Through two games, rookie receiver Henry Ruggs III has created just one play over 10 yards on eight targets. To his credit, he’s dealt with an ankle injury and has drawn a few critical pass interference calls. But there just hasn’t been a ton of explosive plays yet from the former Alabama star.
However, offensive coordinator Greg Olson is preaching patience with the rookie as they try to ease him into the offense. At his most press conference availability, Olson said it’s just a matter of time before Ruggs and Derek Carr are in sync:
“Again, we see the speed. I think it’s just a matter of time between he and Derek to get a chance to hit those full-speed routes together. We’re happy with where he’s at. I know there’s probably frustration out there, ‘Why’s this guy not getting more explosive plays?’ But they’ll come. It’s just time.”
Luckily, the Raiders haven’t needed Ruggs to make a ton of plays down the field yet. Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs have done enough on that side of the ball to allow the Raiders to score 68 points through the first two weeks of the season.
But as the year goes on, the Raiders are going to need more out of Ruggs. The further he gets away from this nagging ankle injury, the more likely that he is to create chunk plays on offense.
Expect Jon Gruden and Olson to continue to find ways to get Ruggs involved in the offense and for them to design a few deep shots per game to the rookie receiver. Once he and Carr start to connect on those types of passes, this offense will really be able to take the next step.
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