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RB Jennings Q&A on heels of signing with Raiders

Running back Rashad Jennings spoke with the Bay Area media on the same day that he signed a contract with the Raiders. Here is the transcript from the conference call:

Q: What attracted you to the Raiders and what other teams were you talking to before making this decision?

Jennings: We had a few preliminary conversations with Green Bay and Denver and conversations with the Raiders. They called me out for the visit, for the workout, and going over to the West Coast, we got friends and family over there. I looked over all the organization and where they’re headed, where they want to go, and everything they have lined up and I think that it will be a good fit for me to be a part of the organization and help build this team.

Q: Did having Greg Olson with the Raiders play any role in your choosing come to this team?

Jennings: I think any player would say it’s always a thumbs up to be around a coach that’s been around you for a period of time. They know you. They know your work ethic. They know what you’re going to bring to the table. He was the quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville and now the offensive coordinator with the Raiders. That plays a role in being comfortable with knowing somebody, but football, you’re going to be issued a playbook. You’re going to be issued an opportunity to be on the field and showcase your talent and when it comes to familiarity, regardless if you know a coach on the staff or know anybody, it’s an opportunity to go out and prove yourself. So that’s what I’m excited to do. I’m excited to come help this team win some football games.

Q: Why do you think you weren’t as successful last year?

Jennings: I always take ownership. If things go well, it’s the offensive linemen. If things go bad, it’s because I didn’t do a good job. That’s my mentality. That’s how I’ve always been since peewee football. It’s not going to change now. As an offense, we were not clicking on sync as we wished we could have, should have. But that’s all in the past. We can’t go backwards at all. I’m excited to be a Raider. I’m excited with what we’re going to do.

Q: When you were put on injured reserve in 2011 with a knee injury, did you reinjure that knee the next season?

Jennings: Did I reinjure the knee in the next season? Yeah, I had a little setback, but it was nothing significant to miss a heavy dose of game time or anything. I’m 100 percent healthy. I came out of the season completely healthy and I’ve been healthy the whole off-season. All injures are in the past. That’s a done deal. That’s washed away. And again, as I signed the contract and I talked to Coach, I’m really looking forward more than looking what happened, what should have happened, what could have happened. We’re looking at what we can control.

Q: How would you describe yourself as a running back? Lot of people want to put labels on backs whether they’re a power guy, a shifty guy, a zone-running scheme guy…how would you describe yourself if you had to?

Jennings: I like to describe myself as a complete back. I’m a back that can protect the quarterback, pick up an offense, a running back that can catch out of the backfield, a running back that can get you first downs, a running back that can get you the long plays, an every down back. As long as I’ve been playing the game, I’ve been practicing to become a complete back and that’s what I hold myself to.

Q: What were your impressions of Darren McFadden from afar?

Jennings: He’s explosive. I played him two years the last four years, getting a chance on the opposite sideline to watch him. He’s explosive, a patient runner, he knows the game and I’m excited to work with him.

Q: Did Maurice Jones-Drew give you any tips for living out here in the Bay Area?

Jennings: Me and Maurice, me and him are real good friends. During the off-season my first few years in the off-season, we lived with each other down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We trained with Pete Bommarito and we got a chance to get to know each other real well. I lived with him prior to the draft. So that’s a long dear friend of mine. He’s talking trash. If you know anything about Maurice, he’s always got something smart to say. But he wished me well, wished me luck, and let me know I have a connect in Oakland if I ever need an extra family of support. Everything is on the up and up. We’re excited and Maurice wishes me well. He called me and was the first to tell me as soon as free agency started, he said, ‘Rashad, I’ve been playing the game for awhile. I know what kind of talent you have and you’re going to get your chance again somewhere and I know what you’re going to do. So just be patient.’ Me and Maurice got a real good connection.

Q: What was your impression of the Raiders just as an organization from afar too? If somebody talked about the Oakland Raiders, what popped into your head?

Jennings: Tradition pops in my head. Excellent, great fan base pops in my head. Eager and hungry team pops in my head. I think about blue collar, dirt, fighting, dirty yards. I think about backyard football when I think about the Raiders.

Q: You said you think of the Raiders as being a gritty type team. That seems to fit the mold of a lot of the players they’re signing lately, under the radar, hard working, nose to the grindstone type of guys. Is that how you would describe yourself?

Jennings: Yeah, I’m always hard working. I don’t pay attention where I’ve ever been on anybody’s radar, from high school to college to pros because it’s irrelevant of the work you have to put in. I’m a firm believer in when opportunity presents itself, it’s too late to prepare for it. I’m the type of person that takes this game very serious. I stay in shape year round and I’m a blue collar, hardnosed, downhill kind of guy. I’m looking forward to being in that environment where it’s already expected.

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Steve Corkran

  • Whoknows

    Unless of course Olsen did such a fantastic job as the Jags QB coach last year that he suddenly shot up the coaching ranks.

  • RaiderRockstar

    best case / dream scenario for the Raiders would be dropping 3-5 slots, picking up a 2nd rounder and STILL getting Ziggy Ansah

  • DutchRaider77

    2851.Whoknows Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 11:32 am
    Unless of course Olsen did such a fantastic job as the Jags QB coach last year that he suddenly shot up the coaching ranks.

    ___________________

    Uh, you just described the reason why Knapp was hired from the Texans…

  • inonewordraider

    dr_robert Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 11:25 am
    I’m also a little concerned that Lotulelei didn’t play football in 2009 because he reportedly lost his passion for the game.

    ______
    found conflicting reports as to why he was out 2009 and one says that it was due to lack of passion

    hadn’t heard this b4 and if true huge red flag on the guy i was convinved was the clear cut best player in the draft

  • Whoknows

    I hope I’m not seeing a pattern.

  • The_Judge37

    I don’t blame you, I have three links one for 2011, 2 for 2012. Can’t get the 2011 to post. It shows all of the OC’s were hired about the same time as the 2012 oc’s were hired. I wanted to show the pattern. When I can repost 2011, I’ll slap you around a little.
    ——

    LOL, ok blame it on the blog. That was a worst excuse than Reggie not having any time. You’re good dude, I need to have you on speed dial when i come home late and my girl asks me where i’ve een all night. I don’t know how much longer the cops “Pulling me over but cutting me a break” is going to hold up.

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 11:34 am
    2851.Whoknows Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 11:32 am
    Unless of course Olsen did such a fantastic job as the Jags QB coach last year that he suddenly shot up the coaching ranks.

    ___________________

    Uh, you just described the reason why Knapp was hired from the Texans…

    ========================================

    Also why Hue Jackson was hired from the Ravens. Also why pretty much any position coach is hired as a coordinator for any other team.

  • J Hill

    Gil Brandt ‏@Gil_Brandt 4h

    If no trade made to move up for QB, I feel good about 1st 6 in my Hot 100 going in top 6: Joeckel, Ansah, Floyd, Jordan, Fisher, Milliner.

    ——————————————————————————

    I’m fine with anyone of these players at 3.

  • raidertay

    Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

    I know Lotulelei’s inclusion on this list will raise eyebrows, based on dominant flashes throughout his tenure at Utah. The 6-foot-3, 311-pound defensive lineman shows the capacity to own the point of attack when focused and engaged. He finished 2012 with five sacks and 11 tackles for loss, putting together some impressive stretches on tape. Lotulelei pummeled USC in a nationally televised contest while facing one of the better offensive centers in college football (Khaled Holmes). He primarily won with strength and power, though he also displayed enough agility to win with finesse on the interior.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t see Lotulelei play with the same intensity and passion in other tapes I watched. He seemingly cruised through most of the Utes’ games, showing just occasional flashes of supremacy. This is more disconcerting than his brief heart issue, which has since been cleared. I understand the difficulty of playing with tremendous effort as a big man, but I believe a prospect pegged for No. 1 consideration should give me more on tape. I’m also a little concerned that Lotulelei didn’t play football in 2009 because he reportedly lost his passion for the game. Given the challenges and expectations associated with entering the NFL as a top pick, I would worry about his capacity to handle the pressure in key moments. More importantly, I would wonder about his willingness to grind it out in tough times. That’s not enough to drop Lotulelei’s overall grade, but it makes it tough for me to fully jump on board when it comes to his candidacy as the potential top pick of the draft.

  • J Hill

    best case / dream scenario for the Raiders would be dropping 3-5 slots, picking up a 2nd rounder and STILL getting Ziggy Ansah

    —————————————————————————–

    Won’t be there.

  • Marks hair

    New post today? Playbooks are out.. come on

  • No Mas Diamante

    If we don’t trade down then Star is the pick. I cant wait to see him pankcake Manning… Who’s the Broncos backup again? They are going to need him.

  • Whoknows

    Also why Hue Jackson was hired from the Ravens. Also why pretty much any position coach is hired as a coordinator for any other team.
    *********************
    That was a joke. Do you really think Gabbert had a great year.

  • raidertay

    The_Civilian_James_Trapp Says:

    Star is ripped in this article saying he doesn’t show enough effort.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/0ap1000000159382/article/tavon-austin-star-lotulelei-top-nfl-drafts-overrated-prospects

    I’m leary of taking this guy without a strong team/leadership in place.

    =============

    They make some good points. I only watched the USC game in which he was a monster. If that was an anomally, then maybe we should go with Floyd.

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Whoknows Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Also why Hue Jackson was hired from the Ravens. Also why pretty much any position coach is hired as a coordinator for any other team.
    *********************
    That was a joke. Do you really think Gabbert had a great year.

    ========================================

    You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s**t. Gabbert is chicken s**t as a player.

  • DutchRaider77

    Uh, you just described the reason why Knapp was hired from the Texans…

    ========================================

    Also why Hue Jackson was hired from the Ravens. Also why pretty much any position coach is hired as a coordinator for any other team.

    ______________________________________________

    Exactly, but you agree that Knapp had a lot of hype around him in the success of the Texans offense.

    We have seen that some coaches do change for the better and do become quality coaches in second and third tours…I do not blame Reggie or Allen for giving Knapp another chance.

  • The_Judge37

    Exactly, but you agree that Knapp had a lot of hype around him in the success of the Texans offense.

    We have seen that some coaches do change for the better and do become quality coaches in second and third tours…I do not blame Reggie or Allen for giving Knapp another chance.
    ——–

    Shame on them for beleiveing any hype about Knapp and the Texans. Knapp had nothing to do with the Texans success on Offense. He was just a QB coach.

  • SnBG

    This is for this year, what does it have to do with Reggie’s time frame last year when he hired Knapp?
    I think i’m through humoring you, especially since i’m now unemployed.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    What is it with you. Reg was hired in 2012. Those post relate to 2012. They show the OC hires for 2012. They show Reg didn’t have a lot of options at OC IN 2012. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt but you you just nor really here

  • raiderinparadise

    Ziggy barely played football … kinda like JPP

  • raidertay

    There are some things that you cant coach. Star has brute power. He pushes huge linemen 3 yards in the backfield every single play. Watch Floyd and most of his tackles are 4 yards down field.

    I did notice at the combine that Floyd was trying to talk to Star and Star acted like he couldnt even look him in the face.

  • The_Judge37

    2868.SnBG Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 11:51 am
    This is for this year, what does it have to do with Reggie’s time frame last year when he hired Knapp?
    I think i’m through humoring you, especially since i’m now unemployed.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    What is it with you. Reg was hired in 2012. Those post relate to 2012. They show the OC hires for 2012. They show Reg didn’t have a lot of options at OC IN 2012. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt but you you just nor really here
    ———-

    The article was about the OC options Reggie had AFTER firing Knapp. I thought we were discussing his hiring practices before Knapp. But now i see you’re just bringing anything you can to defend Reg, regardless of topic.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @Jhill

    so there is NO CHANCE we trade down with a team like the Jets or Bills at #8 or #9 and still get Ziggy??

    I think it’s possible Joeckel, Fisher, Lotulelei, Floyd, Smith, Milliner, Jordan, Johnson & Austin get selected before him.

    Daniel Jeremiah has him going 9th. Bucky Brooks has him going 13th

  • SnBG

    Shame on them for beleiveing any hype about Knapp and the Texans. Knapp had nothing to do with the Texans success on Offense. He was just a QB coach.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    Do you really know what your talking about. Yo can’t even keep your posts straight here.

  • DutchRaider77

    I wish you guys would have given some context to why Star stopped playing football in 2009…dudes a mormon, didnt get into BYU, played a year of Junior College 2008, got married had a kid and you guys think it is “crazy” he had doubts about playing football?

  • RNOraiderFan

    Yes RR, DB’s and pass rusher! Yeah!!!!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Charles Davis has Ziggy going 6th.
    Gil Brandt has him going 6th.
    Akbar Gbajabiamila has him going 9th.
    Matt Smith has him going 9th.

    consensus is, Ansah is not a top 5 overall draft pick

    I have every reason to believe we could trade down a few spots and still get him!!

  • raiderinparadise

    Ziggy will be the pick 3.5 TFL in senior bowl where DA and company coached. They said they were very impressed with ziggy and fisher up close.

  • inonewordraider

    http://blogs.buffalonews.com/press-coverage/2013/03/road-to-the-draft-star-lotulelei.html

    here’s where i found it mentioning he lost his passion for the game

  • RNOraiderFan

    What about trading with the Fins? According to the draft value chart we would get their 1 (12 overall) their high 2nd (#42) their extra 3rd and their 5th. Then we would have.
    1,2,3,3,4,5,6,6,6,7.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Brian Billick, Scott Pioli & Mike Tannenbaum don’t even have Ziggy Ansah in their Top 10′s

  • inonewordraider

    unless we pick fisher joeckel pundits will be bashing us saying we reached

    why?

    because everyone besides those guys is being touted by some torn apart by others, and we’re the Raiders

    who ever the pats select will be considered a great pic

  • DutchRaider77

    “Knapp helped the Texans finish 10th in scoring and 13th in total offense in 2011 despite injuries to wide receiver Andre Johnson and quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, which led to rookie quarterback T.J. Yates in the starting lineup to finish the season.”—By Jason La Canfora

  • RNOraiderFan

    That would give the Raiders a lot of picks to try to fill out this roster. On D we have only 4-5 starters that would start on another NFL team.

  • RaiderRockstar

    What about trading with the Fins? According to the draft value chart we would get their 1 (12 overall) their high 2nd (#42) their extra 3rd and their 5th. Then we would have.
    1,2,3,3,4,5,6,6,6,7.

    ***

    @RNO

    thats a no brainer. I don’t think Miami would do it though. I think they’d take Lane Johnson or D.J. Fluker before giving up their entire draft for a shot at Eric Fisher !!

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post ladies!!

  • Cervantes

    Reggie made a mistake with allowing DA to hire Greg Krapp and the OL coach.

    A mistake that was quickly rectified this offseason.

    Every GM makes mistakes. Reggie’s production has FAR out distanced any mistakes he’s made.

    And he’s demonstrating to everyone that when a mistake is made it will be quickly corrected.

    There is no argument against this unless you were very happy with the way the organization has been run since our last superbowl appearance.

    Next…

  • RNOraiderFan

    Raider’s defensive starters (guys that would start on any other team)
    Houston, Burris
    ( guys that might start, but most likely would just see the field a lot)
    Roach, Porter, Branch, Jenkins
    The rest are unproven or injury risks or situational guys.
    WE NEED PLAYERS AND A LOT OF THEM ON D!!!

  • raiderinparadise

    did you know that 4 years ago ziggy hadn’t even ever seen a football game before?

    and 2 years ago hadn;t even played

    amazing, now he can be a top pick.

    crazy stuff

  • Gdog

    RNOraiderFan Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Raider’s defensive starters (guys that would start on any other team)
    Houston, Burris
    ( guys that might start, but most likely would just see the field a lot)
    Roach, Porter, Branch, Jenkins
    The rest are unproven or injury risks or situational guys.
    WE NEED PLAYERS AND A LOT OF THEM ON D!!!

    >>>>

    Burris would be a sub on most teams…he should have been one last year except our other LBs were worse.

  • The_Judge37

    2882.DutchRaider77 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 12:06 pm
    “Knapp helped the Texans finish 10th in scoring and 13th in total offense in 2011 despite injuries to wide receiver Andre Johnson and quarterbacks Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart, which led to rookie quarterback T.J. Yates in the starting lineup to finish the season.”—By Jason La Canfora
    ——

    Knapp was the QB coach in Houston, he was not the OC, he never called the plays. Kudos to him for having the QB’s prepared to come in and play, which is why he’s back to QB coach in Donkey Town

  • The_Judge37

    Cervantes Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 12:09 pm
    Reggie made a mistake with allowing DA to hire Greg Krapp and the OL coach.

    A mistake that was quickly rectified this offseason.

    Every GM makes mistakes. Reggie’s production has FAR out distanced any mistakes he’s made.
    ——

    What production are you refering to? Simply cutting players is not significant improvement.