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News

Rashad Jennings Talks Training Camp

Posted Aug 5, 2013

Raiders RB Rashad Jennings spoke to reporters after a recent practice and discussed joining the Raiders and his role in the offense.

Q: Do you know [Darren McFadden’s] history? Did that make it an attractive situation knowing that, number one, how teams split time with backs anyways, but knowing there’s a shot some point, you’ll be the main guy? 

Rashad Jennings: No, I go year-to-year with the same philosophy, same mindset since high school, college and the NFL. You go in with the mindset that you’re the starter, you prepare as one. In the NFL, there aren’t any backups. The backups are the guys at home watching on TV. 

Q: How much did you meet with [Greg] Olsen before you decided to sign here? 

Jennings: Well, he was the quarterbacks coach at Jacksonville when I was over there. So I knew him, but as far as conversating to making my decision, I just left it in God’s hands. I trained, did what I needed to do and I was just hoping for a team willing to give me a chance to perform. 

Q: How similar is this offense to what you had in the past and what makes this a good fit for you? 

Jennings: It’s downhill football. It’s physical football, and that’s the kind of backfield that will fit I’ll mold into, and I’m glad to be a part of Raider Nation. 

Q: After last year, 2.8 is a figure a running back doesn’t want to see next to his name, in terms of yards per carry. And out here, it looks like you’ve been running real well. What went into that? Was it the offense not a fit? Was it blocking? Was it just rhythm? 

Jennings: My first year as a rookie, I had 5.6 [yards per carry], the next year I had 5.678, something like that, the next year, whether it’s success or failure, I take the failure on my own shoulders and the trust to the team. It was a lot of things, looking at film, I could’ve done better, but it’s all in the past whatever happened, it is in the past. It’s a fresh start as a Raider and that’s what I’m out here to capitalize on. 

Q: Do you love the “3rd and 1” drills, those “get that yard” plays out there today? 

Jennings: You got to go, they’re sitting right in front of you. It’s like a carrot sitting in front of a bunny. So, it’s just ‘go and get it.’ 

Q: You said yourself you’re a complete back this year?

Jennings: I see myself as a complete back, day in, day out, getting better. Never making the same mistakes twice, and I allow the geniuses where to put me on the field.

Q: You talked the first day about the hyperbaric chamber and all that stuff. Who wound up being your roommate and is the thing making noise and waking them up?

Jennings: They ended up having to put me somewhere else because it does make a lot of noise, and I would have felt bad for whoever was my roommate.

Q: So you got your own room?

Jennings: Yeah, it’s funny because there’s no bed in there, it’s just the chamber. I was fumbling before I went to sleep and you know they’re doing room checks, and they opened the door and the dude looked in and he said ‘what the heck is this?’ It’s a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. It heals you on a cellular level. It’s not the end-all, be-all, it’s just an extra cure.

Q: So, you sleep in this thing?

Jennings: I sleep in it through the night. I bought it as a rookie instead of buying a car because I knew that this would prolong my career.

Q: You’ve been on the outside. You know what the perception of the Raiders is. Perhaps you’re rebuilding. How do you shed that?

Jennings: We shed it easily by coming out here and practicing. No matter— you can be scrutinized. The record isn’t at par, it’s unacceptable. These fans don’t deserve that, this organization doesn’t deserve it, the city doesn’t deserve it and nobody on this team thinks that that’s going to happen this year. We’re going out every single day, erasing what happened from yesterday and preparing to focus in on the situation of football that we’re in.

Q: The Riley Cooper situation in Philadelphia is a hot topic around the league, what are guys saying about it in the locker room and how do you guys address it?

Jennings: I’m not even aware. That’s how zoned in we are and personally, I am, into what we’re trying to accomplish. I’m not even sure what’s going on over there.

Q: Did you try to alter your running style based on where you are and the scheme or do you run the same way regardless?

Jennings: As far as altering your running style, you really just more so look at it on understanding the system, understanding the scheme and learning when to burst. Sometimes it’s not about being speed, speed through the hole. I’m going to be patient. Know who your lead blockers are, knowing the position and really playing a chest match. And at the end of the day, it’s about being physical and your heart and will. It does take being a student of the game.