
As someone that has seen hundreds of players come and go in his career, the sixth-year quarterback of the Raiders would be justified if he didn't remember every single person. However, that certainly was not the case on Wednesday. Carr remembered Ball and had specific reference points for explaining what made the linebacker such a special person and player. Their time together with the Silver and Black was brief, but the quarterback will not be forgetting his former teammate any time soon.