Antonio Pierce Sends Strong Message on Raiders TE Michael Mayer

michael mayer

Getty Las Vegas Raiders TE Michael Mayer.

It was a rough start to his career for Las Vegas Raiders tight end Michael Mayer. The second-round pick out of Notre Dame had just one catch in the first four games.

However, he’s come on as of late and has at least one catch in eight straight games. Tight end is typically a position where first-year players have a hard time making an impact. Interim head coach Antonio Pierce spoke about how Mayer has come since training camp.

“Let’s be honest, he got baptized in training camp,” Pierce said during his December 6 media availability. “He was probably embarrassed. Humble pie. But now he’s dishing it out too. You can see the confidence. You see ‘Big Mike’ walking around with his shoulders out, has a little swag to him. It’s good to see. Sometimes you see rookies hit that rookie wall late in the season. He’s doing (the) opposite. He’s rising.”

Mayer is looking like he’ll be a building block for the team and is already starting to make an impact.

Las Vegas Raiders TE Coach Praises Michael Mayer

The Raiders have had strong tight end play the past few years thanks to Darren Waller. However, injuries started to catch up to him and he was traded to the New York Giants.

Mayer had some big shoes to fill this season and while he isn’t a Pro Bowl-level player yet, he’s showing big-time potential. Raiders tight end coach Jerry Schuplinskipraised the tight end’s work ethic and credited that for his recent improvement.

“He’s done a nice job in that and I would say a lot of credit goes to him,” Schuplinski said, via Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He’s worked really hard on it, not just during practice, but extra work before and after practice. Hand placement, head placement, body control, everything. He’s done a nice job in all those areas. If you watch him throughout the year, it’s not always perfect. But he’s always had the will to do it, which is a big part of it.”

Michael Talks Improvements

Michael Mayer has been one of the best players on the field for most of his football life. In high school, he was named Gatorade Kentucky Football Player of the Year in 2019. At Notre Dame, he was an All-American twice.

When he first got to the Raiders, he had a rough training camp. Mayer acknowledges his early struggles but is starting to build confidence.

“I’m 10-times better than I was in camp,” Mayer said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “And just like anything, there’s a confidence element. If I go out there thinking this guy is going to beat my ass, then it’s probably going to happen. When I go out there knowing what I’m doing, knowing my technique and the proper steps, being confident in who you’re supposed to get, you have a better chance of success.”

The Raiders are only averaging 16.8 points a game this season, which is the sixth-fewest in the NFL. Mayer continuing to improve will only help the team score more points. The team already has a very good duo at wide receiver in Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers. There should be plenty of opportunities for Mayer to make plays through the last five games.

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