RB Rashad Jennings
August 3, 2016
Q: The last couple of days, we see pads, but as a player, what do these padded practices mean to you?
A: These padded practices show we get to work on our technique a little bit more obviously because we play in that type of garment, so we get to get out there and be physical, attack, use our hands a little more. Offensive line and defensive line get to attack in the trenches. You get to catch with your gear on and play football how youíre going to play on Sundayís, Thursdayís and Mondayís. Itís just bit by bit in training camp, you just want to keep raising your game. As you put on your pads, you get to play actual football.
Q: Is it more fun? Is there more of a buzz with the guys because youíre doing something more akin to what the real game is?
A: Yes, it definitely is. Itís exciting. We have our great fans out here that come out and support and having the pads on, we know thatís how youíre going to win a championship. You play football with pads on, so when you get to practice that, you learn how to practice as a unit, as a team and also be able to challenge each other. We know thatís going to lead to success moving forward. It feels good to be back in the pads.
Q: Youíre a very optimistic guy, does it feel like the optimism here is even higher than it has been?
A: You can tell just from the energy levels that you feel when youíre walking around the building and when weíre out at practice. We know what kind of team we have, we really do. We can sit here and preach all day from offense to defense, specials teams, why we feel we have a good team, but if we donít go out here and prove it, it really doesnít matter. Iím excited because sooner than later, weíre going to have the opportunity to prove it to ourselves and for our fans.
Q: Does it make it tougher having so many guys there in the backfield having to make the most of the fewer opportunities that you get?
A: No, it doesnít make it tougher because every play is its own play. Itís a brand new play, a brand new situation, a brand new down and distance, itís a brand new culture of that play. How to fit in the triangles with the pass, how to fit in the gap scheme in the zone on everything that youíre doing so when youíre in, youíre just taking advantage of the play that youíre in and being fully 100 percent on where your feet are at per play. We have a great group of backs and we know that. Weíre going to push each other and thatís what training camp is all about.
Q: There are some new things at this camp: music, TV timeouts, soccer balls. How do the players react to whatís new?
A: I like it. Thatís the type of atmosphere the game is, itís high energy. Itís not quiet. You have fans, you have music, you have TV timeouts, so I think putting us in that organized chaos that the game presents itself, it causes us to practice in those elements and being used to it. Having to use the hand signals on offense and defense, having to yell over top of music, coaches and seeing whatís going on, players have to stay in tune, mental reps on the sidelines, I think it helps us tremendously.
Q: He also said he was trying to keep it interesting. Does that make sense? Itís a long training camp?
A: Yes. Look, training camp is long but thatís what itís built for. Finding ways to not only make it fun, but challenging. I think you find great dividends in that for the whole entire team.
Q: Ben obviously has talked to you about goals and aspirations in private, but when a coach comes out here and starts talking about the Super Bowl to the media, what does that do for a playerís psyche?
A: Thatís what I expect. As an individual, everybody wants to make it to the Super Bowl, thatís why weíre playing this game. When the head guy preaches that and talks about it and has that expectation, it allows and forces you to bring your level of expectations up, too. It feels good to be on a team where itís okay to talk about the Super Bowl. Iíve been a part of different teams where that was taboo, so I like it.