When the Raiders wrapped up their first three days of OTAs, with the majority of their team in camp. Quotes flew. With Jon Gruden and players under the sun and mics, you can guarantee someone will say something interesting. Not to mention, the various networks conducting live remotes.
Gruden, on Kolton Miller
“We think Kolton Miller is going to be one of the best at left tackles in football,” Gruden told reporters yesterday. “He’s not only healthy, he’s in great shape. He’s gotten a lot stronger. He’s added some weight and some muscle. He’s still a real flexible athlete that can run and change directions. Being in the second year of the system, I expect a lot of good things. We still have to solve the left guard and that will be a big part of his development as well.”
In all honesty, Gruden pretty much hits the nail on the head. With the exception of his prediction, he laid out facts. First, Miller showed glimpses of nimbleness. He looks much larger. As a result, he will anchor better versus the bull rush. Additionally, Gruden told the truth about how the left hard vacancy affects Miller. Like a collective unit, the line moves as one.
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Doug Martin, on Josh Jacobs
“With Josh Jacobs, he’s a good kid, good character, y’all heard his story. I read it myself and I commend him for being as strong as he is. I’m here to mentor, push him,” Martin said. “I’ve been in the league eight years, so I am the vet now. I can’t believe it, but that’s the case. So, I’m here to just be that role model for him and if he has any questions I’m here for him. He’s got good character, but he’s the type of dude that can just run you over.”
Martin appears comfortable in his role. The days of the Muscle Hamster that carried offenses appear over. In his new role, Martin will act as a sounding board, a teacher to show the young Jacobs the way. Father Time remains undefeated. For Martin, the most important work for the Raiders in 2019 will be prepping Jacobs.
The Oakland Raiders sit at an interesting spot. Granted, they will depend on veterans to carry them. However, the younger players could sustain this teams and will eventually evolve into the leaders.