When the season commences, Josh Jacobs will step on the field, different than he was in 2019. With so much riding on his shoulders, the Las Vegas Raiders need even more than he provided las season. Yet, Jacobs’ role will simultaneously evolve and increase.
If you know where Josh Jacobs emerged from, understand that nothing that happens between the line will ever scare him. No linebacker, bursting free in the hole or third-and-short. Josh Jacobs grew up with little to call his home. Living in a truck and bouncing from cheap room to room. As a result, that extremely tough upbringing made him perfect for this moment. At 22 years old, Jacobs has lived a few different lives in barely two decades on this planet.
“It’s crazy because I didn’t notice that I was sleeping in a car. I was just thinking that I was falling asleep and waking up. I didn’t think anything about it because I felt safe.
A year ago, the offense struggled with any substantial cohesion. Receivers in and out of the lineup. Under those circumstances, defenses keyed on Jacobs. Granted, he still racked up 1150 yards in thirteen games. Now, the offense adds Ruggs, a healthy Williams, Bowden, and Witten. After hearing about a lack of receiving help outside of Waller and Renfrow, the team addresses the need. However, the one that jumps out most is Ruggs. Jacobs’former Alabama teammate brings the ability to threaten defenses on the outside. In return, defenses will not stack the box too often. From the outside, it looks Jon Gruden sees this.
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“And we all know he’s fast physically. But when you find out he’s fast mentally, he can handle a lot of stuff. We think we’ve got someone with a chance to be great. You remember Cliff Branch. You remember the speed factor with the Raiders. It’s something we have to get back in our organization and we think Ruggs will be a big part of it.”
Attitude is Everything
While Derek Carr holds the team leader of the offense, Josh Jacobs provides the soul and disposition of the offense. All seven of his 2019 rushing scores, occurred in the red zone. Teams know that Jon Gruden loves smashmouth football, anticipate Jacobs with the carry. Despite that knowledge, they fail to stop him. On top of that, three of those touchdowns took place in the fourth quarter. Even with the woefully second halves, Josh Jacobs still fights to bring the Raiders closer to the win.