Throughout his very long career in the NFL, there’s hasn’t been much indication that Jason Witten isn’t a well-liked player. You probably don’t spend almost two decades with one team if you’re not at least somewhat likable. However, apparently, the Las Vegas Raiders tight end has made some enemies across the NFL.
Completely unprompted, new Cleveland Browns tight end Austin Hooper called out Witten.
“My style, I’ve never really been a rah-rah guy at all,” Hooper said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “I just kind of like to lead by example, and if people have questions, I will answer them. I am an open book. I don’t try to hoard information. I don’t like doing the whole Jason Witten deal where it is me versus everyone else in the tight end room. I think it is more like we are all in this together. [TEs] David [Njoku], Harrison [Bryant], Stephen [Carlson], Pharaoh [Brown], Nate [Wieting], we are all in this together.
That’s a pretty random shot by Hooper. He’s never played with Witten and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of reason to hate on him. For whatever reason, Hooper might have some kind of beef with Witten.
Hooper Not 1st TE to Rip on Witten
As Cabot pointed out, this isn’t the only time that another tight end has pointed out they have a problem with Witten. Martellus Bennett spent the first four years of his career playing behind him and made it very clear that he did not like him in the past.
“I hated Jason Witten. I appreciated his game, but I always hated him,” Bennett told ESPN in 2016.
Bennett hasn’t detailed why he doesn’t like the future Hall of Famer. He saw his numbers go up considerably once he left Dallas so maybe he felt like Witten was the reason he couldn’t have a more productive stint with the Cowboys. It makes sense why Bennett could have beef with Witten but it doesn’t really make any sense why Hooper is taking shots at him.
Now, it must be mentioned that Hooper did respond and say that he was being sarcastic. It’s hard to see how his comments were sarcastic based on how they were presented.
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Raiders OC Praises Witten
“He’s been great,” Olson said on Tuesday. “It’s a walk-through, but just the preparation and the way he goes about his walk-through — the speed, the tempo at which he breaks the huddle and gets to the line of scrimmage or goes in motion … or shifts. He is very detailed in his movements.
“Jon [Gruden] did a couple of walk-through scenarios where he tried to just throw multiple formations at Witten, and multiple shifts and motion to see where he was at. There were no mental errors on Jason’s part. He is a true pro.”
Witten is going into a situation for the first time in his career where he won’t be the top option at tight end. Darren Waller is already a star and should continue to be a big part of the Raiders’ offense. Witten is mainly there for his leadership ability. It’ll be interesting to see how he fits into the new role.