Part of the Bay Area News Group

RB Jennings Q&A on heels of signing with Raiders

By Steve Corkran
Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 5:44 pm in Oakland 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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  • willy91137

    the year that we drafted McFadden everybody said did look like a running back he got long skinny legs and big upper body’s

    them sharp cuts are hard on his ankles and feet he is a downhill runner

  • guest123

    @ DJ Johnny,

    Don’t forget about the moving pocket that Knapp touted could be a fit for Carson Palmer last preseason. The scribes and pundits were all over Carson’s draft 40 time and tried to make it sound like the system change could work. We all knew that Carson is a tree trunk.

    Hard to trust the judgment of a coaching staff that completely oblivious to the talent they had. Trying to force a round peg into a square hole, and all offseason you could see the trainwreck coming, but the 8-8 previous season record made us think that maybe they were onto something we didn’t know. Turns out, they were the clueless ones.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    The ill fated switch to the ZBS was forced on DA by Reggie.

    DA wanted to run the spread.

    That is why DA was not fired.

    It was Reggie’s blunder and everyone around the league knows this.

    DA has no ties to the ZBS.

    While Reggie’s beloved Packers use the ZBS.

    Do the math.

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think the Bucs would be stupid to do the deal for Revis, when they could easily trade up with Oakland and take Milliner

    ***

    @G123

    D-Mill would be a gazillion times cheaper than Revis, plus he’s young & healthy

    I agree with you. What would the Bucs have to give up to move up 10 spots though? a 2nd rounder?

    They still need help at WR, TE & D-Line!

  • guest123

    I agree with you. What would the Bucs have to give up to move up 10 spots though? a 2nd rounder?

    ^^^^^^^^^
    @ Rockstar

    Their 2nd round pick is #43. That’s just not enough. To move up 10 spots, they gotta be looking at giving up a 2014 first round pick. I think that’s too rich for them. I doubt they do that.

    If we fall back to Arizona’s #7 pick, it works out nicely to move back 6 spots and pick up the #43 pick.

    It’s all about value.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    The ill fated switch to the ZBS was forced on DA by Reggie.

    DA wanted to run the spread.

    That is why DA was not fired.

    It was Reggie’s blunder and everyone around the league knows this.

    DA has no ties to the ZBS.

    While Reggie’s beloved Packers use the ZBS.
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    Any links, sources, or anything to support your silly argument?

  • guest123

    Bucs already have an explosive offense. A Big three as they are called. Freeman, VJAX, D Martin. They get 2 probowl guards who were hurt back this year.

    The Bucs primary problem is defense. Their DL’s got nicked and their secondary was awful. Their LB’s are pedestrian but a huge improvement over the year before.

    If the Bucs come out of the draft with only an elite cornerback prospect and some spare bodies, they will be happy.

  • Dakota

    2649.RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 7:11 am
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/15/schedule-release-not-happening-tomorrow/

    we should find out THIS WEEK what other 10 teams (besides Donkeys, Surfhomos & KC BBQ) are getting a serious beatdown this season courtesy of the Oakland Raiders!!
    +++++++++++++

    We have known that since the day the season ended. Try and keep up.

    We play 8 home games against:
    KC, Den, SD, Titans, Jags, Redskins, Eagles and Steelers
    We play 8 road games against:
    KC, Den, SD, Colts, Texans, Giants, Cowboys, and Jets

    We just don’t know WHEN we play them.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Bucs already have an explosive offense. A Big three as they are called. Freeman, VJAX, D Martin. They get 2 probowl guards who were hurt back this year.
    $$$$$$$$$$

    Don’t forget M Williams.

  • hwnrdr

    Doesn’t the schedule come out this week?

  • willy91137

    Dennis Allen hired knapp they were good friends map had just left the Texans

    that’s why we brought Matt Leonard over here knapp does not have an offense of his own or knows how to put one together so use the Texans

  • SnBG

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 8:38 am
    I think the Bucs would be stupid to do the deal for Revis, when they could easily trade up with Oakland and take Milliner
    llllllllllllllllllll
    The Bucks 1 pick is too far back for us

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    DA and Knapp were friends in ATL.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    I blame Reggie for allowing a rookie HC with no experience in offense to hire a proven loser like Knapp.
    Most people (Not Chico) knew that we will struggle to score points because that is what Knapp is known for.

  • Gdog

    DJ Johnny Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 8:26 am

    “I am the type of guy who likes to go downhill, make a cut and go; that’s my thing,” McFadden said as he explained his struggles in the ZBS. Why the Raiders didn’t heed this obvious truth last season will remain a mystery forever more.

    …and people wonder why anyone would dare have any doubts as to the direction we’re headed with Dennis Allen who was just as stubborn with forcing this ill fated zbs on the offense.

    >>>>

    Not to mention I don’t think there has been ANYONE that has taken responsibility for Knapp and his train wreck of an offense. I never trust people that refuse to take responsibility for their screw ups. It means it will happen again and again and again…

  • willy91137

    The Oakland Raiders are the orphans of the NFL

    we have the smallest capacity stadium

    the worst record in the last 10 years

    and we still love this team

    we are fougk up

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Riff wanted to blame the talent around knapp with different teams.

    You monkeys are crazy.

  • RaiderRockstar

    @G123, Marley & DJG

    Carson Palmer enjoyed one of his best statistical seasons under Knapp. those rollouts were some of his better plays actually. Every RB not named McFadden ran pretty well in the ZBS.

    Knapp decreased the offensive penalties & turnovers. Yet because Palm & DMAC couldn’t deliver enough to get the W’s it costed Knapper his job. Somebody had to be the fall guy – it sure wasn’t going to be Dennis Allen!

    Funny too, because all we heard last offseason was how “when #3 & #20 get on the field together magic will happen – unstoppable” Everybody was in full-on blame Bresnahan mode. Now it’s blame Knapp time. Eventually we’ll have to start holding the players accountable. DMAC doesn’t deserve a contract extension. If he gets one, it’ll be a cost savings move by Big Reg imo

  • SnBG

    Dakota Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 8:47 am
    2649.RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 7:11 am
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/04/15/schedule-release-not-happening-tomorrow/

    we should find out THIS WEEK what other 10 teams (besides Donkeys, Surfhomos & KC BBQ) are getting a serious beatdown this season courtesy of the Oakland Raiders!!
    +++++++++++++

    We have known that since the day the season ended. Try and keep up.

    We play 8 home games against:
    KC, Den, SD, Titans, Jags, Redskins, Eagles and Steelers
    We play 8 road games against:
    KC, Den, SD, Colts, Texans, Giants, Cowboys, and Jets

    We just don’t know WHEN we play them.
    ////////////////////////////
    Looking at this schedule it seems reasonable we win 7 games unless we can take 1 OR 2 from KC

  • Dakota

    2712.SnBG Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 8:50 am
    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 8:38 am
    I think the Bucs would be stupid to do the deal for Revis, when they could easily trade up with Oakland and take Milliner
    llllllllllllllllllll
    The Bucks 1 pick is too far back for us

    +++++++

    TYhe 13th pick is too far back?

  • The_Judge37

    I think we could’ve done better than Jennings at RB. I would’ve rather we signed M. Turner, Benson or Jacobs. Last time we let the OC bring over one of his guys it was terrible.

  • guest123

    I blame Reggie for allowing a rookie HC with no experience in offense to hire a proven loser like Knapp.
    Most people (Not Chico) knew that we will struggle to score points because that is what Knapp is known for.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    How do you feel about hiring an OC who’s best effort led to a 20th ranked offense? Are we getting our hopes up any?

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Reggie just said hire whoever you want and run whatever offensive system you want?

    Reggie is the GM.

    The GM calls the shots.

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    Carson Palmer enjoyed one of his best statistical seasons under Knapp. those rollouts were some of his better plays actually. Every RB not named McFadden ran pretty well in the ZBS.

    Knapp decreased the offensive penalties & turnovers. Yet because Palm & DMAC couldn’t deliver enough to get the W’s it costed Knapper his job. Somebody had to be the fall guy – it sure wasn’t going to be Dennis Allen!
    $$$$$$$$$$$$

    LOL
    RR is imitating Riff?
    What about ATL, Seattle, and OAK with Cable and Kittin?
    4 different teams = same results = offenses that struggle to score especially in the red zone.

  • guest123

    TYhe 13th pick is too far back?

    ^^^^^^^^^

    It is if we are only getting the #43 pick in return.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Don’t worry guys.

    Reggie has admitted it was a mistake to switch to the ZBS and Reggie the GM, hired Olsen to fix it.

  • The_Judge37

    2722.guest123 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 8:57 am
    I blame Reggie for allowing a rookie HC with no experience in offense to hire a proven loser like Knapp.
    Most people (Not Chico) knew that we will struggle to score points because that is what Knapp is known for.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    How do you feel about hiring an OC who’s best effort led to a 20th ranked offense? Are we getting our hopes up any?
    ———

    20th is Good enough to become HC in Reggie’s book

  • SnBG

    Raider O Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 8:53 am
    I blame Reggie for allowing a rookie HC with no experience in offense to hire a proven loser like Knapp.
    Most people (Not Chico) knew that we will struggle to score points because that is what Knapp is known for.
    /////////////////////////////
    Reg and DA didn’t have the time to go after the staff they really wanted

  • willy91137

    Defensive backs coming out of college thay played a lot different than in the nfl thay play more flat-footed

    people are covering as good as the NFL so usually takes about a year for them to catch up but if Tampa traded up and got them a good corner he would be good for four years Reverse my only be good for one

  • The_Judge37

    Reg and DA didn’t have the time to go after the staff they really wanted
    —–

    Out of all the Reg and DA excuses, this one is the lamest. Any time lost/wasted is all on them.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    There are no excuses in NFL.

  • SnBG

    The_Judge37 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:03 am
    Reg and DA didn’t have the time to go after the staff they really wanted
    —–

    Out of all the Reg and DA excuses, this one is the lamest. Any time lost/wasted is all on them.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    You’re blinded by hate my friend

  • The_Judge37

    2732.SnBG Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:05 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:03 am
    Reg and DA didn’t have the time to go after the staff they really wanted
    —–

    Out of all the Reg and DA excuses, this one is the lamest. Any time lost/wasted is all on them.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    You’re blinded by hate my friend
    ———–

    I was trying to like Reg and DA, just ran out of time

  • RaiderRockstar

    Bucs already have an explosive offense. A Big three as they are called. Freeman, VJAX, D Martin

    ***

    @G123

    I keep reading the Bucs HC isn’t sold on Josh Freeman. They were interested in Carson Palmer and now there are trade rumors involving Mark Sanchez!

    The Bucs visited with every decent FA QB (there weren’t many) on the market before they all opted to sign elsewhere, right?

  • guest123

    I was trying to like Reg and DA, just ran out of time

    ^^^^^^^^^

    you aren’t Carson Palmer by chance?

  • http://www.raiders.com Raider O

    The_Judge37 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:07 am
    2732.SnBG Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:05 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:03 am
    Reg and DA didn’t have the time to go after the staff they really wanted
    —–

    Out of all the Reg and DA excuses, this one is the lamest. Any time lost/wasted is all on them.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    You’re blinded by hate my friend
    ———–

    I was trying to like Reg and DA, just ran out of time
    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    LOL
    Reggie ran out of time?
    Still LOL
    He was hired in the beg of January. How much time does he need?

  • willy91137

    No excuses in the NFL WHAT A lame statement

    if Peyton Manning breaks his leg the first game of the season is that an excuse

    I rest my case

  • SnBG

    The_Judge37 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:07 am
    2732.SnBG Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:05 am
    The_Judge37 Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:03 am
    Reg and DA didn’t have the time to go after the staff they really wanted
    —–

    Out of all the Reg and DA excuses, this one is the lamest. Any time lost/wasted is all on them.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    You’re blinded by hate my friend
    ———–

    I was trying to like Reg and DA, just ran out of time
    ///////////////////////////////
    Your out of time here. I can’t get anything for you in a trade,,, so you are so fking fired!

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    There are no excuses in the NFL, is a common expression the NFL.

    Along with

    Not
    For
    Long

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.

  • The_Judge37

    He was hired in the beg of January. How much time does he need?

    It takes time to hire someone with only one year experience of being a Coordinator, then allowing that guy to hire all of his golf buddies

  • guest123

    @ Rock

    As you know, I live here in Tampa, and I hear the backlash against Freeman pretty regularly. It’s no secret that Management on down to Coach Schiano isn’t sold on Freeman. He had a bad stretch when they needed him to be money and he faceplanted. Still he had 13 good games and 3 rotten ones that cost the team a shot at the playoffs. They were at one point 6-4 and they wasted their shot. A lot of locals soured on him as the ‘franchise QB’.

    I think Freeman is better than avg, but complacent at growing into the next level. He may end up being just a guy like Carson. He’s only 25 and into his contract year. They either back up the brinks truck for him or cut him loose. The locals are screaming for the playoffs this year.

  • SnBG

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:12 am
    There are no excuses in the NFL, is a common expression the NFL.

    Along with

    Not
    For
    Long

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.
    ////////////////////////
    Your fking fired also!

  • The_Judge37

    Your out of time here. I can’t get anything for you in a trade,,, so you are so fking fired!
    ——

    Cool, now all i need to do is stay unemployed for an entire year and Reggie will hire me on

  • mistic666

    hey whats up phaggots.

  • RaiderRockstar

    What about ATL, Seattle, and OAK with Cable and Kittin?
    4 different teams = same results = offenses that struggle to score especially in the red zone.

    ***

    @Raider O

    you’re a semi pro – you should know better

    Knapp’s first OC stint in Oakland, he was play caller for 4 games in 2 seasons (all of them with JaMarcus Russell at QB)

    Kiffin was the play caller while he was here. Cable stripped the play calling duties from Knapp after just 4 games. Took that job upon himself. Why do we have to re-live this?

    Knapp was brought in to run the type of offense Allen wanted (WCO / ZBS). He was the most run-oriented OC of the past decade. McFadden sucked and the defense was awful last year … which lead to us going pass happy to attempt to stay in ballgames and fluffed Palmer’s stats

    You think Knapp’s OC career should have died with JaMarcus? tough crowd. if Peyton Manning lights it up this year, will Knappster get any credit? probably not, but it could lead to him landing another OC job, like McCoy (Sandy Eggo) Peyton pretty much runs his own offense

  • guest123

    Next month I’m going to meet coach Schiano at the Bucs stadium. Wife signed me up for an “all pro dad” event and includes a meet and greet with some of the players. Maybe I’ll ask coach Schiano what he thinks of Freeman then.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Yes we know.

    We are retarded and you are very intelligent.

    And the Raiders will be 0-16 next year.

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.

  • The_Judge37

    2742.SnBG Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:13 am
    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Says:
    April 15th, 2013 at 9:12 am
    There are no excuses in the NFL, is a common expression the NFL.

    Along with

    Not
    For
    Long

    FIRE REGGIE NOW.
    ////////////////////////
    Your fking fired also!
    —-

    Don’t worry Dr., if you can type at least 2.8 words per minute, Reggie’s got an important office job for you.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Peyton Manning has gotten a lot of coaches promotions. He’s gotten a lot of players pay raises with same team as him or by another team elsewhere.

    That’s what franchise QB’s do. They make everybody else around them better. It took Reggie a year to figure out Carson Palmer isn’t that guy. Oh well. Next man up. Just can’t stop swinging until you hit that homerun. Keep lining up the young unproven guys. Maybe eventually we’ll strike gold

  • willy91137

    gives some insight on the draft O DR HUNNTER

    extend Reggie now