Josh Jacobs being designated as a team captain by his fellow Las Vegas Raiders teammates spoke volumes about the player. In fact, according to head coach Josh McDaniels, Jacobs is more than deserving. No. 28 really has been the consummate teammate. Truly, much like last year, he’s doing his best to carry the team once again.
Jacobs, the NFL’s leading rusher, is on pace to have one of the great seasons in Raiders’ history. While the endgame is team success, Jacobs’ exploits have been instrumental in keeping the Raiders afloat. However, it’s also so much more than stats, as McDaniels alluded to while speaking to the media. It’s the things that don’t show up on the scoreboard that have made the difference with Jacobs this season. McDaniels gave a little bit more insight when asked about Jacobs’ play since receiving the special designation.
“He’s behaved like a captain all year, so the fact that the captain’s felt strongly enough about him, and I would say his leadership, his commitment to the team, and the things he’s done to try to help us win all year long, I think that speaks volumes in its own right. But he hasn’t changed; he’s continued to do the same things to try to help us win, and that would shock me if he did.”
Josh McDaniels is going to need Josh Jacobs more than ever on Saturday
As most Raiders fans are aware by now, the conditions for Saturday’s game will be freezing. In all honesty, that’s putting it mildly. So, it’s only natural that we can expect the Raiders to try to get the running game going. Because of the nature of the upcoming clash, McDaniels was asked what it means to have some of Jacobs’ level for this game.
“I mean, look, these games late in the year, running the football, being able to try to gain control of the line of scrimmage, is important. JJ [Josh Jacobs] has obviously done a great job all year for us in his role. He’d probably be the first one to tell you that there’s a lot that goes into thatâ€”certainly the guys up front, the tight ends, the fullback, and the receivers blocking for him have done a good job, and obviously that’ll be an important part of this weekend.”
One of the biggest reasons for the success of the Raiders’ running game this season has been the tackles. Heading into the season, many pointed to the O-line as a concern. Fortunately, under the leadership of position coach Carmen Bricillo, this unit has shone. As McDaniels pointed out, having everyone on the ground clicking on all cylinders is going to be pivotal. There’s a reason why the winner of these types of games is usually the one that sets the tone with the run game.
*Top Photo: Associated Press/David Becker