RB Rashad Jennings
October 12, 2016
Q: Are you excited to practice?
A: Yeah, it is step one.
Q: Do you think this is a step closer to playing on Sunday?
A: It definitely is. I am getting some good reps out there practicing with the offense, getting in the flow of things and getting ready for Baltimore. I prepare every single week like I am carrying the load, no matter what, that is just my mentality. But today I got a good mix in with the offense, so yeah, we are on the right track.
Q: Do you still have to wear the protection on your hand?
A: No, it is minimal. Definitely minimized.
Q: Do you feel that you are able to better grip the ball?
A: Yeah, it is definitely better. It has been progressing every day and every single week and it has been a game day – last week was a game day decision and so we are headed in the right direction and hopefully I will play this week.
Q: Without going into detail of the injury. Is it something that you could rehab or did you just have to let the injury take its course and rest?
A: The things you do are work around it. You do everything, ice, stim and everything that they have set up and the stuff that they do outside, but yeah, no it was one of those that was a football injury. There was nothing that you could have done as far as training or warming up or being in shape or fatigue, hydration, there was nothing you could do. It was a football injury, so you just have to let things heal up.
Q: You were confident when you first got hurt that you would be back, but it turned out to be a little more serious?
A: Yeah and again, you are talking to the player, so I am always thinking that I am good and I am ready to play, but I am sure that they evaluated it and doing what is in the best interest of the team immediately and the team long term, everything is about this team, so hopefully I can help this team, this week.
Q: Have you noticed anything specifically about why the run game has struggled?
A: We had some moments, some spurts, successful runs and we had some moments where we can make some better yards adjusting and eliminating free hitters sometimes, but I think overall we have to get into a rhythm. It is not about necessarily the run game, it is about the whole unit and making sure that we are in third down and manageable and staying on the field and the penalties – if that gets out of the groove then it is hard for any play caller to make a call on third and 15 and first and 20. That is all we have to focus on, holding the ball when it is in our possession and if you have to give it up make sure it is a punt.
Q: How much of a difference do you think you can make in the running game?
A: I think I can contribute. Just what I bring to the table.
Q: You have also played some good run defenses and you get another one this weekend.
A: Yeah, we do. We get another opportunity, a home game and Baltimore has a great defense. If you put on the tape they have guys everywhere, on all three levels. They also know how to play in close games. All of their games have been decided with less than a touchdown I believe, so they know how to play four quarters and we know how to play four quarters, so I anticipate that it will be a long game and two physical, heavy handed teams going at it.
Q: After falling under .500 after a 2-0 start, how anxious does that make you to want to get back?
A: It is really anxious, man. One, it is an opportunity to get out there on a Sunday and fight for a win. Right now, we have been in a little slump of not coming up at the end of the game with a W the last few games, but we have nobody to look at except ourselves and continue to grow from that. So moving forward, the only way to get that taste out of your mouth is to go out there and get a win, so that is what we have to figure out, how we are going to do this Sunday.
Q: What is your opinion on some of the criticism that Eli has taken?
A: I haven’t heard anything. I really haven’t heard anything.
Q: There has just been some talk about Eli not executing plays. What is your opinion on that?
A: Eli is a tremendous quarterback. He understands the position and a lot of the times the success and failures for most critics go to the quarterback, but our quarterback ratings and stats are collectively a team stat, so we have to play better. It is not all on one person at all, especially Eli.
Q: The criticism now tends to be about Eli’s age. What is your opinion on that?
A: Whoever says that and goes with a stereotype, ‘Let me pull this out, the idioms of the world,’ that is just easy. If you really study the game and know how the game operates, you understand that the quarterback position is expressed as a team, so that is just an immature statement and no, he is not on the decline at all. Eli is a tremendous quarterback and we will continue to win with him and so, obviously we have had losses, he has big shoulders and I am sure – being in the locker beside him for three years, he is always the one that takes ownership and looks at himself in the mirror first, but we can’t do that to him, no, it is definitely the team and the offensive side of the ball that needs to step it up too.