Fargas fights his way to the top

Being an Oakland Raiders running back can be tough. You might end up in the doghouse one week and be on the rise the next. Justin Fargas has taken advantage of the opportunity, fighting his way up the depth chart and proving he can get the job done over a full season.

On how things have worked out for him

Justin Fargas: Over the few years, I've had some tough years here, but I've continued to work and progress with my game so that when my opportunities came, I would be ready. This year, I've been given a great opportunity and I'm just trying to make the most of my chances.

On how tough it has been lately with the tradition and success of the Raiders

Justin Fargas: It's definitely been tough. I came in the year after they made a Super Bowl run and I was thinking we would be right back in the hunt. It hasn't turned out that way. We've had a lot of coaching changes and things like that. But it's still a prestigious place to play, a great organization and I just want to be a part of the organization when we get back on top.

On how most current Colts players have not played in Oakland before and how the fans can be there

Justin Fargas: They're definitely some of the craziest fans out there. They tell it how it is. If we're doing good, they're going to go crazy and it's a tough place to play. On the other hand, if things don't go too well, they'll get on us just as quick. It's a tough place to play, a tough group of fans, but I think they're the greatest fans in the world because they keep it real.

On what it's been like for him to adjust to the different quarterbacks this season

Justin Fargas: It hasn't been too difficult. I'm comfortable with all of the guys we have. The most difficult thing I think is just not knowing who is going to be the guy during the week. Week in and week out, it's kind of changed. But we're confident in all of our guys, so whoever gets in there, we expect to lead us and they're capable of getting the job done.

On QB-Daunte Culpepper this season

Justin Fargas: (He's) just been great. When he's in there, he's inspirational, a good leader. He plays with passion, plays with heart, he's a guy that will give it up for the team, and you have to respect that.

On playing for Lane Kiffin

Justin Fargas: I've enjoyed it. It was a nice change from what we had going on in the past. He's brought a good energy, and I think guys are feeding off that. He's a player's coach. He relates to his players pretty well, and I think guys are buying in and want to play hard for him. It hasn't shown too much in our record, we're not doing too well in that regard, but in the way that we're playing and the style that we're playing and the effort that we're giving on the field, I think it shows that we've come a long way.

On if Lane Kiffin's age helps him relate to players

Justin Fargas: I think so. It might be a little different for some of the older guys that are pretty much his same age or maybe even older, but once you get past that and you realize that he knows a lot about football, has a good plan for us and a good philosophy, guys buy in and respect him just because of the energy and the confidence that he has in us.

On fighting his way up the depth chart and showing what he can do

Justin Fargas: It's been great. Even when I wasn't starting, I was always confident in my ability. I felt like I had something to offer this team and this offense. I was just really waiting on my opportunity to show what I could do. I've been blessed with the opportunity now and I just want to continue to work hard and continue to take advantage of it and just show what I can do.

On if he feels he got a chance to play because of Coach Lane Kiffin

Justin Fargas: I wasn't on the bench last year, I played last year. He made it an open competition. It started off with LaMont (Jordan), and I think the plan was Dominic (Rhodes) was going to be the next guy. He rewards you for hard work and performance, and I just try to perform with every opportunity I get. The coaching staff made the call that I would be the guy, and that's all I can ask for, is to have coaches and a team that's confident in me. And in return, I'm going to give everything I have for the team.

On nearly reaching 1,000 yards and it meaning something after all he has been through

Justin Fargas: It does, it does. Winning is first and foremost, but it would be a nice accomplishment to get over that milestone of 1,000 yards. That's something I'm looking forward to and just going to continue to work hard to ensure that it happens.


SB Report Top Stories