NBC Sports' Chris Simms Has Interesting Josh Jacobs Theory Plus a Disruptive Raiders Defense?

NBC Sports’ Chris Simms Has Interesting Josh Jacobs Theory Plus a Disruptive Raiders Defense?

The Las Vegas Raiders are reportedly offering an olive branch to Josh Jacobs to get him to return to the team. For those living under a rock, the Silver and Black failed to reach a long-term contract this offseason with its star. Nonetheless, NBC Sports’ Chris Simms presented a theory about why the Raiders are open to talking to Jacobs as training camp continues.

Speaking of training camp, Las Vegas’ coaching staff lays the foundation for a successful 2023 season. Defensive coordinator Patrick Graham has one mantra for the unit: create chaos. Graham likely hopes that the group can generate turnovers. 

There’s plenty of news concerning the Raiders, so let’s dive into the latest. 

Chris Simms has a bold take on why the Raiders are reaching out to Josh Jacobs

Jacobs and the Raiders didn’t agree to a long-term extension this offseason, meaning it will be on the franchise tag if the 25-year-old plays for Las Vegas in 2023. With no financial security, Jacobs has skipped training camp so far. However, new information reveals that the franchise wants to have its All-Pro running back re-join the roster. 

So why the urge to have Jacobs back with the team? Simms explains that head coach Josh McDaniels and Co. saw what they had in their other running backs, leading to the franchise extending a branch to Jacobs. “I take it more of ‘We’ve been in training camp for a few days and we’re not the same without Josh Jacobs’ that would be also what I would glean into it,” Simms told Mike Florio on PFT Live Wednesday

“I could certainly see them going, ‘Wait, okay, wait. We drafted Zamir White. He’s not quite what we thought he was going to be, whoa. We’re not the same team without 28 in here.’ And I wonder if that’s starting to ring through the building a little bit to go, ‘Let’s get him in here and maybe add some juice to the contract.'”

Zamir White and Ameer Abdullah are likely taking most of the snaps at running back this training camp. By looking at these two players, they may see that neither is ready to fill Jacobs’ shoes. Some NFL teams believe that running backs are interchangeable. Nonetheless, asking Abdullah and White to replace the current rushing champion is challenging. As a result, the Silver and Black might see that they need Jacobs to start the new season off on the right foot. 

So do you agree with Simms’ theory on why the latest Jacobs talks are beginning again, or do you have a different thesis? Let us know. 

The Raiders’ defense wants to be disruptive in 2023?

Jacobs’ absence on offense is a concern. But on defense, the problem is whether this unit can improve. Graham has the task of his defensive group not just being Maxx Crosby and Co., as the 25-year-old will need help. Nonetheless, the Raiders’ defensive coordinator has a theme for this squad, which is to be disruptive.  

“On defense, we talk about defending the field, defending the situations, but it’s also about being disruptive,” Graham told reporters Wednesday. “And the No. 1 way to disrupt is to have turnovers. It’s one of the main emphasis points we make. It’s something that we know we have to work on every day. Coach [McDaniels] is giving us plenty of opportunities in terms of periods and practice to be able to work it. So, we’re going to try to instill it in everybody. You want a defense that’s looking for the ball.”

Can Graham’s defense create more turnovers in 2023?

The Raiders ranked last in the 2022 season with 13 takeaways, so the defense wasn’t generating many turnovers. The takeaway stat must improve if the team hopes to win many games in 2023. 

Las Vegas knows from playing against its division rivals, they must have a defense that makes life uneasy for the quarterback. As a result, the team needs more than Crosby to make a difference, which is why the front office recently signed veteran Marcus Peters and could add Jaylon Smith to the group.

Furthermore, Graham should expect a bounce-back season from Chandler Jones after a poor Year 1. Tyree Wilson, the team’s first-round draft pick in 2023, can help Crosby get to the quarterback. The Silver and Black’s defense doesn’t need to have household names. It only needs to give the team a chance to win.

Will the changes made this offseason, and Graham’s message, be enough to begin seeing a shift in the defense? Las Vegas can only go up after being one of the worst, so fans will welcome any improvements.

*Top Photo: Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

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