Raiders coach Jon Gruden compares Jalen Richard to Charlie Garner
The Oakland Raiders might not have a whole lot going for them this season, but head coach Jon Gruden has high praise for running back Jalen Richard, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
Gruden said @RocketRich30 reminds him of Charlie Garner. "He might be the MVP of this team. … He could run for 1,000 yards and catch for 1,000 yards someday. He is tough, hard to tackle. And he can line up in the slot or outside." #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) November 19, 2018
This is incredibly flattering considering the fantastic career Charlie Garner had with the Raiders. Richard has been one of the lone bright spots for the Raiders this season. Not only is Richard a dynamic running back but he can be extremely effective in the passing game as well. The Raiders running back already has far exceeded his reception and receiving yard totals in the 2018 season compared to his first two seasons with the team.
It’s apparent that Richard is being used mainly as a pass catcher considering he has 29 rushing attempts and 59 targets on passing plays. Richard already nearly has more receiving yards this than 2016 and 2017 combined and is on pace to shatter his previous season totals.
It’s worth nothing even with Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin on the field in previous games, Richard is still very much involved. Now with Lynch out and Martin being more or less ineffective, Richard gives the Raiders offense a much-needed spark of production. The only missing piece of Richard’s success is finding the end-zone. Richard is still looking for his first touchdown of the season, and since the Raiders don’t score very often, he’ll have to make the most of each opportunity he is given.
Oakland is now 2-7 on the season and all but confirmed out of the playoffs. With all of the accumulated draft picks, Gruden’s squad could put some supporting pieces around Richard to turn the team around.