The fact that OTAs were canceled hasn’t stopped players for the Las Vegas Raiders from putting in work. Many players have been seen practicing at a public Las Vegas park and more players join every week. Among the players who have been showing up for a while are Derek Carr, Darren Waller and Zay Jones. A local photographer caught some photos of the three offensive players and they all look jacked.
Say what you want about Carr but he’s obviously been putting in serious work this offseason. Waller was a stud last season and could be even better in 2020. Jones was disappointing after the Raiders acquired him in a trade last season. The team added three solid wide receivers this offseason which means it’s going to be a lot harder to make the team. Jones was smart to hitch his wagon to Carr early in the offseason to put in work. He could surprise the team come training camp.
How’s the Raiders’ WR Room Shaping Up?
When the Raiders went into this offseason, they knew they had a dire need at wide receiver. They did a lot to address the position which could mean trouble for some of the returning guys. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, the team will likely only carry “five or six” wide receivers:
It’s going to be tight as the Raiders will likely carry four tight ends and a fullback. Tyrell Williams, Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards are locks, and I think Nelson Agholor is going to have a bigger year than anyone expects. Zay Jones has worked very hard this offseason, spending a lot of time with quarterback Derek Carr and helping to organize the team’s group workouts in Las Vegas. Speedy Rico Gafford showed some flashes last season, and don’t forget about Keelan Doss, somebody Gruden went to a lot of trouble to keep around. Marcell Ateman has also made plays at this level. Those guys will be competing for the sixth spot — if the Raiders decide they really need one.
Having too many capable wide receivers is a good problem to have, especially considering last season. Unfortunately, that means at least two returning players is going to lose their spot this year.
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Excitement Starting to Build
This time last year, there was a lot of excitement for the Raiders. Antonio Brown was going to help take the offense to the next level, but that didn’t happen. This year, there’s a similar amount of hype surrounding the team. Starting left guard Richie Incognito thinks it’s a good thing that the team has been practicing.
“It feels real,” Incognito said, per Tafur. “It’s been such a long offseason, and everyone has been dealing with so much stuff back home that to be able to come together and be a team again is really important. Just getting around each other.
“That excitement is starting to build for the season.”
The Raiders were really close to a playoff berth last season and added a lot of talent this season. Heading into a new city has added even more excitement for the team. While it will take more time for the Raiders to be Super Bowl contenders, they could find themselves in the playoffs race towards the end of the season once again.