Raiders coach Jon Gruden claims Doug Martin will be a ‘great mentor’ for Josh Jacobs
The Oakland Raiders managed to shore up their backfield by bringing back Doug Martin and taking Josh Jacobs in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. It appears head coach Jon Gruden has high hopes for the dynamic between these two running backs.
There is no question that Jacobs has been brought in as a potential workhorse back. Regardless, Gruden hopes Martin can help the rookie find his footing in the 2019nNFL season, via NBCSportsBayArea.com:
“Doug will be able to come in here and be a great mentor to Jacobs,” Gruden said. “He knows the system. He has produced in the system. Doug has had some real highs and some real lows in this league. He’ll be a great resource to our young back, and he can still play. We’re happy to have Doug back and disappointed for Isaiah.”
Gruden’s optimism is certainly understandable. Martin has enjoyed a successful NFL career as a former two-time Pro Bowler and first-team All-Pro and is looking to build on his resurgence from last season. The veteran finished the 2018 campaign with 723 yards and four touchdowns after Marshawn Lynch landed on IR. Although he finds himself in a similar situation this offseason, it is clear Gruden is hoping he can fill an integral role on offense.
While the NFL has transformed into a pass-heavy league, Gruden is part of the old-school crop of coaches that like to establish the run early and often. This could be why the Raiders felt so inclined to take Jacobs with the 24th overall pick in the draft. If Oakland does decide to go with a run-heavy approach, there could be more than enough touches to go around for Martin and Jacobs.