Raiders’ Darren Waller Delivers Strong Statement on Lack of Targets

darren waller

Getty Darren Waller of the Las Vegas Raiders.

Over the last two seasons, Darren Waller cemented himself as one of the three best tight ends in the NFL. He’s as good a receiver at the position as anybody in the league. However, the Las Vegas Raiders star has seen his productivity take a bit of a decline this season. He only has 494 in nine games and is fifth in tight end receiving yards. That’ll be good enough to get him a Pro Bowl nod, but not the production he’s used to.

The Raiders haven’t done a great job of getting Waller the ball this season. He only has 44 receptions, which is also fifth among tight ends. He’s certainly noticed that he’s getting a lot less volume this season.

“It is a little different,” Waller said after Thursday’s practice. “Because over the last two years I am used to a lot more volume. … There’s a lot more guys that can do stuff with the rock.”

He believes it has a lot to do with the added talent on the roster.

“There’s a lot of ways and situations where there’s a lot of bodies around me,” Waller said. “There aren’t as many opportunities where it frees up where I am getting a good look.

“I wish it could go back to it just being one-on-one every time, like in 2019. But I guess that isn’t the case anymore.”

The Raiders offense is sputtering and has only scored 30 points combined in the last two weeks. Perhaps a big game from Waller could reignite the offense.

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Waller Wants to Make Plays

darren waller

GettyDarren Waller.

Waller was close to being out of the NFL just a few years ago so he’s not going around complaining about lack of targets. That said, he does believe that good things happen when he gets the ball.

“I do feel like when I get my hands on the ball, it’s a great thing. I do want to be able to make plays for this team,” Waller said. “But there’s only so many things that I can control when I approach a game. If I try to focus on those other things, I can get frustrated like anybody else can.”

Waller is the Raiders’ best offensive weapon but he’s only surpassed 65 receiving yards in two games. While everybody would like to see him get the ball more, he knows that’s not the only problem facing the team.

“I don’t think me getting more targets is the answer to everything,” Waller said.

Greg Olson Talks Getting Waller More Involved

Since head coach Jon Gruden resigned, offensive coordinator Greg Olson has taken over the offense. He says that there is a concerted effort to get Waller the ball, it just hasn’t always worked out.

“I think part of it is the way teams are defending him,” Olson said Thursday. “When we are putting a game plan together we are very aware of who the touches should be going to and at the end of it which player has the most touches in the game plan designed for him, and normally it’s going to be Darren Waller.

“He’s your best player. That’s how you design your plays and most teams do it that way. We just got to find better ways to get it to him.”

The offense is in a lull right now so now’s the time to get the best weapon involved. Olson revealed that the Raiders are trying to figure how to get Waller more involved.

“Without giving anything away, we’ll just continue to work ways to get him the ball,” he said.

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