The Raiders signed free agent wide receiver, James Jones, today. Shortly after the deal became official, I spoke with Jones in a conference call to talk about his joining the Raiders and his return to the Bay Area where he grew up (San Jose) and attended college (San Jose State). Here is the transcript of that conversation:
How did Reggie McKenzie get you signed with the Raiders?
"I've talking to Reggie the last couple days and just you know me and Reggie had a real good relationship back in Green Bay. I mean just his vision, just the direction he's trying to go. Reggie is kind of the way he runs the team the GM way is kind of the way I play on the football field, just hungry and trying to be the best so I'm excited to play for Reggie and hopefully we can turn this thing around."
How do you feel you fit in?
"I feel like I fit in real good. We got 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. Other than that just doing what I do on the football field, making some plays and hoping I can give the offense some spark."
Being back home the number one thing that sells you?
"It was one of them, being able to come back, get some warm weather, play at home. At lot of my friends and family have seen me play they'll drive from home, straight down the street to the park every day. Not bad."
When you were coming up on free agency, would you say there was a part of you hoping you might land with the Raiders?
"To be honest with you, when I was becoming a free agent, I didn't know where I was gonna go, what was gonna happen, I just put it all in the hands of my agent. I probably talked to my agent three times during this whole process. I just trusted him with everything and me and him both felt like this was the best deal and we took it and we're excited about it."
You've gotten to play with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre you're entire career. Was there any hesitancy about joining a team with such uncertainty at quarterback?
"Um, I mean Aaron is one of a kind, he's a special player but whoever we put behind center here, I'm gonna do the same thing I did for Aaron - just run every route to win, be as open as I can to help whoever's back there, and get this offense rolling. Like I said, Reggie's doing some great things, so I know he's gonna bring us some great guys to help this organization to be successful."
Adding you and Tuck, Woodley, and Tarell Brown, there's guys who've been in a lot of playoff games, what do you think that can do for this team?
"I think that'll be huge just from a leadership standpoint. A lot of those guys, a lot of us have been in the big game, won the Super Bowl so we know what it takes to get there and just our presence in the locker room, our presence on the practice field just hopefully we can just show the young guys how to practice, show the young guys what it's gonna take to get to the next level and hopefully that will rub off on them and we'll be able to turn around and do some great things."
How would you describe your leadership style?
"Well, first off when I got [to Green Bay] as a rookie with Donald Driver, the first and foremost is leading by example. I truly believe that the young guys are gonna watch what I'm gonna do before they listen to what I say. So, I'm gonna come in here and lead by example, if they have any questions, I'm gonna 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."