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Q&A with DE Jason Hunter


Q: Given that you had somewhat of a background with Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen was this kind of in the back of your mind when free agency came open? Or once they contacted you, did it feel like a good fit right away?

Hunter: Yeah, definitely. Soon as my agent called me that the Oakland Raiders were interested in me, I was definitely excited because I was with Reggie in Green Bay and I was with Coach Allen, he was my defensive coordinator in 2011 in Denver. So this felt like a great fit.

Q: How did it feel knowing that you had Reggie McKenzie with you in Green Bay and Dennis Allen knowing you in Denver and both of them came to the agreement that you'd be a great fit for this team?

Hunter: It feels great. You feel like you're wanted and that you can come in and contribute. That's a great feeling. It's like family. I'm excited. I'm definitely looking forward to getting out there to Oakland back to work April 15 and it's going to be a great season.

Q: How is your health right now and are you going to be ready April 15 or what is your status?

Hunter: Yeah, I'm going to be ready to go. As soon as it starts up, I'm going to be able to do all the stuff as far as the lifting. I think for the first days, we're lifting and just conditioning and stuff and then once OTAs start and we start doing field work, I'll be ready to jump on the field and start that stuff too.

Q: Raiders are pretty clear and it's been pretty apparent that their approach to free agency was not necessarily to go and find the real high-priced big-name free agents, but they wanted guys that they were familiar with, that they knew their work ethic, that they were going to come in and compete for a starting job and be really hungry and guys that love football and love to play. Does that sum you up?

Hunter: Oh yeah, definitely. That's definitely who I am, especially after missing football for a whole year. I'm definitely hungry to get back out there. I definitely love and enjoy playing football. That's what I've been doing for practically my whole life, so I'm excited to be doing it, especially with people you have some familiarity with. It makes it just a great experience.

Q: What did you like about Coach Allen from your year together with him?

Hunter: His style of defense, being real aggressive, always we were attacking. His detail, the work ethic – he's all about working hard. You work hard in practice and doing things the right way, you're going to get the results and that's what happened with his time in Denver. We had a pretty good defense. We made some plays and we played hard and we played well. That's definitely what I like about Coach Allen.

Q: You were a linebacker until that season with Coach Allen and then you became a defensive end…is that kind of what your understanding is that you are now – a 4-3 defensive end? Do you know exactly what the role is?

Hunter: I can play multiple roles. I can play outside linebacker or defensive end, but that's pretty much my role; I'm a defensive end.

Q: What do you think you bring to a team? What do you think your strengths are and what do you think you can contribute?

Hunter: Just my aggressiveness, my work ethic, wanting to get better, trying to do things the right way, play good technique football, just becoming a better player is pretty much what it is and learning more about football. I'm a hungry player right now so I've got a lot to prove and my actions go to show it.

Q: You describe yourself as a defensive end, yet your most production in a season was in 2010 when you were playing outside linebacker. Why would you say that is?

Hunter: Numerous different experiences, playing at linebacker you stand up and you're able to see more of the field and you can read things a little bit, whereas as a defensive lineman, sometimes you're in three-point stance all the time so you don't see things as quick as you do when you stand up. There's definitely a difference as far as that aspect.

Q: How difficult was that last season having the torn triceps? I know in the preseason, Coach Del Rio had spoken pretty highly of you. I think you had moved up to the first team and to have that happen so early, did you feel you were on the verge of breaking through last year as a regular player?

Hunter: Oh yeah, definitely. I was just getting my momentum, feeling good, getting in the groove and the injury bug hit me. It's tough for me. It's part of the game and you just have to adjust. It was definitely hard for me. That was my first time being on injured reserve so it was definitely a new experience for me, but it definitely humbles you and just refocus through and it just makes me more hungry and want to get the opportunity to get back out there.

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