Raiders News: Jon Gruden Praises Henry Ruggs After ‘Moon Ball’ Against Steelers
Henry Ruggs, Raiders
Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III (11) catches a touchdown pass behind Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (39) during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Las Vegas won 26-17. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Las Vegas Raiders made Henry Ruggs the first wide receiver taken off the board during the 2020 NFL Draft, the thought was that the speedster would be a focal point in head coach Jon Gruden’s offense.

Ruggs’ rookie season did not go as planned as he struggled to make much of an impact instead of ceding most of the receiving work to Darren Waller. However, the 2021 campaign looks to be a different story as Ruggs has already made his presence felt, and the receiver sealed the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a beautiful 61-yard touchdown.

Gruden praised Ruggs for the play, noting that it is moments like those that justify the team’s decision to take him via Vic Tafur of The Athletic:

“That’s one of the reasons we took Ruggs,” Gruden said after the game. “He blew the top off in Arrowhead (last season) and helped us win that game and against the Jets.

“Not many guys can run that fast and track that ball.”

Ruggs explained how the play unfolded and admitted that he is enjoying his role:

“The deep route was dialed up and we got the coverage we wanted,” Ruggs said. “It was a moon ball and I had to run and go get it.

“It feels good to be a guy that can turn a game around at any time. To make a play like to seal the game is just … that’s the feeling I like.”

The Steelers were missing a few key players on their defense, but it should not take away from Ruggs’ day. Ruggs finished the afternoon with five receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown, and his speed was what opened up the field for the rest of the Raiders’ offense.

Rugg’s second year has gotten off to a great start, and he should be able to build upon it when he and the Silver and Black take on the Miami Dolphins at home for Week 3.