The two defensive tackles signed with the Silver and Black this offseason to lend veteran presence to a young defensive line room. While filling into as rotational pieces, their on-the-field production has spoken for itself, to the tune of a combined eight tackles for loss, three sacks and three pass deflections.
"They're both really good leaders on and off the field," said defensive coordinator Patrick Graham. "Consistency in terms of they practice every day, they put in the work every day. In terms of Jenkins, he does his job. He knows his role and he does his job really well. He eats up the middle of the defense, he gets off of blocks, he pushes the middle of the pocket.
"And then in terms of AB [Adam Butler], he does a good job of communicating with the pass rush, winning his one-on-one battle and then also coordinating the rush. So, it's all positives there in terms of their consistency and the execution of the game plan."
Butler and Jenkins started building their chemistry as teammates on the Miami Dolphins in 2021, with Butler saying the adversity they endured together that season initially bringing them together. That 2021 Dolphins team went 1-7 to start the season before winning eight of its last nine games.
"It's only grown since [Miami]," Butler said of his relationship with Jenkins. "When I got to Miami, Jenk was there and we instantly connected because we thought the same. Sometimes people even mistake us for each other. Sometimes people call me Jenk, and I turn around and I'm like, 'I'm not Jenk.' And they do it to him. We've been brothers ever since."
"Adam is like my little bro, we're like a 1-2 punch" Jenkins added. "We feed off one another. He gets me right, I get him right. It's like 'The Wonder Twins,' I guess. I'm more of the heavy lifter, and he's more of the finesse mover."
Age has been nothing but a number to Jenkins – the second-oldest player on the Raiders roster. The 34-year-old has the fourth-highest defensive grade (76.1) and the third-highest pass rushing grade (75.7) from Pro Football Focus on the team. What's been his key to success at this stage in his career?
"I think the key is just being consistent," answered Jenkins. "It's going to take people awhile to recognize your true value. And once they do and you're able to do what you've been doing for five, six years."
There's still a lot of familiarity on the Dolphins to Butler and Jenkins, having played alongside Christian Wilkins and practiced across from Austin Jackson, Liam Eichenberg and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
With the Raiders defense playing their best football recently, they're looking to continue playing their part in the bigger picture.
"Coaches, they coach you on your fundamentals and technique, but veteran players understand the details and the small little things separate the great players from the good players," said Butler. "Me and Jenk, we're constantly preaching the small little details ... and we're hoping we can gain momentum moving forward."
Other notable connections
- Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham earned his first defensive coordinator role with the Dolphins in 2019.
- Raiders interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree spent three seasons as quarterbacks coach of the Dolphins.
- Raiders tight ends coach Jerry Schuplinski was the Dolphins quarterbacks coach in 2019.
- Raiders offensive assistant/assistant wide receivers coach Matt Lombardi served as a defensive quality control coach for the Dolphins in 2019.
- Raiders assistant/returners coach Danny Amendola played one season with Miami (2018), and recorded 575 yards and a touchdown in 15 games.
- Raiders running back Brandon Bolden played for the Dolphins in 2018, recording 91 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 16 games.
- Raiders rookie defensive tackle Nesta Jade Silvera is from Pembroke Pines, Florida. He also played four seasons collegiately at the University of Miami (Florida).
- Raiders linebackers Luke Masterson and Amari Burney are from Naples, Florida and St. Petersburg, Florida.
- Dolphins defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill was a safety for the Raiders in 2005, tallying 89 tackles (75 solo), with five passes defensed and one interception in 16 games
- Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith served as tight ends coach for the Raiders from 2018-2020.
- Dolphins assistant offensive line coach Lemuel Jeanpierre served as the assistant offensive line coach for the Raiders from 2018-19.
- Dolphins offensive lineman Lester Cotton signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2019, playing 15 games over three seasons with the team.
- Dolphins fullback Alec Ingold also signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2019, notching 239 receiving yards, 28 receptions and three touchdowns over three seasons.
View the best photos from the Silver and Black's Friday practice at Intermountain Health Performance Center.