The Las Vegas Raiders added several new weapons to their offense during free agency, but the team’s identity should remain on the ground, and that will start with Josh Jacobs.
Jacobs is coming off his first Pro Bowl nod and is turning himself into one of the more consistent and reliable running backs in the NFL. During the 2020 season, Jacobs started 15 games and amassed 1065 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns to go along with 238 receiving yards. The Alabama product was the focal point of head coach Jon Gruden’s offense and made life easier for Derek Carr.
Now heading into his third season with the Raiders, Jacobs has an opportunity to launch himself into the elite tier of running backs in the league, and he revealed what he has been working on during the offseason.
“I feel like every area, honestly,” Jacobs said. “Coming into the offseason, the main things I’ve been working on were balance work, core work, burst. Things like that just to try to take my game to the next level. Out here in practice today I was running some receiver routes, just trying to do everything I can to help this team.”
Jacobs was touted as a well-rounded back coming into the league, and so far, it looks like he has only begun to scratch the surface of what kind of player he can be. The 23-year-old has a knack for churning for extra yardage after contact but is also elusive in the open field when given a step.
The next step in his development should be in the passing game, as he was a solid receiving back in college. Gruden has mentioned before that he would like to get Jacobs more involved in that part of the offense, and it will be interesting to see if that comes true or not.
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