Raider rookie running back Taiwan Jones practiced at full go Tuesday for the first time in a few weeks. He was injured early in camp and missed practice as well as the first two preseason games, but he has confirmed that he will play in the Raiders' third preseason game this Sunday against the Saints.
When asked if he would play on Sunday, Jones responded with a resounding, "Definitely... I'm sure I will."
Jones grew up in nearby Pittsburg, California, and will be playing in his first game for his home team Raiders, which as you can imagine, is very exciting for him.
"I've been trying my best to stay level. It's only [Tuesday], and I'm already getting emotions and getting excited. I'm going to just stay calm until game day... I got drafted local. There should be a lot of people in the stands for me."
In practice today, he played like he was ready, and was as elusive as advertised -- so much so that yesterday Darren McFadden said he looked like "lightning."
Said Jones, "It always means something when you have a veteran player like Darren McFadden, when they can see the talent that I've got. Just taking notes from them and taking their advice, it's good to have those leaders in front of you."
But in this practice he even showed a little power. The Raiders lined up in goal line drills to start practice and twice in a row, he punched through the line for a touchdown.
Being a goal line back is not really what Jones is known for, but as he says, "There are a lot of naysayers saying that I can't run up the middle and stuff like that, so that's definitely something I'm here to prove."
Many fans are excited to see him suit up for the first time, as are his friends and family who will be in attendance. But their excitement pales in comparison to the excitement Jones is feeling right now.
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even if he turns out to be a sproles type, can still spell mcfadden or bush and be a threat. hopefully he can catch as good as sproles, cause our rb's get lots of passes due to our oline.
I liked him in the film I saw.
A lot of people are just looking at his 40 time, and thinking he's Darren Sproles. He's far from that. He plays very powerfully for his size. Breaks a lot of tackles.
I'm not saying he's going to be anything as good as Chris Johnson, but he plays kind of like him.
@ChristopherMooney I just watched some film on him saw him shrug off a DE. He breaks arm tackles and can stop and start without losing a step. The one that most impressed me was seeing him sprint by two blockers to make a tackle after a sack/fumble, great hustle. I think we really got something in Jones.
I think we're going to have a little something out of almost every 2011 Raiders draft class. every one of them have shown they can play some football. Very excited to see what Taiwan Jones can do. just stay healthy man, and you can become a great weapon for us this year! don't let the injury bug bite you in your first 2 years like it did to DMAC!
his competition was against very low talent... Eastern Washington? where? I love that he's local from Antioch though. that is nice... but its clearly obvious when someone DOMINATES the division, whether it be in division I or II ... you can become an NFL caliber starter. don't believe me? look at Veldheer. didn't allow one sack in 4 years on a division II team at Hillsdale College(again, where?) yes, against poor players that will have a different career once they're out of college... this i do realize. but look at him now. he needs work, but he is an overall good OL ...
Yeah, I agree to be honest with you. Think all of the rookies this year are at a level where they'll get playing time.
The thing is though, some of that's just the fact that Oakland are pretty good team. As in, they have a lot of good players already.
A lot easier for rookies to contribute, and look good, when they are not being relied on too much to win games.
As in, most of the drafted players - we're probably going to win the same amount of games, with or without them in the first team to be honest, this year.
A few years ago, these players would have come in, and had a lot of pressure to perform.
Not the case now. We're a better team.
Key thing is, to have this EVERY year. Like the best teams in the league.
Pittsburgh don't draft players, then rely on them to win games. They've got the team to win games, with or without them. Allowing rookies to contribute with less pressure. And a smoother transition.
Oakland will be a play off team, when they're doing this every year.
By that I mean, drafting guys, then, frankly, not being destroyed as a team if they can't start immediately. Winning regardless.
As I said, a few years ago, guys like McFadden, Huff, Heyward-Bey, Russell, were coming in, and the season was almost over when they didn't make the pro bowl in their debut season....................sign of a bad team!