Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock has a reputation for being pretty blunt. While his honesty can be refreshing, it can also stir the pot. Recently, Mayock had some pretty strong criticism for the team’s 2020 rookie class and said he was “disappointed” with them.
One player who took note of the comments was former first-round pick Henry Ruggs. He posted a picture of what Mayock said without any comments, which led to people speculating that he might be annoyed.
However, Ruggs has been very self-critical of his performance last season. He had a chance to clarify why he posted Mayock’s comments without caption.
“I didn’t put my own caption on it and I didn’t respond to comments,” Ruggs said, per Silver & Black Pride. “What he said is what I said — I have to get better.”
Ruggs doesn’t fall under the diva wide receiver archetype. He’s said in the past that he doesn’t care about stats and he’s highly competitive. He’ll use Mayock’s comments as motivation to get to the next level in 2021.
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Ruggs ‘Disappointed’ With Rookie Season
Mayock isn’t in the business of stroking the egos of his young players. Regardless of what anybody thinks, Ruggs had a bad season. He only caught 26 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns. Considering he was the first wide receiver taken in a very impressive class, those numbers aren’t good enough. Luckily, Ruggs realizes that.
“I’m just disappointed,” Ruggs told The Athletic. “I feel like I definitely could’ve had a better year. I mean, the plays I made, I had a couple of ’em. That’s what kept me from being at a ‘F.’ It’s a lot more that I could’ve done and I feel like I should do. In years to come, that has to get better.”
These comments from Ruggs are a big reason the Raiders took him over other talented wide receivers. He’s a very humble player and he knows he has to play better. The talent is there. He’s one of the fastest players in the NFL and has a great pair of hands. Once he can add some strength and improve his route running, he can be a really good player for the Raiders.
Ruggs Looking to Be More Consistent
Ruggs’ rookie season was a disappointment, but he did show flashes. He had two catches for 118 yards and a touchdown in a win against the Kansas City Chiefs. He also caught a game-winning touchdown against the New York Jets. The talent is there and he knows what he wants from the 2021 season.
“Just get better,” Ruggs said. “And not to get complacent. A couple wins at the beginning of the season don’t make you a good team. You have to be consistent and make sure that you carry that momentum throughout the season.”
Consistency has to be the theme for the Raiders in 2021. They’ve proven that they can beat the best teams in the league. The problem is that they can lose to the worst teams in the league. There’s a lot of potential on this Raiders roster. If they can figure out how to be consistent through 16 games, they’re going to be tough to beat.