After many surprising moves in the 2021 offseason, the Las Vegas Raiders offensive line got a facelift. While many are questioning these moves, star running back Josh Jacobs is not.
A confusing start
In the 2021 offseason, the Raiders traded away three big pieces of their offensive line. The first being right tackle Trent Brown. Although often injured, Brown is a true difference-maker when healthy, as he is one of the best at his position. Next to go was guard Gabe Jackson. While his play had declined slightly, he was a fan favorite and one of the team’s longest-tenured players. Finally, center Rodney Hudson was moved. Trading Hudson was one of the most surprising moves of the entire NFL offseason. Simply, Hudson may be the best center in the league and the Raiders parted with him for a third-round pick.
Running back Josh Jacobs, like many of us, was confused by these moves. “I’m not going to lie to you: When it first happened, I’m like, ‘Damn, what’re we doing?” said Jacobs. However, it did not take long for him to see the vision laid out by the Las Vegas front office. “And then when I seen the guys they picked up and watched the game film of each of the new guys that came and seeing them practice … and I’m seeing how they was working, I was like, ‘Yeah, we going to be nice.”
Most of this confidence comes from how highly he thinks of Tom Cable. “Tom (Cable) will come in and get them acclimated to our scheme and our system, but I think the guys will do good.”
Reuniting some old friends
The biggest new addition made to the Raider offensive line is that of the first-round pick, Alex Leatherwood. Leatherwood made good friends with Jacobs in their time together at the University of Alabama. As such, Jacobs was a fan of the selection saying “I just played with the guy for two years,” Jacobs said. “I know him, and I was just happy he even got drafted here.” Noting the many talks they had about playing in the NFL he said “I’m interested to see how he lives up to his expectations.”
Wait and see
Certainly, the Raiders offensive line is one of the biggest question marks heading into 2021. Is Andre James ready to be a 16 game starter? How will Leatherwood fare as a rookie? Can Richie Incognito return to form? All these questions will be answered in due time, but for now, Raiders fans can take solace in the confidence of their starting running back.
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*Top Photo: Associated Press/Isaac Brekken