What a difference a year makes.

As an undrafted rookie entering training camp with the Oakland Raiders last year, running back Jalen Richard didn’t know what to expecting, including whether he would be able to land a spot on the roster. This year, the former Southern Miss standout has emerged as a dynamic presence in their offense.

‘The coaches and obviously my teammates know what they could get out of me’

Richard has become a strong complement to Marshawn Lynch, and his 52-yard touchdown run in the Raiders’ beat-down of the New York Jets inspired Lynch’s sideline dance that the crowd love in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

“It definitely was a different feeling going into camp this year than it was last year for me,” Richard told Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt on Late Hits. “I was able to go in this year and kind of clear my head and not really have that extra stress about, per se, making the team. I understood that going into training camp, the coaches and obviously my teammates, they know what they could get out of me or have seen what I can bring to the table.

‘My thing going into this training camp was to show them what I’ve been able to build on’

“But my thing going into this training camp my second year was to show them that, yeah, I still had that, but at the same time, show them what I’ve been able to build on and really perfect my craft and in training camp really work on my craft and taking everything I could from Marshawn and now just putting it all together during the season.”

Richard has been highly impressed with what he has seen from Lynch, who came out of retirement to play for his hometown team.

‘People were worried about, ‘Is he still going to be Marshawn?’ Obviously he hushed them up about that quick’

“He’s still got it,” Richard said. “People were worried about, ‘Is he still going to be Marshawn?’ And, obviously, he hushed them up about that quick. And we all knew he was still Marshawn because I had seen it in training camp, those few little glimpses. And I was like, dang. When I saw him in person, I didn’t realize he was that shifty. I thought he was just all run over guys.

“But I saw him in camp and saw his footwork and I was like, ‘Man, he can move, too.’ And he’s having fun, he’s enjoying it. That stadium was rocking when he did that. I had never seen nothing like that. And I had never seen a dance like that, either. I guess that’s some Oakland staff. I’m from Louisiana; we don’t do that. If everybody’s behind you like that and we’re winning games, I’ll dance, too.”

Powered by WordPress.com VIP