Jordan happy with his role in Oakland

Fifth-year RB LaMont Jordan became an Oakland Raider earlier this year on March 3. There was a time, however, that the former University of Maryland star not only wasn't going to become a free agent, he might have seen his career ended.

Hearken back to last August. LaMont Jordan, then a New York Jet, was struggling with his role with the team. He wanted so badly to become a starting back in the NFL but he knew that he was going to wait his turn since veteran RB Curtis Martin was firmly entrenched in his role at the top of the depth chart.

"I knew I could help the team more than I was doing," Jordan said after a recent training camp practice. "I mean no disrespect to Curtis but I'm a different runner than him and I had more that I could do."

It was because of his lack of on field practice time that really frustrated Jordan. So much so that he couldn't deal with it any longer. The team was set to make a trip to Albany to take on the Giants in a scrimmage but Jordan asked head coach Herman Edwards if he could take some time off from the team.

"It was to the point where if I didn't get away, I might have done something to hurt myself or hurt the team," he said.

Jordan was so depressed that he could no longer deal with his reduced role. He went back to his childhood home in the Maryland area and spent time with his family. He credits the time off that he received as pivotal in his ability to finish the 2004 without incident.

"I don't know where I'd be without those three days off," Jordan added.

It's not often you hear a player be so frank and open but Jordan had no problem discussing what seemed to be a depressed state about a year ago.

"That seems like a long time ago but things are very cool now."

Jordan, now a starting running back for the first time in his career, relishes his desired role.

"I've been waiting a long time for his and I'm ready for anything and everything."

Although he's generally an East Coast guy and it's an adjustment to live on the West Coast, Jordan does have someone who he can talk to, assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye.

"He has a similar sense of humor like I do."

Both men spent two years together (2002-2003) with the Jets and Jordan welcomes the opportunity to play for him again.

"He has a way to explaining things to you and it's not hard to understand."

With a five-year, $27.5 million deal completed, Jordan can focus on the season. Jordan is ready to handle a big role but also understands it's a team game.

FB Zack Crockett is the team's designated short-yardage runner but Jordan doesn't have a problem with it.

"He's (Crockett) been so good with it, I mean I see what they're (the coaches) are doing."

The coaching staff gave him the statistics of how effective Crockett had been in third and short and goal-line situations over the years so Jordan knows he'll have to be effective in other ways.

"Hey, I can score from the eight or ten (yards out) too."

All in all, Jordan's pretty happy to be a Raider and you can see it in his face.

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