Raiders

It’s Time Raiders Do More Than Put Henry Ruggs On Display

All that speed. All that bloody speed. And for what? It’s time the Las Vegas Raiders do more than put Henry Ruggs III on display. No more bollocks, no more shenanigans.

The Raiders couldn’t have taken the speedster out of Alabama just to have him run clear-out routes and keep defensive backs occupied, right?

It wasn’t Ruggs fault he was the first receiver taken in the 2020 draft at No. 12 overall. But it was Las Vegas’ fault for not properly bloody using him.

The five-foot-11, just over 13 stone — that’s 188 pounds for you Yanks — pass-catcher came to the Raiders sporting blistering 4.27 speed. All that Raiders play designer and caller Jon Gruden had to do was mimic what Alabama did with Ruggs and it would’ve been an easy recipe for success. Instead, Gruden called out Ruggs’ inability to run routes properly. And Gruden’s own general manager Mike Mayock echoed the statements — like a good puppet should — but publicly saying Ruggs’ dedication and attention to his craft were lacking, too. Yeah? Well, you know what else was bloody lacking?

God damned creativity, eh? Jon Gruden?

Did the Raiders unnecessarily complicate things?

Instead of using Ruggs’ ungodly speed on quick slants, drag routes, and even jet sweeps, the Raiders trotted out their shiny thoroughbred and let him sprint — for not much of anything. I mean, 26 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns is nothing to sneeze out, especially for a rookie, but are those the kind of numbers proper for the 12th overall selection?

Instead of letting their bloody-fast thoroughbred gallop freely, Gruden kept him in the damn barn couped up in the stable.

Based on what Gruden’s puppet, Mayock said — and you read that right, Mayock is Gruden’s puppet — shortly after the 2020 season came to a disappointing end, perhaps the team is going to use Ruggs much more efficiently in 2021. He laid out a challenge for Ruggs to learn more in the offseason, refine route-running and physically improve himself. Ruggs, to his credit, acknowledged the criticism and owned it, and is moving forward.

According to the general manager, things may be looking on the up-and-up.

“In my mind, we are going to see different guys, and I made a comment a couple of months ago about (Henry) Ruggs III and about that whole class last year needing to step it up this year and I still believe that,” Mayock said during a post-draft media engagement. “And from Ruggs III’s perspective, the sky is the limit for this kid. We knew exactly what he was and that’s who he is. We had no surprises last year on Ruggs III.”

Well, the only surprise is how inept the Raiders looked deploying Ruggs. He was merely on display. And once again, Mayock laid down the gauntlet for Ruggs. And this is likely coming straight from Gruden too:

“Now, he needs to take it to level two now, the next level up. Stronger, better route runner, finish, get both feet down, all those things and we think he will,” Mayock said.

So what bloody happens when Ruggs does all that and is still a clear-out option instead of a go-to weapon? Does veteran speedster John Brown assume that mantle, just like Nelson Agholor did in 2020?

For as much as Mayock and Gruden say Ruggs needs to improve, so does the play-calling and creativity from the head man.

You May Also Like: Rich Gannon’s Confident Regarding 2021 Raiders Draft Class

*Top Photo: Associated Press/John Locher

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Anonymous

Being fast in the nfl is not simply enough. Everyones fast. You need to be able to run routes to get open

Anonymous

Horrible writing! You think because you’re British that we want to read your “cute” local style. We aren’t impressed!

T-diddy

I think RAIDERS ramble is actually having Carlos Sanchez pose as a British person because if the article said Carlos was the author nobody would click on it…pretty sneaky Mario

Mario Tovar

You keeping tabs on our site? Well thank you, I’ll take that as a compliment T-Diddy 😭😂😭

Biglar

There are plenty of guys as fast or faster than Ruggs on the street. If you don’t remember, DK Metcalf was smoked in his heat when running against real track guys. And what was successful at Alabama won’t necessarily work in the NFL because everybody is a lot better and teams are more evenly matched. Just raw speed means very little. Ruggs had trouble getting open and catching the ball last year because his footwork wasn’t very good and he had trouble winning early battles with physical cbs who would throw off his timing. He also left a few big… Read more »

Richard J Crowley

Great article. Well-written and ( more to the point) calling out Gruden and his inept handling of Ruggs. Couldn’t bloody agree more !

Anonymous

I have to agree. Clearly some rub routes could have been drawn up to get Ruggs in space.
The other side to this, maybe Ruggs isn’t smart enough to learn Gruden’s offense. And Ruggs has just simply counted on his speed to be the difference maker. Only time will tell.

Scott

Ruggs is having the same issue that Cooper had with the Raiders. They both need to be schemed open and have plays run for them. Gruden expects his receivers to go out and get open, He doesn’t like to scheme players open. That’s fine, but instead of drafting another Amari Cooper, he should have drafted a route runner like Lamb or Juedy. He had his pick of all of them.

Anonymous

I think they are using Darren Waller wrong as well… He is constantly getting beat up on those short routes across the middle! Waller is a wide receiver in a tight ends body…. Plz no more abbreviated pass plays! Send him deep more often; more touchdowns and less contact towards the end zones! 🏀

Anonymous

Think Ruggs has to increase his muscle mass w/out losing his speed. Someone should work with him to develop his durability/physicality- I was concerned anytime he came into contact. Seems like a dedicated guy, sure he’ll want to work on his routes and get comfortable with Carr. Hope the Raiders Target Ruggs specifically, and more often. It is worth an incomplete pass, (even on 3rd down) to challenge him to Make the Catch. Build his body, work the routes endlessly, and throw it to him. If he can get early success, and stay on the field, I believe the guy… Read more »

Lance Reynolds

Yeah… That’s “The Raiders” fault! It’s time for Henry Ruggs to realize that he is no longer playing in college and that he needs to learn how to run routes like a pro!

Tony R

So you’re just gonna neglect that Ruggs got hurt in the very first game, spraining his mcl which affected his lateral ability and speed but he fought thru it. It’s hard to utilize a player, especially a rookie, if he isn’t fully healthy. Also anybody could see that he wasn’t 188 lbs, I believe this will be a much better season for him tho. I think he will add muscle weight, get healthy, and work his route running to perfection and will prolly have a 1000 yd season and 8tds.

Anonymous

🤛🏽🤛🏽