The hype is real for Oakland Raiders‘ rookie running back Josh Jacobs. He’s been getting all sorts of love in the media, even though he hasn’t hit the field to play a game yet. As excited as the media is to see him play, the Raiders are even more. Since he joined the team, he’s done nothing but impress with his work ethic, maturity and athletic skill. While he’s expected to be the bell cow for Oakland running the ball, he’s also planning on being a big factor in the passing game. He’s already been showing off his skill as a receiver at training camp.
Josh Jacobs Shows off Hands With One-Handed Catch [WATCH]
It didn’t take long for Jacobs to dazzle the crowds at Raiders training camp. While running some drills with quarterback Derek Carr, Jacobs made an impressive one-handed catch.
Obviously, he doesn’t have anybody covering him, so it’s easier for him to make a tough catch, but it’s still a good sign of what’s to come.
Both Jacobs and head coach Jon Gruden have talked about how the rookie is going to be used as a wide receiver quite a bit. It’s a very positive sign that he’s already showing that he has good enough hands to bring in tough catches.
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More Than a Runner
It’s becoming more and more important in the modern NFL that running backs can be effective receivers. New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara has demonstrated how much impact a running back can have in the passing game and he’s become an invaluable part of their offense. Jacobs hopes to have the same impact for the Raiders.
Gruden hasn’t guaranteed that Jacobs is the de facto starter for the team at running back, but early returns would indicate that he has the upper hand. Doug Martin is best suited as a number two back at this point in his career and Jalen Richard has proven most effective in a limited role. Jacobs didn’t get much usage while at Alabama, so time will tell if he can handle the wear and tear of the NFL season, but he’s coming in fresh.
Jacobs’ ability as a dual-threat option will allow Gruden to be much more creative in his offensive schemes. Much was made about his playbook heading into his return to Oakland. However, the Raiders’ offense was far from impressive in 2018. In Gruden’s defense, the team had a dearth of talent and was plagued by injuries. The biggest worry is that the offense didn’t seem very creative. Hopefully, this was a case of Gruden trying to hide his cards until he can field a team with enough talent to make a run at a championship.
The Raiders already had a great receiving running back before they drafted Jacobs in the previously mentioned Richard. This pairing has to have Gruden salivating at their potential to keep defenses off balance. There’s been talk about Jacobs lining up out wide and that’s a very intriguing possibility. Regardless, Jacobs is shaping up to be the perfect running back for a Jon Gruden led offense.