The Las Vegas Raiders are cultivating a locker room where the players genuinely look out for one another and enjoy spending time with each other. Chemistry is essential from top to bottom in an organization and Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden are adding players who value camaraderie.
From the moment Henry Ruggs III set foot on the University of Alabama campus, he formed a close relationship with now-fellow Raiders teammate Josh Jacobs. The duo only played two seasons together as members of the Crimson Tide, but they quickly built a friendship on honesty and authenticity.
"We had a great relationship, that was my boy from the time I got there," Ruggs told reporters Thursday. "He kept it real with me always, told me what I needed to do and the mindset to have."
Following Jacobs joining the Raiders as a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Ruggs continued to receive support from Jacobs on and off the field. As Ruggs' draft stock began to soar prior to the 2020 NFL Draft in April, Jacobs had a gut feeling he'd wind up in the Silver and Black and reminded him to stay the course.
"Even when he was here, we had a little contact. So, he pretty much said come in with the same mindset," Ruggs shared. "I know the things I can do and he knows that, so he said just come in with that same mindset and just work."
Ruggs might have the most familiarity with Jacobs, but the rookie feels comfortable going to any of his new teammates for advice, and several have taken it upon themselves to ask him questions.
"I'm blessed to be around a great group of guys, so I don't lean on one person more than another because whoever I need I can call at any time," Ruggs said. "I get random calls from some of the vets, even though I may not have had a constant conversation in person, but they'll call me to ask a simple question just to make sure I'm keeping my head on a swivel and learning the playbook at all times."
Due to the pandemic, the Raiders weren't been able to fully come together until this week, so for months the new teammates were getting acclimated with one another via Zoom, but now that training camp is underway, the chemistry in the locker room can continue to grow.
Take a look at exclusive photos of the Las Vegas Raiders walk through and workout at Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center in Henderson, Nev.