It is no secret that the Oakland Raiders offense struggled in 2018, so they made a number of moves in the offseason to address that.
The main focus was adding pass-catchers to surround Derek Carr, and as their blockbuster move of the offseason, the Raiders got him one of the best after trading for All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown.
The Raiders next move, however, may have been the team’s most important of the offseason as they brought in Tyrell Williams to be their No. 2 option behind Brown.
Now, as the Brown and the drama he brings have left Oakland, Williams has emerged as the Raiders’ new No. 1 option. According to Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Bay Area, Williams is ready to take on that role for the Raiders offense:
“It’s definitely an opportunity I’ve been excited for,” Williams said on being the No. 1 target.”My second year in the league when [Chargers wide receiver] Keenan Allen got hurt, I was kind of the No. 1 receiver that year, but I just kind of went unnoticed I guess.
“But getting this opportunity and being able to showcase it, especially on a prime-time game, is exciting, but it’s better to see other guys like [Darren] Waller have a crazy game, and Josh [Jacobs] have his first crazy game, and the tackles — like [Von Miller] wasn’t a factor at all — so the whole team win was an awesome feeling to me.”
While his teammates had fantastic games as well, Williams was the key to the Raiders passing success in their Week 1 victory over the Denver Broncos. On just seven targets, Williams totaled six receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown.
Williams did have one season with the Los Angeles Chargers where he was the clear standout. As he mentioned, when Chargers receiver Keenan Allen was injured early in 2016, Williams stepped up and totaled over 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. If Williams can even come close to that, this will be a great season for the Raiders.
Although it seems that the entire organization is ready to move past Brown drama, Williams did acknowledge the weight that the turmoil had on the team’s first game:
“Obviously, it was a big distraction,” Williams said of Brown’s sideshow. “It was on a lot of people’s minds going into this week, but I think we did a great job of not letting that be a distraction, letting that be what it was and just keep working. We were going to play regardless, so just let it be what it was and come out here and do what we want to do.”
The Raiders proved that they can win without Brown and that Williams and Carr will make a great pairing. As long as no more injuries derail the team, this should be a fun and interesting season.
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