The Raiders officially announced the signing of Kevin Boothe today. I hopped on a conference call with the team's new offensive lineman to ask him some questions about joining the team who drafted him so many years ago. Here is the transcript of that conversation:
What made you decide to come back to the Raiders? How long have you been talking to them?
"Things kind of picked up quickly. There was interest from them probably a couple of days ago, and decided I would come in for a visit. [We] really hit it off here. I like the direction of the team. They've put some pieces together here and it's a great culture that they're building over here, and I am excited to be a part of it. The fact that I have been here before, obviously, this place has always held a special place in my heart as the team that drafted me."
How different is the place now compared to the team you left?
"That was eight years ago, the 2006 season. It's different. I remember the medical guys, the training staff and the equipment guys, but that's about it. I remember my way around the facility, but it's a whole different place. It's something that has obviously changed a lot over the last couple of years. So, I am excited to be a part of it."
Have they talked to you about how they plan to use you?
"Not yet. I met with coach [Tony] Sparano and we talked about how they really like the fact that I have been able to play multiple positions if need be, so I am sure that that will continue here with the flexibility just in case something were to happen. There's been no talk about specifically what position I'll play."
Is it your goal to come in and start at left guard? Is that the ultimate thing here to you?
"It doesn't matter where, but I think any football player wants to be on the field, so all I could do is go out there and work as hard as I can and hope that I can get out there to help the team win. I think any football player wants to play and start. Sure, that's my goal. But, in terms of position, I don't know where specifically."
What do you like about this blocking scheme? It seems like it's an old-fashioned power scheme. Do you feel like that fits your game?
"Yeah, that's basically a similar offense to what I've run the last seven years with New York. Just talking with coach Sparano and the plays that they run, I knew a lot of the verbiage and everything was very similar, so I think it shouldn't take long for me to pick up the playbook. It's an offense that I'm definitely familiar with and I look forward to it."