The fullback position is archaic in the NFL. You typically see three wide receivers or two tight ends more than you see a fullback , and fans would rather see more plays similar to their Madden video game as opposed to the fullback lead block around the weak side. Lorenzo Neal would beg to differ with you on how important the fullback position truly is.
Lorenzo has been banging heads with the best linebackers in the league for 15 years now. He’s not flashy, and is often forgotten in the grand scheme of things. Not forgotten however is the list of running backs Lorenzo has blocked for throughout his career. Whether it be opening holes for Eddie George in Tennessee, Corey Dillon in Cincinnati or LaDainian Tomlinson in San Diego, Neal has lead the way for some prolific rushing attacks.
Lorenzo is a coach’s dream. He was a huge part of the community in San Diego and was one of the most instrumental leaders in the Chargers locker room during his tenure there. In 2008, he played for the Baltimore Ravens, helping a young team on offense completely overachieve and reach the AFC Title Game. His locker room presence was a major factor in landing him his latest gig with the Oakland Raiders.
Lorenzo Neal joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego to discuss his new team, the positive impact he hopes to have on his fellow players and his outlook on his career thus far.
On how he’s adjusting to yet another new team:
“I feel great, man. (I’m) embarking on a new part of my life. I think I just broke the record for most teams traveled and played on in the NFL. I think eight is the number. I think last year I had it tied and I think now I’m the official leader of being on eight different NFL teams. I don’t think anyone in the history of game have been on as many teams as Lorenzo Neal.”
Lorenzo was asked how he came across the Raiders as his next team to play for:
“This point in my career it’s not about me. It’s been a great run. I think the Raiders brought me there for one thing and that’s leadership. That’s getting guys to be committed to the cause. I’ve been to Pro Bowls, I’ve been named All-Pro. Those things have been great but now its about like I said earlier, giving back. It’s about showing guys ‘hey guys be accountable for what you have’ because if you don’t take care of it, it’s going to be given to someone else. Opportunity is never lost, its just given to someone else. The NFL will continue to go on when you’re dead and gone. This game will continue. Live in the moment and take advantage of the opportunity. Be involved in your community. That’s what it’s about for me now.”
On his thoughts through the first mini camp with the Raiders:
“It was good. We had our two practices a day and on Sunday we had one. We got in our five practices and it was great. It was an opportunity to see the young guys, see a lot of the guys and what they want, talk to a lot of individuals. They want to win and it’s a building process.”
Lorenzo’s take on Al Davis and the reputation the Raiders carry with them and if he feels its overplayed in the media:
“I think it’s a combination of things. I think that one, players have to realize and people have to realize, players play. Al Davis can’t come down in his wheelchair, or come down in his walker and get on the field and play the game. We are the product that is on the field. We’re the guys that he chose to use for the job. You have to take ownership and ownership of what you’re doing in your life. You have to be a pro. If you want respect you’ve got to take respect.”