Jacoby Ford returns with All Pro company

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Jacoby Ford took the practice field with his Raiders teammates for the first time since before the 2012 season. And now he is joined by an All Pro in the return game.

It has been a long time since Jacoby Ford practiced with his teammates for the first time since last year's training camp. He missed all of last season with a Lisfranc foot injury.

Much like when Darren McFadden went out with the same injury, it was initially thought to be a simply foot sprain that just wouldn't heal. Also like McFadden, it was a long road back.

"I just been... a lot of rehab," said Ford. "I definitely do a lot of rehab every day and I just kinda make sure I stay on top of it. Really just take care of my body and work on little things after practice and just more flexibility and just let everything come to me. Being on the field it will speak for itself when it needs to."

Even if he hadn't missed last season, he would still be practicing with many of his teammates for the first time. One such new teammate is All Pro return man, Josh Cribbs, who will be sharing return duties with Jacoby this season.

Between the two of them, the Raiders will have arguably the most exciting return game in the NFL. There have been just three players to return three kicks for touchdowns in a single season and Cribbs and Ford are two of them (Leon Washington is the other).

"I think it could be a dangerous combo," said Ford of he and Cribbs. "Don't know what we're gonna do yet back there but I'm pretty sure we'll have some tricks up our sleeves though.

"It's exciting. To have a guy like that come in and know he's gonna help on both... special teams and on the offensive side. That's extra knowledge. Just to get from somebody like him and for us to have him here... I'm excited to have him and I know he's gonna help us tremendously."

But in case there was any mistake, Ford has no doubts who would win in a 40-yard dash between he and Cribbs.

"Oh, me, easily," said Ford without hesitation. "There's nobody that's gonna beat me. Most definitely."

The new regime was hoping Ford could offer the kind of return abilities and receiving skills he had shown in previous seasons for the Raiders. But they have yet to see him take the field on game day.

Both Cribbs and Ford have made an impact as receivers as well as returners. The challenge facing them now is developing chemistry with a new quarterback. It's something with which Ford has become all too familiar during his short time with the Raiders. He's had so many different quarterbacks, he can't remember.

"It's what, my... had a lot of them here," said Ford. "It's just something that you just have to deal with. It's not too hard to do it and [Matt Flynn and I] have been working out together so the chemistry's already been starting to get there because we worked out at Laney (college) over the summer before we even started OTA's. So, the chemistry's started to get there and we've started to get used to each other automatically."

Not since Jason Campbell has Jacoby Ford had chemistry with his quarterback and that's also the last time he had a kick return touchdown. The Raiders have hit the reset button and he has done the same.

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