Raiders Tight End Darren Waller Reveals His 'Three Boxes' for Having Successful NFL Career (Exclusive)
Darren Waller is one of the top tight ends in the NFL and is looking to do more damage in 2022 as his team, the Las Vegas Raiders hired former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels as their head coach. But when it comes to individual goals, Waller is focused on doing three things every time he's out on the field. In an exclusive interview with PopCulture.com, Waller revealed the "three boxes" he uses to be successful.
"Yeah, at this point in my career, I've shifted away from the results and the numbers of things," Waller exclusively told PopCulture. "I keep it more so as I have three boxes. I got preparation, I got effort, and I got attitude. If those three are in check and they have the right perspective with those three, I feel like the results will be in my favor individually at some point in time. I feel like I'll be giving the best version of myself to the team, so I don't really try to buy into the numbers. It's something that a lot of people do and we're taught to do as players. But I feel like for me, for my sanity, and just for the sake of the team and me being a great teammate, I feel like just focusing on those three handles a lot of other things."
With Waller following his method, it has led to him making a big impact for the Raiders over the last three seasons. From 2019 to 2021, Waller has caught 252 passes for 3,006 yards and 14 touchdowns. And for the 2022 season, Pro Football Focus ranked Waller the No. 3 tight end in the NFL behind George Kittle of the San Francisco 49ers and Travis Kelce of the Kansa City Chiefs.
Last year, Waller helped the Raiders reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2016 season. They lost to the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round of the playoffs, but Waller believes they can only get better this upcoming season. "The things that we need to improve on, two things that stand out the most for me is red-zone efficiency, especially on offense, and just penalties," Waller explained.
"I speak for the offense because that's the side of the ball that I'm on. If we score more touchdowns in the red zone and not be in the bottom five in the red zone like we have in the last two years and we cut out the penalties, we've been highly penalized, that's what takes somebody to a next level because those things when you're shooting yourself in the foot, it's tough to take that next step."