New Raiders cornerback Mike Jenkins, late of the Dallas Cowboys, was on a conference call with Bay Area reporters Wednesday. He spoke of his return from reconstructive surgery on his right shoulder, what appealed to him about the Raiders and if he saw this coming season as a rebuilding year. Here, then, courtesy of the Raiders, is a transcript…
QUESTION: Run me through what happened in 2011 when you had your injury and losing your starting job in Dallas.
ANSWER: I’m pretty much over that now. Of course, I got hurt. I had a serious injury, which I’m back 100 percent now from my injury. It took me awhile to get back. Spent pretty much a whole year rehabbing. I don’t really know too much about losing my job to anyone, but it was a minor setback. I’m past that now. I’m ready to move on.
Q: How hard was it for you to go through the injury and not starting the amount of games you were used to starting?
A: It was pretty hard. Mentally, my main focus was to get back 100 percent. Like I said, I went through a season, tried to go through playing not 100 percent and it kind of hurt me in the long run. But, like I said, mentally was mainly my main focus to come back mentally stronger than I was when I wasn’t 100 percent.
Q: You feel like you’re 100 percent now?
A: Definitely I feel like I’m 100 percent now.
Q: What has this process been like since the off-season began and free agency?
A: Pretty much like coming out of college again, like the whole recruiting process. Going from places to places. The Raiders pretty much…I had a great visit when I went out there. Those guys were pretty much straight forward with me. Never promised me…anything. I felt like the only thing they really promised me to was a chance and I really appreciated that about those guys because they looked me at my face and were straight forward. They never promised me to come in and play. They promised me a chance to go out there and compete to get a position that I deserve. I think that should be for everybody. So I think that really set me out into going out there with those guys.
Q: What kind of qualities would you say you bring to the Raiders as a player?
A: Just a veteran who’s going to come out there and compete every day. Hopefully to try to better the organization anyway possible, if that’s mentally, physically, being a leader, just going out and pretty much trying to help everybody else around me get better if I can.
Q: Seems like a lot of guys that are signing on are all saying the same thing about that they have a vision and I think from the outside people are looking and saying, 'Look, they cut a lot of their players. They’re signing a lot of guys that seem to be under the radar at the present time.' What do you see their vision as being?
A: They’re pretty much trying to move up. They’re not looking back at anything. The only thing they’re doing is looking forward and that’s the only thing to respect about guys like that. A lot of new people around the building and they’re trying to win and that’s what it’s about. They’re bringing in guys that want to win and who’s been through something and know how to win. So hopefully we can all put it together and it gels.
Q: You don’t look at this as a rebuilding thing?
A: I don’t see it as a rebuilding year. If you look at the squad and you look at the guys they’re bringing in right now, we’re trying to win right now. I don’t think it’s a rebuilding year. I definitely don’t think they have that mentality.
Q: How many other teams were in the mix or was it the Raiders pretty much from the get-go?
A: There were a few other teams in the mix, but I signed with the Raiders. I’m a Raider now and I feel good about the situation. Like I said, when I came in, I fell in love with those guys. So the only team I really want to talk about right now is the Raiders, which is my team.
Q: What was it that you fell in love with when you met the Raiders?
A: Really, like I said, when I went in, the guys looked me in my face and they were straight forward with me. I liked everything about the team. Like I said, I felt like they had vision. I felt like they knew where they were going. I felt like they knew what they wanted and I just wanted to be a part of that because, like I said, the vision is the whole thing to me.