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Giants RB Rashad Jennings: Faces change, expectations don't

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NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.

Rashad Jennings

Running back, New York Giants

Born: March 26, 1985

Experience: Seven NFL seasons

Interview by Tyler Dragon | July 12, 2016

I've had a great offseason. I've been all over the place doing stuff that I enjoy. Just humbled by the opportunity to speak at the White House and was asked to be the commencement speaker at my alma mater [Liberty]. That was kind of humbling.

I actually didn't get to meet [President Barack Obama], but that was cool, though. Just to be in the White House. I actually got to sit on a panel and talk, get the chance to speak to some policymakers and my personal opinions. So that was a neat experience.

I'm excited just to say that I got to play underneath [Tom Coughlin]. He's a Hall of Fame coach and I learned a lot from him. We all know it's unfortunate. Everything doesn't always come down to the coach. Players make plays or don't make the plays, but the shoulders of the successes and failures are the coach, so that's kind of how that happened. But Coach Coughlin is nothing but a stand-up guy. He coaches with pride [and] integrity. He displayed that the whole entire time that I was there and everybody else can agree that was there before me. But it's tough.

I took so many notes in everything [Coughlin] said every single day. I seriously got stacks of stuff. But one thing he said that stood out, he said, "Faces may change, but expectations never will." That's him in a nutshell. He truly believes in the way that he coaches. He believes in his system, his preparation and he goes about it that way. And if anything changes? His expectations never did and he held us to a higher standard.

I think we brought in the right coach [Ben McAdoo]. We put somebody there in that position that's going to be able to continue to take us and pick us up where we left off at in the successes and cover up some of the failures.

I can't say [what McAdoo brings to the table that Coughlin didn't] yet, because it ain't happened. I can't say. We haven't had him long enough. The only thing that I can say about Coach McAdoo is he's into details. No favorites; he's gonna play the best. He's consistent. He's meticulous. He understands Xs and Os. He knows the architecture of the team and we just are expected to go out there and compete and win.

A little bit different flavor here the way practices are set up [at OTAs and other offseason programs]. What day off -- I think we might be off Mondays. I think that's still trying to be figured out. But I think instead of Tuesdays being our off day, Mondays may be our off day. Stuff like that, but Coach McAdoo let us know that it's not a ton he's gonna change because we were doing a lot of the things the right way. He's just going to pinpoint what he believes he sees fit.

Guaranteeing [the Giants make the playoffs this year]. I'm riding with [Eli Manning].

[Beating the Redskins at the top of the division] is the only way we are going to get [to the playoffs].

Yes, I'm going to try to watch the Olympics. I definitely enjoy watching track and field. Obviously, the 100 meters. I always want to see who will win that one.

Usain Bolt. He's a strider. I appreciate striders.

We do have a lot of running backs. Some teams are built on special teams with a lot of running backs, some teams are built with linebackers and some are built with receivers -- everybody is different. You can only play one on the field at a time, so it doesn't matter how many you have.

I don't look at it [like that], and people ask, "Are you threatened?" I don't see anybody as a threat, ever. My job is to come in and prepare as a starter every single year since I was a rookie, and that's what I do every year.

I got high standards. I'm chasing just like every running back in the league. [The goal] is to lead the league in rushing.

I stayed consistent with all the maintenance work, [so I was able to play 16 games last season]. Muscle-activation therapy, the way I eat, gluten and casein free, slept in my hyperbaric [chamber] a lot.

I bought [a hyperbaric chamber] after my first year in the league because I wanted to make an investment in my body that I was gonna get a return on. It's definitely helped out a lot. But just staying on my body around the clock. Even now, I travel with food. Wherever I am, I find a chef [and] somewhere I can get a workout in. All those little things I been making sure I stay on top of.

I don't model after anybody. I appreciate the game of a lot of people. I watch tape a lot, but I don't try to be anybody. I try to see what they are looking at, but you got to be you. You got to be the best version of yourself.

Eddie George. He was bigger and he was light-skinned, and I was big and I was light-skinned. So I was like, "Hey, I'm going to try to be like him." Eddie George played hard, he worked hard. But like I said, he was a bigger back. And I grew up and I was just a bigger kid. They always used to say I was too big to play, so seeing him made me think I could do it.

Basketball [is my favorite sport outside of football].

Dallas Mavericks. I always liked Dirk Nowitzki. I'm a big fan of him. Every single sport I have a favorite team.

The locker room is the best, man. You miss it during the offseason because nobody gets your jokes like the locker room does.

No, we haven't given [Eli Apple] a hard time [about his mother becoming a big star] yet. It's too early, but we are going to give him a hard time at some point. Being one of the veterans in the locker room, we don't want to bring that attention on him right now because his focus has to be football and he has to be comfortable enough in his craft.

But when the time is right, trust me, everybody gets it. It don't matter who you are, what you've done, wrong or right, you're in the locker room.

I'm training down in Florida. I got a chance to hold my third annual "180 Weekend." That's what I call it. It's the way I give back to my community. On a Friday, I do an open mic night. On Saturday, I do a football camp called "Camp 180." And then Sunday, I do a family fest for the entire city [of Lynchburg, Virginia].

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