Many NFL teams try to avoid tipping their hands prior to the draft, and this was apparently the case with the Raiders in regards to Doug Jolley.
Asked if his first year of success met or exceeded his expectations, he replied, "It was so hard mentally – it's such a business. The long hours, seven days a week, for six straight months."
Jolley, who finished the year with 32 receptions for more than 400 yards and two touchdowns for the AFC champions, was actually surprised at the amount of playing time he got as a rookie.
He said he didn't set any specific goals for playing time or numbers going into his rookie year. "I didn't think I would play as much as I did. I was surprised to be starting by the end of the year, but I think that's what the coaches expected all along."
Looking back on the season, Jolley said his most memorable moment would have to be a Monday night game in Denver. The Raiders were in a four-game losing streak at the time. "We went into Denver and the fans were awesome. The stadium was awesome. It was a cold night, my first Monday night football game." Asked how he did, Jolley said, "I think ended up with three catches for 50 or 60 yards."
"Another highlight was the AFC Championship game," he continued. Jolley played the entire game and remembered the playoff intensity and the fact it was a very long game. He did a lot of pass protection and was exhausted after the game, which ultimately put them into the Super Bowl.
Jolley, who reported to training camp with the Raiders on July 24, has four years remaining on a five-year contract. He has been working out during the off-season at BYU with Coach Jay Omer, Ryan Denney, Chad Lewis, Reno Mahe and Gabriel Reid.
So, how does a young, single NFL star spend his off-season?
"After the Super Bowl, I went to Hawaii to see Pro Bowl," Jolley said. There were some Pro Bowlers from the Raiders who flew the whole offensive unit out to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, covering for the flights, hotel expenses and everything else for their teammates to spend a week to 10 days in Hawaii.
In February, Jolley attended the Roy Jones Jr. fight in Las Vegas where he sat on the third or fourth row. He has also played in "a bunch of celebrity golf events" including two of Steve Young's tournaments – one in Phoenix and one in Park City. "I suck at golf, but I'm getting better and I'm playing more," Jolley added.
Doug remains in regular contact with a long list of his former BYU teammates, including Ryan Denney, Tyson Smith, Levi Madarieta, Brandon Heaney, Gabriel Reid, Spencer Nead, Toby Christensen, Brandon Stephens, Chad Lewis and Brandon Doman.
One he sees more than most is current 49ers back up quarterback Doman, who also lives in the Bay Area. "Brandon and his wife have had me over for dinner a couple times. They take care of me because I don't have a wife or anything. I talk to him maybe every other week."
Thinking back to his days at BYU, Jolley said his most memorable moment would be "his whole senior season. At one point, we were 12-0. Just the confidence of the team, going out there having fun playing BYU football."
Jolley said he is excited to watch the 2003 BYU football team in action. Asked if there were any specific players he was excited to see, he replied, "I want to see how the quarterback position plays out. I knew John Beck before his mission and I know he can help them." He is also interested to see how Daniel Coats plays this year, adding "I think he should start as a redshirt freshman."
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