One of the few bright spots on the Las Vegas Raiders roster in 2019 was Darren Waller. The tight end had a breakout year and looking to build on last season’s success, he’s working on things he can improve.
Waller was an important part of the Raiders offense in 2019
The Raiders offense ranked ninth in total yards and one of the reasons for it was Waller. The tight end had 90 catches for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. Although his scoring totals could go up in 2020, the same would be true for the rest of the team.
Now that the Silver and Black have added more weapons on offense, defenses will have a harder time assigning double coverage to Waller. Even though they will have more weapons, Waller will still see his fair share of targets as opposing teams will allocate resources to stopping players and not just the tight end.
The tight end is working is working on the small things
Waller hasn’t allowed last year’s success get in his way to becoming a more complete and well-rounded player. He talked about how focusing on the small details will help him reach his full potential in his latest press conference.
I’ll probably just say improvement on fundamentals. Keep building on that front and the simple things and not be too worry about making huge plays all time or doing spectacular things because last offseason I feel like I got a lot better just by focusing on the simple things. Let those things stack and turn into consistency. Now, it’s just the smallest thing, the running game and every route, whatever coverage you see. It’s the small details cuz I can get the big picture of things, but my mind can stray from the small details at times, so just stay at them at all times.
Last season, the Raiders only targeted Waller four times in the red zone over the last nine games, so he can definitely improve in the consistency department. The fact that he’s aware of it speaks volumes about his level of preparation and how much better he wants to be.
Waller is getting help from a great source
Despite the fact the Raiders already have Waller and sophomore tight end Foster Moreau, they signed former All-Pro Jason Witten this offseason. While the former Cowboys tight end isn’t the player he used to be in his prime, he still brings plenty of value to the table.
Last season, he had 63 catches and scored four touchdowns so he can definitely still play. Besides is his production, Witten’s biggest contribution will be his influence on the Silver and Black’s young tight end group. Waller is already feeling the veteran presence of Witten in the room.
It’s already helping out a lot just seeing by the way. The one thing that’s impressive to me is I don’t think anyone gets off on the snap as quickly as he does, like he’s usually the first one to five yards like he’ll be quicker than receivers something i need to improve cuz my get-off need to work for sur around him on get off the ball like him. He always has suggestions, he’s always an open book, he’s always asking us questions about the offense and in return as he learns more, he’s helping us with what we see and things we can do different. Jason has already been an outstanding help. Wish we could’ve been able to be with him in person every day like with a normal offseason. [I] Can’t ask for much more than what he’s doing for us right now.
As good as Waller currently is, getting pointers and help from a potential Hall-of-Fame tight end can’t do nothing but help him soar even higher.
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