Football season is here for both college and the NFL. It’s no surprise that Alabama football has been dominant in the early goings of the season, but what is surprising is how well the Oakland Raiders played in their first game of the season against the Denver Broncos. Much of that success was thanks to rookie running back Josh Jacobs. He put up over 100 all-purpose yards and scored two touchdowns in the win.
Jacobs seems destined for a strong career based on his early performance. He was recently on Dan Patrick’s radio show where he had to chance to talk about his college football coach at Alabama, Nick Saban. Specifically, he was able to open up about his old coach’s sense of humor.
Apparently, the typically no-nonsense coach is a big fan of “deez nuts” jokes. Jacobs had a chance to give a specific example.
“I caught like five passes in a row, and he was like. ‘Hey Josh, if you wanna hold all the balls, hold deez’.”
That might be the most shocking reveal of the entire college football season. Saban comes across similar to New England Patriots coach, Bill Belichick. Both men are very stern and don’t seem like they’d be in for a ton of joking around at practice. But it appears the Alabama ball coach can let loose from time to time.
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Can Josh Jacobs Be First Raiders Rookie of the Year Since 1998?
Humor aside, Saban did a great job of preserving Jacobs for an NFL career. Unlike players such as Trent Richardson, Jacobs is coming into the NFL with relatively fresh legs and that could help him have a lengthy career. Alabama running backs have been hit-or-miss in the NFL, but he could certainly be one of the hits.
He’s an NFL Rookie of the Year favorite and based on his Week 1 performance, there’s no reason to doubt his chances yet. The Raiders haven’t had a palyer win the award since Charles Woodson did it in 1998. The only offensive rookie to ever win the award for the Raiders was Marcus Allen in 1982. Oakland also hasn’t had a truly consistent running back since the days of Allen. They’ve gotten small spurts of greatness from some players, but never a long-term answer
Jacobs’ ability as a receiver and a rusher make him an ideal fit in Jon Gruden’s offense. The NFL favors running backs that can all play over the field these days, so that makes him even more valuable. T.J. Hockenson, Marquise Brown, Kyler Murray and some others should all be tough players to beat for the offensive award after seeing them play in Week 1. The thing that works in Jacobs’ favor is that he’s going to get a ton of touches with the Raiders. And with Antonio Brown now calling New England home, the rookie will likely be the centerpiece of the offense through 2019.