The Shield is iconic.
Wherever you are, whenever you see The Silver and Black logo you know what it represents: grit, integrity, physicality, relentlessness, and tradition.
Even though the trio of Raiders first-round picks weren't alive to appreciate the Raiders of old, they're aware of the players and legends who laid the path for them. Jack Tatum, Bo Jackson, Ted Hendricks, Howie Long and many more, these are the people who helped the Raiders become the team they are today, and Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram are eager to continue that same tradition.
Friday afternoon, the trio addressed the media together, each donning a Raiders polo with The Shield represented on a hat. When asked about the illustrious history of the Raiders, each shared what the Silver and Black means to them.
"The rich tradition," Ferrell said. "You think of Al Davis, 'Just Win Baby.' You've got boss man [Owner Mark Davis] sitting in the back right now. John Madden, all these great guys, not just players, but great football people who have come through this organization. When I see this logo, I just think of toughness, I think of effort, I think of people who aren't afraid of the work and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. It's really a blessing to know that you're going to be a part of an organization that wants the best for you and is going to expect a lot out of you."
Al Davis set the tone for what it means to be a Raider, and hearing the next generation of players discuss their hunger for winning would put a smile on Davis' face. During the press conference, Ferrell also shared his lofty expectations for the team going forward. Like any player, he wants to reach and win a Super Bowl, but in his eyes that's not enough. Ferrell wants to create a dynasty and build a culture of sustained success for years to come.
Speaking of tone setters, Mississippi State safety Johnathan Abram is a force to be reckoned with. Thumper, hard-hitter, aggressive, use any adjective you'd like, any of them will fit Abram's violent playing style. He wants to use those same skills as a member of the Raiders, like so many of his predecessors.
"For me, like I said, it's a rich history and tradition of all types of DBs that have played here," Abram explained. "I can't speak for [Josh Jacobs and Clelin Ferrell], but for my position it just means a lot, you know? There's a lot of greats that have come before me and that's where I want to be in my career when it's all said and done, so just to put on the Silver and Black for me it just means the world. This is a DB organization."
Defensive linemen, defensive backs, and really players across the board, the Raiders have seen legendary players walk through their doors. Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson and Marshawn Lynch are just a few of the outstanding running backs that have played for the Raiders, and former University of Alabama running back Josh Jacobs wants to be next on that list.
"When I see it I definitely think of a rich culture, a rich fan base, and a legendary organization," Jacobs shared. "This is one of the cornerstone organizations in the NFL, so it's definitely just an honor and a blessing to be a part of it."
Head Coach Jon Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock are determined to establish a new culture, and these are the cornerstone pieces that will help get it done.
The real work has yet to begin, but the building blocks are in place.