Bo Jackson didn't hesitate when asked what his most difficult adjustment was in his transformation from a baseball player to a football player:
"This press conference."For the fourth consecutive year at the Los Angeles Raiders training camp, Jackson had "this press conference" Wednesday, enabling the horde of interested reporters to talk with the talented two-sport star.
The usually media-shy Jackson spent 30 minutes answering reporters' questions and, after what appeared to be a couple of nervous moments, seemed totally at ease.
Jackson, 27, said on the two-week anniversary of the end of baseball season he anticipated no problems in his return to football.
"I pretty much know the offense," he said shortly before going through his first full practice session. "I just have to refresh my memory. I did that in one day, yesterday. I did some work in the past couple of days. I'm already familiar with it."
The Raiders have won five of their six games without Jackson, a far different mode for them than in his previous three NFL seasons when they went 5-10, 7-9 and 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs each time.
Jackson had his best year last season, gaining 950 yards on 173 carries and catching nine passes for 69 yards while playing in 11 games.
"At this point, I'm the third-string tailback (behind Marcus Allen and Greg Bell) and I've accepted that," he said. "I can't control who the coaches put in Sunday. I'm here. If they put me in, I'll go in.
"The morale here is great. Once I came through that door Monday afternoon, you could feel it in the air, that winning attitude. All the guys came in here with that confidence."
Asked if he'd play Sunday against the Chargers (2-4) at San Diego, Jackson said, "If Sunday gets here."
Actually, Jackson might be needed. Bell suffered a sprained ankle during last Sunday's 24-17 victory by the Raiders over Seattle and is listed as a doubtful participant against the Chargers.
"There's a chance," Raiders coach Art Shell said when asked if Jackson would play against the Chargers. "We'll watch him this week, see how he does and then make a decision."
Jackson, wearing sunglasses and a baseball hat with KCPD on it, presumably standing for Kansas City Police Department, said he didn't feel any pressure upon arrival at the Raiders camp.
"As I've said in the past, the only pressure is the pressure a person puts on himself," he said. "I'm not coming in here expecting to be a savior of this team. I'm just one of the players, hopefully contributing to wins.
"Unfortunately we didn't have the good season we'd planned on with the Royals. I'm here and the Raiders have one of the best records in football."
An outfielder with the Royals, Jackson hit .278 with 28 home runs and 78 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 405 at-bats. The highlight of his season came July 17 at Yankee Stadium when he hit home runs in his first three at-bats, the third of which was the 100th of his major league career.
However, in the sixth inning of that game, he suffered a shoulder injury while attempting to catch a sinking line drive hit by Deion Sanders, coincidentally the other two-sport star who's now playing for the Atlanta Falcons.
Jackson missed 51/2 weeks. Then, in his first at-bat upon his return, he hit a 450-foot homer against Seattle on Aug. 26, thus becoming the 19th player in big-league history to hit home runs in four consecutive at-bats.
Asked if he'd stop playing baseball or football in the near future, Jackson said, "I really can't answer that. I have one more year left on my contract (with the Raiders), next year, and I'm a free agent with the Royals a year after that.
"I am not in either one of these sports to be a great player. I'm doing what makes me happy. I'm not doing this for the attention. I'm doing this because this is what I love. You could say I'm doing this to breathe."
Jackson said he's felt no resentment from the other Raider players.
"The only thing they say the first two days I'm here is, `The baseball player's here.' They don't say that in a negative way. Maybe that's their way of welcoming me back. I've always been welcomed back with open arms."
"You always welcome him when he comes in," Shell said. "He'll work in. Right now we're not sure about Greg Bell's status. Bo understands what we do. It's not a hard transition for him. He remembers basically everything we do."