Photo by Tony Gonzales
The Oakland Raiders signed WR James Jones Monday afternoon. Jones joins the Raiders after seven seasons with the Green Bay Packers. He was originally selected in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft and has a career total of 310 receptions for 4,305 yards and 37 touchdowns.
Jones led the league in touchdown receptions with 14 in 2012 and had his most receiving in 2013 with 817 yards, despite missing two games.
The veteran wide receiver is a Bay Area native. He grew up in San Jose, Calif., and attended Gunderson High School. He then stayed local for college, attending San Jose State. After seven years in Green Bay, Jones is excited to return home. "It's good to be home. I'm excited about the opportunity. I'm glad to be here, get out of the cold a little bit, and hopefully we can do some good things here," said Jones.
Not only does Jones have the Bay Area connection, but he also has a link to General Manager Reggie McKenzie. The Raiders GM was with Green Bay for a majority of Jones' career. "He was a big part of it. Me and Reggie have a great relationship," said Jones. "I was with him in Green Bay. I'm just excited to be with him again and I'm excited to work for him and hopefully we can change this thing around and do some great things here. He's doing a lot of positive things and I'm on board."
In meeting with McKenzie, Jones was impressed with and convinced by McKenzie's ultimate vision for the Raiders. "I believe in him and I believe in what he's trying to do and I'm excited about the opportunity to get this thing changed around," said Jones in an interview on 95.7 The GAME. "He's doing a lot of great moves over here and I hope I'm one of those key pieces to it."
Jones believes in and understands McKenzie. "I know the type of hunger and determination he has to get this organization turned around, and that's the same type of player I am; I'm hungry, I'm determined, and I want to be out there making plays, proving people wrong and winning some ball games," said Jones to The GAME. "Reggie has the same mindset as me and I just wanted to be a part of it. It's a great organization that I'm able to come in to and I'm excited about it."
The veteran wide receiver joins McKenzie's recent free agent signings of experienced players who can impart knowledge on the Raiders younger talent. "I think that will be huge just from the leadership standpoint. A lot of those guys have been in the big games, like you said, won Super Bowls, so we know what it takes to get there," said Jones. "Just our presence in the locker room, our presence on the practice field, just hopefully we can show the young guys how to practice, show the young the guys what it's going to take to get to the next level. Hopefully, that will rub off on them and we'll be able to turn it around and do some great things."
Jones is ready to work with the young receiving corps already in place for the Raiders. "I feel like I fit in real good. We have a lot of young receivers. I've been in the game for a minute, so I'll be able to help those guys out leadership-wise," said Jones. "I truly believe that the young guys are going to watch what I do before they listen to anything I say. So, I am going to come in here, I am going to lead by example. If they have any questions, I am going to do my best to help them out. If I see something on the practice field or something in the film room, I'll try to do my best to speak up and be a leader. But, first and foremost it starts by just leading by example."
Jones wants to bring the tenacity he had in Green Bay to the Silver and Black. "My style of play is physical," said Jones. "I'm a yards after catch guy. I pride myself on not letting the first guy bring me down, so Raiders fans will see a lot of broken tackles, a lot of YAC and, hopefully, a lot of touchdowns."
As a native of the Bay Area, Jones is familiar with Raider Nation and is looking forward to putting on the Silver and Black and playing in front of his family and friends. "I think that's what's going to be so special about it. All my buddies get to watch me play," said Jones to 95.7 The GAME. "My family gets to come to all the home games, so it'll be a family reunion every game. I'm excited just to have the opportunity to play in front of them like college and play in front of the Raider Nation fans."
After seven years with the Packers, Jones is excited for the next stage of his career. "Just get ready. It's going to be an exciting season," said Jones." I'm all in. I'm here and I'll give you guys everything I've got."