This may come as a surprise to some, but Antonio Brown is good. The new star wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders has a laundry list of accomplishments and a treasure chest full of skills. Well, it hasn’t taken Brown long to show off those skills in Oakland. With mandatory minicamps starting on Tuesday, Brown has already begun to show off why the Raiders made him the second highest paid wide receiver in the NFL.
Poor Curtis Riley has no chance against the four-time first team all-pro. There probably isn’t anybody on the Raiders roster that does stand a chance against Brown. Quarterback Derek Carr and Brown seem to be building a quick connection which could mean big things for the Raiders offense in 2019. Brown’s fluidity as a route runner and his quickness makes him one of the hardest players to guard in the NFL. That’s not even mentioning how good his hands are. Brown only dropped three passes in 2018. That’s less than Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr.
Brown seems to be all-in on the Raiders and that’s great news for Derek Carr who has never had a receiver as good as Brown. Even though Brown is one of the best in the game, he’s continuing to try and better himself. He was recently seen at the Raiders facilities with the greatest wide receiver of all time and former Raider, Jerry Rice.
Brown has a long way to go to pass up any of Rice’s records, but it safe to assume that the Raiders will be happy if he even gets close to touching any of those records.
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Not all About Brown
There are few other offensive players that have made some plays during Tuesday’s practice. The Raiders are hoping fifth-round pick Hunter Renfrow can emerge as a solid slot option for Derek Carr.
If Renfrow can develop into a consistent backup option for Carr, he’ll be a huge steal. Tight end Darren Waller has also been making a strong case to replace Jared Cook as the starter. “Since he’s been here, he’s been one of our most impressive players,” said coach Jon Gruden to the media before Tuesday’s practice. Waller’s development could mean big things for the offense as Carr is already loaded with weapons to throw to, including his new running back Josh Jacobs who is a serious threat out of the backfield. Gruden has been hyping Waller up for a while and so far he’s lived up to the expectations.
Waller has faced issues in the past. He saw suspensions in 2016 and 2017 for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. That has likely been what’s hurt his development into a solid contributor for a team. Waller said to the media that his big focus this offseason is “staying clean.” If he can do that, he could develop into a solid player for the Raiders for years to come.