Here’s what offensive tackle Alex Barron had to say in a conference call with Bay Area media Tuesday, shortly after he signed with the Raiders:
Q: What other teams did you talk to and what made you decide to want to come to the Raiders?
Barron: It wasn’t a whole lot of teams. There were a few teams that I had to work out, that I been talking to. Not to mention, it was just a few teams who had seen me perform and do some things out there that looked pretty good or in shape or whatever. But at the end of the day, the Raiders, I felt like they had the most interest and the most belief and I went along with it. I felt like the Raiders as a whole, I know one or two people on the staff from the past. We had a pretty good relationship and I feel as though I can come in and help the team however it may be. But I feel like I can help them.
Q: You tried out for a few other teams and you spent camp with the Seahawks…what opportunities do you see with the Raiders that you may not have seen with those other teams?
Barron: I just had a sense of what direction that I feel like and what I’ve been told the Raiders are going in football-wise, team-wise, staff-wise, player-wise. I just feel as though I can come in and continue whatever they’ve already started and proceed on to the goals that they’re trying to make as a team.
Q: How is your knee? How is your health? Are you completely back to where you were before?
Barron: Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good. I’m healthy. I’m able to do some things I maybe had a little trouble with before when I was injured. I’m good to go.
Q: Was the knee still a factor last summer when you were in camp with Seattle?
Barron: No, it wasn’t really a factor. Right now it’s back to 100 percent totally and I’m looking forward to working with the Raiders.
Q: Between 2006 and 2009 you were pretty much a full-time starter. What do you think happened between then and now aside from the injury?
Barron: I’m not here to say. I’m just looking forward to this new opportunity out in California to get that going, start working the team and the coaches and we can get a good thing going.
Q: What have you been focusing on the most in your game since the last time you set foot in training camp with an NFL team?
Barron: I’ve just been working on all-around things, not necessarily working on particular things. When I get in there, get more in detail with Coach Sparano and some of the other coaches, he can detect some things that he may see. I’ve heard about him. He’s a pretty good coach and I heard he’s a pretty good teacher, also. And his knowledge of the game is A-1 and I’m just getting eager to get in there and learn everything he can show me or tell me, make my game better and help the team.
Q: How much has not playing these last few years made you miss football?
Barron: A lot. More than I would ever know. Anybody who has been in this situation, they know. The love for the game is unmatched. It’s almost equal to none. When you’re away from it, it takes out of you; it takes away from you. You realize that if you didn’t know before, that actually makes you notice a little more because when it’s gone, it’s gone. You want to do your best to stay on track, be on top of your game, so you can continue.