Why Raiders rookie Jihad Ward fighting is a good sign

James Arcellana

The Oakland Raiders had at least one scuffle during practice on Tuesday that was reported by the media who were present. Apparently, rookie Jihad Ward and recent free agent addition Keleche Osemele got in a fight that came to blows after a play. The two were broken up and head coach Jack Del Rio took the moment to teach the newest members of the Silver and Black about how the team operates.

But that may not be the most noteworthy tidbit to come out of what is a fairly common offseason occurrence. The news isn’t that there was a fight, or even how eloquent Del Rio was in turning that fight into a learning lesson, the news is who was involved in the fight.

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Osemele is a guy who is known for being a mauler who loves to hit people. After he was signed. giddy Raiders fans everywhere watched Youtube video after Youtube video of Osemele destroying defenders with his blocks. But Ward is a guy who comes to the Raiders with a knock on his intensity.

Ward is a hard worker with a great motor but many questioned whether or not he was mean enough to get the job done in the trenches. Having power and technique is great but you also have to have the right mentality to do battle play after play with NFL linemen.

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This was brought up in a Twitter discussion with cover32 writer Terry Biggs and the Twitter account of a man who looks strikingly similar to Menelik Watson (though contrary to popular belief, @blackhanside is not Menelik’s second Twitter account) and this comment came to mind the second I heard Ward had been in a scuffle at practice:

The only way to become tougher is to get thrown into the fire and learn. Today was a great learning experience for Ward. Osemele has the mentality that most of the best offensive linemen have, he wants to block you right into the ground and until the whistle stops, that’s what he’s going to try to do.

Ward is at a whole new level now and if he wants to succeed, he will need to get meaner and play with more edge. He has to have the mentality of wanting to humiliate the offensive lineman across from him.

As Twitter Menelik pointed out, when you watch Mario Edwards, Jr. play, the first thing that comes to mind is violence. MEJ looks like he wants to hurt people on his way to the backfield. Ward never had that kind of killer mentality in college but hopefully he is starting to develop it as he sees what life in an NFL trench is really like.

The post Why Raiders rookie Jihad Ward fighting is a good sign appeared first on Cover32.

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