Raiders running back Zamir White Josh Jacobs Hard Knocks

Would Al Davis Want the Raiders on Hard Knocks? Plus How Zamir White Prepares for 2023 Season

HBO’s Hard Knocks has become a tradition for many NFL fans. It’s a way to know that a new season is upon us. This year, the New York Jets, under newly acquired quarterback Aaron Rodgers, will be the focus of the annual documentary series. While Hard Knocks has become a phenomenon, it wasn’t the then-Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis’ cup of tea.

Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask knew the late owner well and explained how he’d react if asked to be on Hard Knocks. If the Silver and Black were on the documentary series, one angle the show’s crew would certainly follow is the Josh Jacobs-saga. The running back isn’t in training camp, and Zamir White spoke about preparing for a new season with the uncertainty of the ongoing Jacobs’ situation.

There’s plenty of news concerning the Raiders, so let’s dive into the latest.

How would Al Davis react to Raiders on Hard Knocks?

Davis was a larger-than-life character, and even after he died in 2011, his “Just Win, Baby” is a reactionary phrase. Although Davis was one of the well-known NFL owners, he had no time for Hard Knocks.

The former Raiders owner had no issues talking to the media and thinking out-of-the-box, whether good or bad. Still, letting cameras get a behind-the-scenes look might have been too much for him.

Trask, the team’s CEO from 1997 until 2013, knew how Davis would react if the league asked him to allow the HBO cameras to follow the team during training camp and preseason.

“The league would have said, ‘Raiders, you’re doing hard knocks,'” Trask told Suzy Shuster on The Rich Eisen Show Friday. “This is all hypothetical, of course. I’m pretending, but here’s how it would have unfolded. [The] next thing that would have happened [was], ‘Amy, tell them no.'”

“I’d call the league if it didn’t become an immediate oh, no. Let me back up. ‘Amy, you got to tell them no.’ ‘Okay, I’ll try.’ ‘Hey, I didn’t ask you to try. I told you to get it done.’ That conversation happened a lot.”

Davis’ hesitation to have the Raiders on Hard Knocks should be understood. The documentary series didn’t become an annual tradition on the NFL calendar until 2007; Davis might not have wanted to be one of the first Guinea pigs used in testing whether this experiment worked or not.

Nonetheless, the Raiders eventually caved in and were part of Hard Knocks in 2019 some years after Al Davis’ passing. It is interesting to think what Davis would say, or do, had he still been who the NFL needed to contact for the franchise to partake in 2019’s Hard Knocks series. Would he cave or stand firm with his no?

Zamir White prepares for the 2023 season amid Josh Jacobs’ uncertainty

If Hard Knocks were following the Raiders, their attention would be on the Jacobs-saga. The 25-year-old has not signed his franchise tag and isn’t in training camp. Due to this, White is one of the players taking snaps at the starting running back position.

Whether the current rushing champion returns to Las Vegas or not will be interesting as he cannot sign a multi-year deal until next offseason. Jacobs can only play on the franchise tag or a separate agreed upon one-year deal, so there’s no telling if he’ll sign it; or, at the very least, miss regular season games.

Regardless, White spoke about his preparation for the new season, knowing that Jacobs could arrive at any point. The 23-year-old is operating as usual, understanding his number might be called up if the Alabama product isn’t playing Week 1.

“Honestly, just doing my part,” White told reporters (h/t SI’s Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr.). “Just coming in and daily and like just locking in on film and working and just head down grinding. That’s what I’m focused on right now. Yeah, that’s it for me.”

Although the Georgia product has to operate as though he might have to be the starter, he’s leaning on the veterans. White is picking the brains of Raiders backs Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah, soaking in their experience.

“There’s no question, no dumb questions, no little questions,” White continued. “I just talk to them and just ask them. Because Ameer [Abdullah] and B [Brandon Bolden] are going to help you regardless but that’s just them. They’re here to help you. So yeah, just ask them and they’ll say, ‘Yeah bro, do this and do that. With this front and this read, you do this.’ We just break it down.”

So what do you say, Raiders fans? Does White’s preparation for the upcoming season calm any concerns, or are you hoping that Jacobs makes his way back to the team before Week 1? Let us know.

*Top Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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