When recent news broke about the extension of Hunter Renfrow, many fans were rightfully delighted. In the three seasons that Renfrow has been with the Las Vegas Raiders, he’s cemented his position as a fan favorite.
In a recent interview on the “Upon Further Review” podcast with Eddie Paskal, General Manager Dave Ziegler spoke on current affairs for the Las Vegas Raiders. A big talking point was the recent extension of the Clemson product. Ziegler speaks with Renfrow for about a minute, starting at the 12:19 mark in the 23-minute-long episode.
Culture Change, Hunter Renfrow, and the new Raiders
Dave Ziegler was not shy about his praise of Hunter Renfrow as a person. He starts off by saying, “Well, I’ve said it over and over again.” But part of the process of understanding him being a long-term fit was understanding the person. And Hunter is a low-maintenance player who’s an incredibly hard worker, very smart, and diligent about his craft. He later states,”… He’s worked really hard to learn our system and understand our route concepts and learn the intricacies of what he needs to do and this offensive system…”
Ziegler’s comments echo what is often said in regard to Renfrow. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who would besmirch their character. There aren’t many athletes like this around. This only adds to his likeability and his fast rise to becoming a fan favorite amongst Raiders fans. Surprisingly, though, a team known for its bad-boy attitude has a lot of players like this.
Players like Renfrow, Darren Waller, Maxx Crosby, and others have their character praised by teammates and opponents alike. For a team that was built on the back of being “bad boys”, this is quite the shift, to say the least. Perhaps this is a much-needed change within the locker room for the Silver and Black.
Third and Renfrow
Fans, analysts, and media alike love the “third and Renfrow” storyline. However, it’s more than just a storyline; it’s truth. This is clearly not lost on Ziegler. Within his praise, he briefly touches on Renfrow’s uncanny ability to be there to move the chains. The general manager states, “Then you look at the skill set. I’ve talked a little bit about it before, but he’s a very good route runner. He has good short-area quickness, has the ability to get open in tight spaces in the past, and has been really productive on third down. “
This is often one of the first praises you’ll hear of Renfrow in practically any circle. He’s made a name for himself by being productive in one of the toughest spots in the game. That’s an attribute his new offensive coaches no doubt appreciated. Ziegler also talks about how proficient a route runner Renfrow can be.
This gained a lot of praise throughout the season. Constantly making even some of the most seasoned cornerbacks look completely lost is hard to do. While he’s not the biggest guy or the fastest, he is fun to watch. It’s fair to say that the front office shared in that evaluation.
Players that possess not only the skillset, but the personality of Hunter Renfrow are not easy to find. A shifty route runner with a knack for exploiting a defense’s weaknesses. A person of high morality and a kind heart. The aforementioned traits alone might not be uncommon, but in one package, well, that’s a rare find.
When you manage to find yourself with a player like this in your employ, you keep them there. That is exactly what Ziegler and Co. decided to do. While his extension is only for an extra two years, it’s hard to imagine there’s not another well-earned pay day in Hunter Renfrow’s near future.
*Top Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images