The Las Vegas Raiders are going to have an interesting 2020 NFL season after an offseason in which they added a number of talented players on both sides of the ball for Jon Gruden to work with.
Unquestionably one of the most exciting pieces coming in is wide receiver Henry Ruggs III, selected by the Raiders in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Although Ruggs adds some serious speed and an upgrade to the wide receiving corps, Gruden wants to utilize their tight ends more than anything. According to Kyle Martin of Raiders.com, Gruden plans on running a three tight end set, as well as a fullback and running back duo at times:
“We want to use three tight ends at a time, no disrespect to the receivers, but we’re going to put three tight ends out there,” he said. “Moreau, Waller, Jason Witten, and we’re going to run it in play action and we’re going to play old school football. We have a fullback, so we’re going to use a two-back set with Josh Jacobs and [Alec] Ingold.”
Last year, Gruden experimented with the three tight end look towards the end of the season. Darren Waller, of course, was the focal point of that trio, but Foster Moreau and Derek Carrier also contributed to that trial run.
Although Jason Witten is entering his 17th season, he still can help be a second option to Waller’s lead after signing with the Raiders in free agency. Even just last year, Witten was able to grab 63 receptions en route to 529 receiving yards and four touchdowns.
As for Moreau, he excelled in the second half of the season, grabbing two touchdowns and seven receptions before tearing his ACL. He is believed to be doing well in his recovery though and should be ready for the start of the 2020 season.
With the two-back set, the Raiders should have some great success there, as they did in 2010. Josh Jacobs will undoubtedly be the focal point of that new look. Even if other teams know the Raiders will look to get him going, it should be hard to slow him down thanks to his field vision and willingness to go for those extra few yards on every single snap.
Alec Ingold performed well in limited time with the offense last season. Utilizing his brute strength, he was able to earn the Raiders seven first downs, many of which came on third-and-short situations while also constantly opening big holes for Jacobs to run through. With a full year on the team, Gruden likely has an exact idea of how he is going to use Ingold and Jacobs together for the upcoming season.