After mysteriously missing a couple of practices, Josh Jacobs is back and already making his presence. The Las Vegas Raiders star running back was one of their best players last year and that should continue this year. The team brought in a lot of new defenders this offseason which should mean better competition for the offense at practice.
Safety Damarious Randall is one of the new faces and Jacobs reportedly put him on blast at practice, according to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez.
RAIDERS CAMP PRACTICE 4 (QUOTEs OF THE DAY)
“Boom!” Josh Jacobs yelled, feigning lowering a shoulder into Damarious Randall on the sideline after catching a Derek Carr pass. “I just retired you. You’re going to have to make a grown-man decision.”… https://t.co/RN0CS96BvX
— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) August 16, 2020
Randall has been in the league a while now and was a former first-round pick so those are some pretty bold words from the young running back. Unfortunately, not everything played out well for Jacobs. Gutierrez also reported that he “tripped over pads and fell face-first on a high-step drill to begin practice.”
Not the perfect start for training camp that Jacobs was likely hoping for but it’s promising to hear that he’s still playing with an edge. He was one of the hardest running backs to tackle last season so he’ll probably have a lot more to say this year.
Jon Gruden Wants Jacobs to Catch More Balls
As a rusher, Jacobs was a stud last year. However, he didn’t do much in the passing game. These days, the best running backs also catch a lot of passes. Head coach Jon Gruden praised Jacobs but also acknowledged that he needs to make more of an impact as a receiver.
“He had a big year last year,” Gruden told reporters recently. “He’s got to stay healthy. We need our feature back down the stretch. We were in a playoff stretch last year and didn’t have him. I think he’s got to stay wire-to-wire healthy and we have to get more out of him in the passing game, more on the field on third down.
“He had a great year last year and we expect more of him from this year.”
Jacobs was a good pass catcher in college so there’s no reason to believe he can’t have success in the NFL. It will just be a matter of Gruden drawing up more plays for him, which he’s probably already done.
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Jacobs Is Feeling Healthy
The biggest concern surrounding Jacobs is his ability to stay healthy. He had injury issues in college and has already missed games in the NFL because of injury. Fortunately, he says he’s feeling good now.
“I don’t feel the shoulder at all,” Jacobs said recently. “I’ve been doing heavy reps all summer, multiple reps, and I haven’t felt it at all. So for the most part, this is the best my body has felt. I’m lighter than I was last year, so I feel pretty strong.”
He runs with a lot of aggression so he might need to dial it back a bit if he wants to avoid injury. Jacobs is still young so it’s hard to tell if he’ll be able to stay healthy yet. If he can, he’s going to be a star for a long time.