Q: What do you get out of these early meetings with the team?
Jones-Drew: "For me it just gives us a chance to build relationships. You see a lot of guys, you meet a lot of guys. I've played against a lot of the free agents that they've brought in, so to be able to sit down and talk with them about some of those battles we've had. You can see how they're excited, they can see how I'm excited to be here. Then, just getting a chance to get all together and be able to talk. I sat and talked with [Matt] Schaub for about 20 minutes today, just picking his brain and seeing what he thinks. I got to talk to some of the younger guys, some of them I know and some of them I don't know. It's a chance to build relationships and get this thing going in the right direction. I think we had the majority of the guys here today, which is exciting to see. I was one of the guys that would never go, so this is kind of new for me as well. It's good to see that and get a chance to work out with guys and see what they've been doing."
Q: James Jones just talked about how some guys come here with chips on their shoulders. Is that a healthy thing for guys on your team to feel like that?
Jones-Drew: "It's OK every now and then to be the bad guy, I guess. We're just kind of the throwaways it seems like. I think what Reggie and his staff have done, I've said it multiple times, everybody here has something to prove. We all know we have something left, whether it was a bad year last year or things didn't work out from another team, whatever it may be. As a whole, we're fighting for the same thing, which is respect. I know from talking to some of the coaches and players, with the record last year, as an organization, we're fighting for respect. That's good. It's going to be great competition. I know James was talking about the receiver position. Some of the plays from last year that the receivers were making were great catches. I've been watching some of Darren's film. I'm going to be able to come in and compete with him, which is going to be exciting, and the other running backs as well. It's going to be an exciting year. It's day one, so I don't want to sound too crazy yet. I'm very excited about the opportunity we have here and the challenge in front of us."
Q: Do you come in here with the expectation that you are going to be the No. 1 running back?
Jones-Drew:"The way I've heard it, no one really knows how it's going to be. Number one and two are going to split carries anyway. I want to compete. That's the reason I came here, was to compete. From afar, being an Oakland Raider fan, I always envious of Darren because he got to wear the jersey and he played well when he was healthy. So, to be able to get the opportunity to come out here and compete against one of the most talented younger backs in the league, it's going to be fun. We're going to see where I am, and see if I still have it. That's fun, that's what you want. You want to challenge yourself. However it plays out, it plays out. At the end of the day, you want to win. If I carry the ball 20 times and we lose, what's the purpose of carrying the ball that many times? If I carry the ball two times and we win, that's what it's all about. My goal is to come in and do whatever I can to help this organization get back to where it belongs and if that's starting, it's starting. If it's backing up, it's backing up."
Q: At one point, you and Darren were probably drafted one and two in fantasy drafts …
Jones-Drew:"Yeah, definitely have to try to get back to that. The potential we have as an offense is very high. But, it's potential. You have to go out there and earn everything. You have to go out there and work in these workouts. When we do the passing with Matt Schaub and work on our drills throughout OTAs and throughout these next four or five months, we have to make that potential become reality. A lot of guys have that feeling. We understand that we do have that chance to be a top offense in this league, but we have to do it. You can't just show up and be the top offense. Our goal is to come in every day and get better, compete, have a good time, enjoy each other, and at the end of the day when it comes down to it, it's us against the world and that's how we like to see it.
Q: A few GMs have talked about that there is a 'transition year' and that's what makes free agency so dicey, because the transition year is when you've come to a new team, living in a new place, everything is different. How do you guys overcome that?
Jones-Drew:"Well, it's not transitional for me because I live here. This is where I'm from. For some teams, I think what we've done is we've brought the right guys in. it's not necessarily big money guys, not necessarily top-name guys. From a defensive position, we've brought in Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers. Those guys play well. You bring in Justin Tuck, a great leader, LaMarr Woodley and Antonio Smith. Then you bring them in with the guys you already have, and obviously the guys we're going to draft. On the offensive side, I've talked about the playmakers we've brought in and the players we have here. Just going through stats, I think the Raiders, from the second half of the season, were fifth in explosive plays. When you add on to that, we have the potential to be more. If we can put everything together, I think we won't have to worry about a transition period. We can just go out there and make plays. The offense isn't that difficult, where a guy is calling 'omaha' 87 times and it means 40 different things. It's a very simple offense and that's what you want. The more simple it is, the faster you play and the better you are. The more times we can get guys the ball, we can minimize mistakes and the penalties and then be able to extend drives and give our defense rest."
Q: Is it still sort of strange, given that you were in one place for such a long time, to come in to a new complex with new colors. I know you're from here, but it still has to be sort of weird.
Jones-Drew:"It's different. But, it's better than sitting in free agency Week 3 and not knowing if you're going to play football again. That's different, too. For me, it's a chance I get to be in a place I can call home, which is home. The 40-minute drive in, which I'll never take 880 again, that was the worst decision of my life. Just being able to relax and drive in and think 'This is where I am, I'm home again,' and to be able to meet these guys. The guys in the organization have welcomed us with open arms and said if I want to come out, since my family is back in Florida, to hang out, play golf, bowl, barbecue, whatever it is. That's what you want. So, yeah, it's different, but at the same time, every team has that same feeling, like a family. We want to keep building that culture where it's about the person, not necessarily what they can do for you, but what you can do for them."
Q: Has anyone asked you for your input into the De La Salle High School movie?
Jones-Drew:"Not yet. It's too Hollywood for me, but I have to endorse it because I'm in it."