The Raiders signed former Dallas Cowboys free agent cornerback Mike Jenkins on Tuesday. Wednesday I hopped on a conference call with him to ask him a few questions. Here is what he had to say.
Take us through what it's been like rehabbing from your injury and losing your starting job in Dallas last season.
"I'm pretty much over that now. Of course, I got hurt, I had a serious injury which I'm back 100% now from when I injured it. It took me a while to get back, pretty much a whole year of rehab. I don't really know too much about losing my job to anyone but it was a minor setback but I'm past that now and I'm ready to move on."
How hard was it for you to go through the rehab process and not starting the amount of games you were used to starting?
"It was pretty hard. My main focus was to get back 100%. Like I said, I went through a season not 100% and kinda hurt me. Mentally my main focus was coming back mentally stronger than I was when I wasn't 100%. I feel like I'm 100% now."
What has free agency been like for you and your contact with the Raiders?
"Pretty much like coming out of college again. Like the whole recruiting process. Going from places to places. The Raiders pretty much... I had a great visit when I went out there. Those guys were pretty much straight forward with me, never promised me anything, and I felt like the only thing they promised me was a chance and I really appreciate it. They looked at me right in the face and were straightforward. They never promised me I'd come in and play, they only promised me a chance to go out there and compete to get a position that I deserve and I think that should be for everybody."
What kind of team are the Raiders building in your eyes?
"I think they're building a nice organization right now. They're going out and getting some elite guys. With Matt Flynn coming in at quarterback, they went out and got Tracy Porter, a couple other guys like (Nick) Roach coming in from Chicago. I think they're headed in the right direction. They have a vision and I definitely respect that about those guys."
What qualities do you bring to the Raiders as a player?
"A veteran who's going to come out there and compete every day and try to better the organization in any way possible if that's mentally or physically, being a leader, just going out and pretty much try to help everyone else around me get better if I can."
A lot of the guys the Raiders are signing are saying the Raiders have a vision, what do you see that vision as being?
"They're pretty much trying to move up. They're not looking back at anything. The only thing they're doing in looking forward and that's the only thing to respect about guys like that. All the people around the building are like that. They're trying to win. They're bringing in guys who want to win and know how to win. Hopefully we can put it all together and it gels."
You don't see the Raiders in a major rebuild?
"No, I don't see it as a re-building year. If you look at the squad and look at the guys they're bringing in right now, we're trying to win now. I don't think it's a rebuilding year. I definitely think they have that mentality."
How many other teams were in the mix or was it just the Raiders from the start?
"There was a few other teams in the mix, but I signed with the Raiders. I'm a Raider now and I feel good about the situation. Like I said, when I came here I fell in love with those guys so the only team I want to talk about now is the Raiders which is my team."
What specifically did you fall in love with when you met the Raiders?
"Like I said, when I went, the guys looked me in the face and were straightforward. I liked everything about the team. Like I said, I felt like they have vision. I felt like they knew where they were going, I felt like they knew what they wanted and I just wanted to be a part of that because the vision is the whole thing."