Wide Receiver K.J. Brent
Now headed into his second NFL training camp, K.J. Brent is more comfortable as both a wide receiver, and as a professional football player in general. In his own words, Brent talks about his rapport with the other Raiders receivers, and the differences in him heading into Year 2.
By K.J. Brent
The biggest difference from last year is just the mindset. Last year, I came in a little bit tense because I didn't know how things were going to go. You're still trying to fine tune all the plays, and all that stuff in the playbook, and now I come in this year; I know my stuff. I know how camp goes, so I can come in a little more comfortable, relaxed, and I can just play without having to really think too much about stuff. That's definitely the biggest difference that I've noticed. I did precamp last year too, so I feel a little bit more mature.
It's only been one year, but one year can make a lot of difference.
I've tried to get better from last year too, especially the specifics that [wide receivers] Coach [Rob] Moore taught me, and told me to look at a lot during the season last year. What they told me they saw at the beginning of the season until the end of the season was night and day, so that was some good feedback to have. I just try to keep fine tuning the little things. I never really stray away from that, but I have the playbook down now; that's one of the biggest things from an X's and O's standpoint. Now, I just have to go make plays and catch the ball, make plays in traffic, and stuff like that, and play well in the preseason games.
Another thing I've worked on is being able to really work on playing with my size. I'm not the stockiest, or biggest dude out there, but I have size. I have height, and I'm trying to use that more in my game. Also, being quicker out of routes, and being able to make more plays on the ball, with a [defensive back] on my back or right next to me, stuff like that. I'm always working on crisping my routes up. That stuff is what I've been trying to focus on the most.
My relationship with the other wide receivers in the room has grown too. I feel more comfortable talking to them. We've been through a whole season together, so I know how they are, and I've gotten to know more about them and how they operate. I know when to talk to them, when to talk to them about certain stuff on the field, and off the field. I think it was good having that season under my belt with them, and getting to know each other, and now I can just go there on the field this year in training camp, and still watch them, but kind of implement what I've learned from them from last season.
I'm also more comfortable with "Crab" [wide receiver Derek Carr] and "Coop" [wide receiver Amari Cooper]. Once you get to know Coop he starts to open up a little bit more. He was quiet at first, but he's just a quiet dude. The one thing that I noticed they do well, week in and week out, no matter if they have any nicks or bumps, they just play through it. They're consistent, and they're always competing. That's one of the biggest things; that's why they're such a good duo, and that's what I've noticed bigtime about them.
Coop is starting to open up more too. When I first got here he was quiet. He talked to [wide receiver] Johnny [Holton] a lot because him and Johnny grew up together kind of, but during the season, once I got know him, I've had a lot of talks, like serious talks with him, and stuff like that, so I've definitely gotten to know Coop a lot more.
Even though I've changed a lot on the field since last year, I don't know if I've changed too much off the field. I've always been the goofy kid, sociable; I talk to anyone I can. I try to get to know everybody I can. I don't think I've changed too much off the field. I think most of my growth has been on the field, but obviously, like I said, I'm a lot more comfortable around the guys, having been with them for a year, so that's one thing.
-In His Own Words: Prepares For First NFL Training Camp