Despite battling some injuries this year, Raiders tight end Kevin Boss looks to be a prominent part his team's offense heading into the stretch run of the season. The 2008 Pro Bowl selection when he was with the New York Giants talked with Yahoo! Sports taking a "nickel" of questions:
Yahoo! Sports: You made a name for yourself while with the Giants, having spent your first four years there. How difficult was it to leave New York as a free agent this offseason to go to Oakland and did you want to go back to the Giants?
Kevin Boss: There was a time where I thought that I was going to go to New York and work things out with the Giants, but it didn't work out that way. I understand that it is a business and when the opportunity came along to come here and play in Oakland, it was a great fit. I'm a West Coast guy, grew up in Oregon and it was great to come back here, a little closer to home.
I felt comfortable coming here, but my time in New York was great, really special. The fans out there, I'll tell you, they were always wonderful to me, wonderful to my family. I won a Super Bowl there, made a lot of good friends and grew as a player, as a person there. But I knew this was the right decision for me and I was eager to come to Oakland, but I take a lot of memories from New York with me.
Yahoo! Sports: But in coming to Oakland, you came to an organization that really hasn't had much success since they made the Super Bowl in 2002 and you were leaving a team in the Giants that has had much more success. Was that a concern for you?
Kevin Boss: It was a chance to go somewhere and prove yourself all over again — that's a part of the game, a part of the business. Obviously in New York, I had a lot of success; the team had a lot of success. That was hard to leave that success behind and leave a team that I knew would be good for a while.
When I came out here, I saw all the young talent here and it was exciting, to see the young talent on this team; I was excited to join and become a part of the team. I wanted to become a veteran guy and help these young guys mature through the years.
Yahoo! Sports: Your quarterback in New York, Eli Manning, has always been strong statistically and seems to win, but he's always a whipping boy of the fans, the media in New York. Why doesn't he get more respect?
Kevin Boss: Oh man, I think that's part of the territory of being in New York, being that guy, being the quarterback of the New York Giants. I don't think it matters who it is, you're going to draw the attention of the media, the fans. You're always going to be under the microscope, no matter who you are
Yahoo! Sports: You have a new quarterback now in Carson Palmer, a veteran guy who numbers-wise has been among the best quarterbacks in the NFL the best decade. What does he bring to the Raiders and what have you noticed about him?
Kevin Boss: He's definitely a great quarterback and we're excited to have him. It was hard losing Jason Campbell, our starter; he was playing really good football. We were winning with him and it was hard to see Jason go down. But anytime you've got a chance to bring in a proven, Pro Bowl-caliber type quarterback, it's huge.
He has a brilliant football mind, a really smart guy. He brings some leadership qualities that are going to be big for us. Not only will the lead by example but he goes out there and tells guys what to do, how to do it.
Sitting in meetings with him, being in the huddle with him, watching him make checks at the line — it's impressive to watch. He kind of reminds me of Peyton Manning, just watching him take command of the huddle, take command of being back there, making calls and seeing what the defense gives him.
Yahoo! Sports: A lot of people know your name and they're starting to learn the name of Terry Boss. What's it like to watch your brother, a goalkeeper in MLS with the Seattle Sounders?
Kevin Boss: I definitely am his biggest fan and it's been great to follow his career. I try to get to as many games as I can in the offseason - be there to support him because he's always been there for me, to support me. He's my biggest fan.
It's been fun to be close to him, share this experience with him in our respective sports. I've definitely become a huge Seattle Sounders fan, watching him, having grown up and having played soccer. It's been fun.
I played soccer up until seventh grade and then that was my first opportunity I had to play football. I always wanted to play football and I tried playing both football and soccer, but it was a bit too much to play two sports in the same season.