The Oakland Raiders had one of their most frustrating seasons to date in 2018. After finishing in the bottom five in points per game last year, it was no secret that the team needed a revamped offense.
Many, including head coach Jon Gruden, did not blame quarterback Derek Carr for last year’s woes. Carr had one of his best seasons to date, posting career highs in yards and completion rate. Despite that, the team still was in the lower tier of passing teams, mostly due to a lack of personnel.
Things are very different this year and the Raiders are going to utilize their new team to it’s fullest, which means taking more risks. Gruden is planning on having a more aggressive aerial attack this season thanks to his improved roster, via Scott Blair of NBC Sports Bay Area:
“When you have Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, you have to commit yourself to throwing (50-50 balls). Same with Darren Waller,” Gruden said. “We have to throw the ball down the field. Whether it’s incomplete or it’s a catch, or we can always challenge pass interference as well. It’s going to be a very subjective call this year.
“We’re trying to be more aggressive. The better your receivers are, the more aggressive you are. The better your line is, the more vertical shots you can call. We think we’re better on the line. We think we’re better outside. That being said, we’re going to take more shots. I hope.”
Gruden understands the risk of taking the ball downfield more often, but this is the year to accept that risk. With a legendary receiver in Antonio Brown joining the team, the opportunities seem endless.
Although the Raiders passing game seems to be improving, the ground game was one of their bigger struggles last season. This year, the team will largely be relying on rookie running back Josh Jacobs. With the pieces they have assembled throughout the offseason, the Raiders may be one of the most formidable offensive teams this year if everything goes to plan.
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