Michael Huff Interview...

Angry Pope

All Raider
Feb 2, 2006
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Michael Huff: silver and black

Michael Huff

How have your first days as a Raider been? In the first days, I was pretty nervous. I was out there just having played as Randy Moss on a video game and watching him when I was younger to being out there covering him one-on-one, so I was a little nervous, but I just had to get over the nerves, get out there and play the game I've been playing since I was little.

How do you think you've done so far? I think I've done well. I had to go out there and learn the defense and show the coaches why they drafted me, and hopefully all of the hard work will pay off.

What has the overall mini-camp experience been like so far? It hasn't been too difficult. It's still just football. I guess the hard part has been learning the new plays and learning your new teammates and getting adjusted to the new coaches. You just have to get adjusted to new things -- I got lost walking around the facilities on the first day -- so I'm just trying to learn my way around here.

What has your experience with Al Davis and Art Shell been like? They're legends, so they've got a lot of experience. Art Shell is a great coach and Al Davis is a great owner, and he's going to do whatever it takes to put us in a position to win. Hopefully we'll go out there and play well for both of them.

When did you first meet Al Davis? I met him about two weeks before the draft when I came here for my visit. He's a good guy. He was just laughing and joking with me, and even making fun of me a little bit. He's a great guy, and I'm going to love playing for him.

How about Art Shell? He was great guy too. He was a little more serious. He's kind of old school and wants to do whatever it takes to win. He doesn't care about how long you've been here, you just have to produce on the field.

Who have you connected with out there as far as players? Probably Thomas Howard and Darnell Bing. They're good guys. I get to mess with Bing because he went to USC, and I get to kind of show off my ring and rub it in his face a little bit, but both of them are good guys. Thomas went to UTEP, so he's from Texas, so we're kind of two Texas boys, which gives us a bond.

They are probably moving Bing to linebacker, so you won't be in the same secondary, but it's interesting you were drafted to the same team. What do you think of that? It would have been different if we had lost, then I wouldn't have like it too much. But now, I get to kind of make fun of him and reap all the benefits.

Talk about choosing number 24 for your jersey. I grew up watching Charles Woodson, and I've been a Charles Woodson man all my life, so I thought I would take on that legacy of the great number 24. I talked to (cornerback) Willie Brown, he's the hall of famer that wore number 24 before Charles Woodson. I got both of their blessings, and I look forward to representing it.

What did Woodson tell you? He just said he'd rather me wear the number than anybody else and he told me to do the number proud.

How did you feel when you realized you were going to just miss being his teammate? I was a little upset, because I wanted to have him on the corner and me be able to play alongside my lifelong idol, but I guess that's the whole business side of the game. I'll just go out there and buy a Green Bay Charles Woodson jersey, and hopefully he'll buy another Raiders 24 jersey.

What does your alter ego Willie Jenkins think about being drafted to the Raiders? Willie Jenkins is the one that comes out in me on game day. He'll probably go out there and have fun and go jump in the Black Hole and put on his shoulder pads with spikes and all that. He'll fit in just fine here.

What kind of rookie rituals have you been told to expect? I've heard the normal tying you to the goal post, shaving your eyebrows, shaving every hair on your face, they'll run up a huge tab and you have to split it between everybody that got drafted, all those little things. I heard you may have to do a little skit or dance something too.

What have you thought about living in Oakland so far? It's a great city so far as I've seen. I've just started looking at trying to buy a house out here and there's nothing but million-dollar shacks out here. I'm going to have get used to that, and the hard part will be finding the house, but hopefully I'll find something I like.

What necessities came with you? The X-Box 360, and I think the new PS3 comes out in December, so I'll definitely be getting that.

But you think you have better draw than Cedric Griffin, at least in terms of weather? Yeah, a lot better, it's freezing cold with snow and all that in Minnesota, and here there's nice, beautiful weather every day, about 80 degrees, so I'm loving this.

What do you think about Cedric going to the Vikings? It was good for him. I felt great with all the hard work he's put in with me the last five years. With him getting drafted, all the hard work paid off, and I think he'll go in and make an immediate impact and he'll make it out there.

What has Coach Akina told you since you were drafted? He told me to keep my head straight and keep doing the same things that got me here, and he thinks I'll do just fine.

So have you started a tradition of Thorpe winners at Texas? Of course, I've already anointed Michael Griffin for next year, so he's got a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but I think his biggest competition will come from his fellow DBs in Aaron Ross and Tarell Brown. With those three, one of them should win it. If not, I'm de-claiming them. I'm not even going to call them anymore.

What's your schedule like for the rest of the summer? It's pretty busy. I'll be playing football and X-Box 360 and getting into the playbook, all that good stuff.
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