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Healthy Jihad Ward ready to focus on football

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Raiders' second-round pick Jihad Ward is healthy and happen to turn his focus to football. (AP photo).

Raiders’ second-round pick Jihad Ward is healthy and happen to turn his focus to football. (AP photo).

Despite some reports the day he was drafted that Jihad Ward might need arthroscopic knee surgery, the second-round defensive lineman was on the field participating Friday.

“He looked pretty good, right?,” Del Rio said. “Don’t trust all those reports out there. We felt pretty good about our reports. He looks terrific.”

Ward recently finished up his finals at Illinois and sounds eager to focus just on football.

“School really wasn’t my thing, but I had to do it,” Ward said. “Once I finished that, I was just ready to go. I’m happy just being around here. Now I can just worry about football.”

When Ward spoke on his conference call shortly after being drafted, he even had some uncertainty on if he’d need another surgery on his knee. He suffered a slight tear of his meniscus shortly before his senior year and had surgery then and the Raiders weren’t concerned about it when they examined it further.

“I’m completely fine,” Ward said. “I’m running around. I’m flying around. As Coach Del Rio said, ‘Just keep flying around.’ So I’m doing what I have to do.”

Termed by some as a project — even general manager Reggie McKenzie said Ward was “raw” — Ward looks the NFL part and said Friday he thinks he’s ready to be a contributor.

“I’m ready, but I still need coaches just to help me,” he said. “You have to learn from the greats. I’m learning from all these coaches…. You can be great, but you have to learn from coaches.”

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • R8der4evr

    Often
    Great analogy

  • I agree that is a good thing so we are in agreement.

    I just named off 5 guys trying to take MEJ’s spot – this was called to be false a few posts ago.

    Lots of guys “competing” for that spot. Was a point I tried making 3 pages ago and was met with a lot of resistance.

  • r8dercain
  • Nice!

    I am listing to Loreena Mckennitt

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    Sorry, where did JDR discuss Wards injury? If Ward was here last year in the shroud of secrecy we wouldn’t know as much as we do now either. That stuff was disclosed by scouts and trainers and drs. That’s what happens predraft, not even being sarcastic.

  • r8dercain

    Roses really smell like boo boo

  • timetojam
  • DJ Johnny

    Thanks. Good news id say.

  • I have a lot of bootlegs too – do you have “For badge holders only” Los Angeles 1977 with Keith Moon on the drum solo with Bonzo

  • R8der4evr

    Boo Boo better not smell like poo poo

  • Nice!

    Ever hear Tool cover that song?

  • R8der4evr

    No
    Bet it’s good

  • raidergrr

    Oh, I wasnt around then. There’s a lot of spots where players are competing. There’s only a couple spots that actually have a name on them, like Mack -DE, or Carr – QB. I don’t think that ME has a lock on the other DE. He wasnt a Pro Bowler. The position can be improved regardless of his health.

  • Oak R8rs33.01

    So you agree it’s Edwards spot?

  • raidergrr

    I dont.

  • timetojam

    Love No Quarter. One of the best for max volume

  • Song Remains the Same version with that long Page solo

  • R8der4evr

    It is maxxed

  • Just found that version on youtube now because you mentioned it

  • R8der4evr

    Dude it’s Heavenly

  • Ahhhhhhhhhhh so happy :)))

  • R8der4evr

    Replay
    Replay

  • Davy Jones

    I do, but I really prefer 69-72. September of 1971