So far, that hasn’t been the case. Not even close.
First-round picks Henry Ruggs III and Damon Arnette have been slowed by injuries, as has third-rounder Bryan Edwards. Tanner Muse, another third-rounder, had season-ending toe surgery. John Simpson and Amik Robertson have both played sparingly, getting their reps in primarily due to the injuries ahead of them.
That doesn’t even count Lynn Bowden Jr., who was traded to Miami less than two weeks before the season opener.
Granted, the schedule has only reached the midpoint and there’s plenty of time for the rookie class to improve.
Gruden says there are a number of factors that have contributed, specifically the truncated offseason which is a time when most rookies get their growing pains out of the way.
“We had a virtual draft, virtual offseason. Virtual is for the birds,” Gruden said. “I think it doesn’t help get these young guys ready as it did in years past. We like our young guys. It’s just the beginning for them. I think there’s reason why maybe they’re still waiting to explode onto the scene. But I’m very confident in them.”
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‘We have to be a much more detailed football team'
Like so many Raiders fans, coach Jon Gruden found himself searching for answers after the Raiders’ second-half collapse that cost the team a spot in the expanded playoffs.
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Raiders' good, bad, ugly
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The Raiders had one of the easier schedules in 2020 and got only eight wins to show for it. Things won’t get any easier in 2021, either.
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The 2020 season will absolutely be remembered for being one of the strangest and most disappointing in franchise history.
Gruden feeling the heat?
“I know there is a big bull’s-eye on my chest, certainly. If the people want to use that as an incentive, then so be it. I worked for Al Davis in 1998. That was pressure. I was 34 years old. I’ve dealt with pressure before. I don’t really feel pressure. I love the excitement and thrill of competing, and I can’t worry about things I can’t control in that regard. I know people will want to step on me and beat me, and that is just the way this league is.”
From the SILVERANDBLACK.com Message Boards
S&BI continually scans the message boards across Raider Nation to see what Raider fans are talking about now that the 2020 season has ended for the Raiders. We chose some of the better posts and present them here.
Checklist for 2021
Now that the 2020 season has been put to rest for Las Vegas, the Raiders have shifted their focus to what figures to be a busy offseason as they prepare for 2021.
AFC WEST ROUNDUP
The Chargers fired coach Anthony Lynn after four seasons.