Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has a lot of weapons at his disposal, and one player who many have their eyes on is rookie tight end Michael Mayer. The second-round pick was considered by many to be the best player at his position in this draft class, and he is expected to make an impact this year.
In his first regular season game, however, Mayer did not garner a single target as Garoppolo’s focus was primarily on receivers Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers, who totaled 19 targets on 26 pass attempts. But that is not a sign of Mayer not being ready, and Garoppolo believes the rookie is doing a great job of picking up things so far.
Garoppolo is experienced in Josh McDaniels’ offense and is continuing to work with the Raiders rookie on the little things that go into it, things that most wouldn’t pick up on.
“Just trying to teach him the intricacies,” Garoppolo said when asked what he is saying to Mayer. “I think the tight end in this offense, there’s a lot of little nuances that go unnoticed. Going back to Rob Gronkowski – Gronk was awesome at it. He knew the plays, he knew what we were trying to do. And I think Mike, along with the other tight ends, they’re all kind of learning that.”
No one is expecting Mayer to turn into Gronkowski, arguably the greatest tight end of all time, but he is the premier example of what a tight end can accomplish in this offense. Regardless Garoppolo is happy with what he is seeing from the rookie so far.
“Once they get that down, we’ll be in a good spot,” the Raiders quarterback added. “And I think he’s done a great job so far. It’s tough as a rookie to play that first game, so I was proud of him on Sunday.”
There are so many little things for a rookie to have to pick up, and the Raiders are counting on Mayer to do just that. But it is a long process, and Garoppolo understands this, which is why he is helping in any way that he can.
As a leader, it is Garoppolo’s job to get the best out of his teammates, and getting Mayer along to a point where he can be a real weapon for this team would raise the ceiling of the Raiders. It is a process, but signs are promising right now, and it will only go up for Mayer from here.