It’s been a bit of a rocky start to Henry Ruggs’ career. The Las Vegas Raiders first-round pick was the first wide receiver taken in the recent draft but there are eight other rookie wide receivers who have more yards than him and 10 who have more catches. The fact that he missed some time with an injury puts him at a statistical disadvantage but he still has yet to have a true breakout game.
Ruggs has missed out on a couple of big plays because he couldn’t get his feet in bounds on time. It’s something that he’s working on.
“I’ve got two catches I caught out of bounds so I’ve got to work on getting two feet in,” Ruggs said Friday. “I’m not in college anymore.”
While many players worry about their stats, Ruggs is only concerned about winning.
“I don’t look at my personal stats,” Ruggs said. “I don’t really care about it. We have a winning record, we’re doing pretty good as a team.
“I’ve got things to work on. You can always get better in every category and personally, I notice a lot of things I can do better. But as far as statistically, I don’t really care for that.”
Ruggs’ attitude about stats is a big reason why the Raiders took him. He may not have great stats but his presence on the field does help the offense. He deserves some credit for the fact that the team is 5-1 in games that he’s played in and 0-2 when he hasn’t played.
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Raiders OC Believes Ruggs Needs to Work on Route Running
Ruggs is still young and has an incredibly high ceiling. He might just be the faster player in the NFL and that’s something you can’t teach. Though all the athletic ability is there, offensive coordinator Greg Olson does believe Ruggs can improve.
“Route running, to be honest with you,” Olson said about where he’d like to see Ruggs get better at. “We love the speed factor, it’s something you can’t coach. But the route running and consistency that we want to see him bring to the game … he’s just finishing up outside here with him working the toe-touches, the toe-drags on the sidelines.”
Ruggs was considered a solid route runner out of college but he clearly still needs some work. Fortunately for the Raiders, that’s something that he should be able to learn.
Carr Believes Ruggs Will Eventually Be More Productive
A big reason that Ruggs hasn’t accumulated better stats is due to the fact that he hasn’t developed great chemistry with Derek Carr yet. While the two clearly have work to do, Carr is confident that they’ll figure out soon.
“We’ve been trying so many times to hit some big plays,” Carr said on Wednesday. “We’ve hit a couple and then we’ve been like this close on more. I feel like we’ve left more out there than we’ve gotten. And that sucks, man, because we’re practicing great, we’re practicing hard, we’re hitting them in practice and that kind of stuff, the timing of it, him understanding where I want to put those balls, me understanding that a lot of these guys break differently, so understanding that.
“We’re going to get there.”