Raiders News: Jon Gruden ‘Excited’ About Josh Jacobs, Already Seeing Improvements

After sitting out of the preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams, Josh Jacobs was finally able to make his debut during the Oakland Raiders’ Week 2 matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.

The Raiders made quite the investment when they took him with the 24th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft out of Alabama. Fortunately, he managed to look the part of a first-rounder after rushing for 20 yards on the first three plays of the game.

Given where he was taken in the draft, Jacobs was brought in to potentially serve as an immediate workhorse in this Raiders’ offense. It appears he has finally started to show those signs of promise in the eyes of head coach Jon Gruden.

Gruden offered up some high praise for how quickly he has been able to find his footing, via Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“He’s really picked up the offense fast. He’s improved in the passing game. We’re really excited about him.”

There is plenty of pressure that comes with being a running back taken in the first round, especially in today’s pass-happy league. Jacobs will undoubtedly be expected to make an instant impact while playing an integral role in this Raiders’ offense during the 2019 NFL season. Unfortunately, this is not the only burden he carries with him.

Oakland caught plenty of flak for trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears last offseason and essentially put the pressure on themselves to justify the decision in this year’s draft. The time has now come for them to get some return on their investment from their trio of first-round picks.

While Clelin Ferrell and Jonathan Abram are expected to help lead a potential resurgence on defense, Jacobs will be tasked with adding a new dynamic to the offensive side of the ball. Fortunately, it appears he is well on his way to doing just that after a strong performance throughout training camp and in his preseason debut.

Gruden’s comments indicate that Jacobs could be poised for a heavy workload early on. While his plans to establish a strong run game should come as no surprise, the rookie could also see a healthy dose of targets out of the backfield as a receiver.

Becoming an every-down back in this league is certainly no easy feat considering there are very few who legitimately hold that title. Regardless, the Raiders appear to be confident that Jacobs boasts a versatile enough skill set to make it happen.

The post Raiders News: Jon Gruden ‘Excited’ About Josh Jacobs, Already Seeing Improvements appeared first on Raiders Nation.