The Las Vegas Raiders offense has shown flashes of brilliance this season but has been far from consistent. A big reason for that is due to the trio of Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller only playing two full games together. Another factor is the sheer complexity of Josh McDaniels‘ system.
The team still has the 12th-highest scoring offense following a 24-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints but that won’t be enough to overcome the eighth-worst scoring defense in the league. Waller has missed the last two games and most of the Week 5 game against the Kanas City Chiefs with a hamstring injury, which hasn’t helped the offense. However, the team should still have enough weapons to put up points. The fact that it takes time to learn an offense as complex as McDaniels’ could be why there hasn’t been a consistent output. Waller opened up about the new offensive system and admitted that it hasn’t been easy to learn.
“Yeah, it’s definitely challenging,” Waller said of McDaniels’ offensive complexity in an interview with Heavy Sports. “Has taken time for a lot of people, and it will continue to take time. You really see guys flourish in like the third year of an offense but now you’re starting to see people really turn the corner because there’s so many little small nuances, little small adjustments and reactions that you need to have to whatever the defense does. It’s hard when you can’t do all those things perfectly and then right all the time, it takes time to really get those habits in the vernacular, things like that into your system. So it’s going to continue to take time. Guys are going to continue to grow and get better at it. And that’s only going on to turn into a better offensive product in the field.”
Will the Raiders’ Offense Figure Things out This Season?
As Waller noted, it’s going to take time for the offense to start firing on all cylinders. When Jon Gruden took over as head coach in 2018, it took a year before the offense started to take shape. That said, Gruden wasn’t working with as much talent as McDaniels has.
The Raiders have no choice but to figure out the offense. Prior to the Saints shutout, the team was scoring the third most points in the NFL. The hope is that the New Orleans game was an anomaly. They certainly have the talent to get things right but much of it will be on McDaniels to put the players in the best position to succeed.
McDaniels Has No Update on Waller’s Injury Status
The Raiders have put themselves in a 2-5 hole and can’t afford to lose many more games if they hope to make the playoffs. The return of Waller would go a long way in helping them win. However, his current hamstring injury is proving to be more nagging than expected. McDaniels said there aren’t currently updates on his status but he was limited to Wednesday’s practice.
“I know they were over there working out at IMG today,” McDaniels said Wednesday. “Like I said, he practiced last week some in a limited capacity. We’re trying to make a smart decision. Those things can be a little tricky. We have a handful of guys that are dealing with soft tissue issues. If you push them back too early, we’ve all seen what can happen, and then all of a sudden, you’re missing another month.
“So, we just err on the side of caution as best we can and try to make sure that the players are healthy and ready for the load that we would like them to play in the game.”