Something about the Raiders’ offense smells like success in 2021. It is not something one can just put a finger on. However, there is some hope. After dismantling their offensive line, many felt Derek Carr’s potential career longevity tanking. Yet, the Raiders did end up finding suitable replacements.
Additionally, the fan-driven re-signing of Nelson Agholor did not happen. Meanwhile, the Raiders brought in John Brown. Kenyan Drake also signed and immediately described as versatile and a utility player. Darren Waller will continue to be Darren Waller. Henry Ruggs will enjoy a much more normal preseason to get on the same page with Carr. The potential for this offense to be incredible exists. On top of that, the young backups (Bryan Edwards, Foster Moreau) push the offense’s longevity as a whole a few more years down the road.
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But this is all on paper. It feels like this is the year Jon Gruden gets out there with more than enough mouths to feed, and starts to get weird with things. An impressive amount of trickeration is available when Drake and Ruggs share the field. Offensive sets and fourth/fifth options on the field are determined by situational playcalling, but 2021 seems like a perfect storm for either Hunter Renfrow or Foster Moreau to step into a bigger role. Renfrow has been a safe haven on third downs, but with Brown and Ruggs spacing the field and all eyes on Waller, Renfrow (or Moreau) should find much more opportunities throughout the season.
The time to be creative is now. Creativity does not mean running a flea-flicker just to get a laugh on the internet. Creativity is Jon Gruden using his outside-the-box mind to really utilize the incredible range of offense this team boasts. By Week 1, Las Vegas should know who to go to when the team needs speed, power, vertical, or a play in the clutch because there is a player on their roster with the exact combination of what they need.
The amount of options the Raiders have to utilize is mouthwatering. There is zero doubt that this team should struggle from any part of the field, but especially in the red zone; there is far too much pure ability on this team to be stagnated by only having 30 yards of field to work with. If Gruden has any of his quirky playcalling left, defenses could be kept on their toes all game (and that is the time to run a flea-flicker). Now, I’m not one for predictions, but this should be the season Derek Carr goes over 4500 passing yards. The NFL will be ready.