Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs may have one of the hardest jobs of any rookie this season. After one of the worst seasons in Raiders history, he will have to help lead the Raiders run-game back to prominence.
Jacobs has been solid throughout the preseason, rushing for 21 yards on four attempts against the Arizona Cardinals last week. Although he has shown no signs of mounting pressure, quarterback Derek Carr may have just brought that pressure.
Carr compared Jacobs to some of the NFL’s all-time great running backs, many of which have come through the Raiders at one point or another, via Kyle Martin of Raiders.com:
“Really good, right? His vision,” Carr said Saturday when asked about Jacobs’ ability to make reads. “You know I’ve been able to hand the ball off to some really good running backs. I’ve played with some fun ones, MJD [Maurice Jones-Drew], D-Mac [Darren McFadden], Latavius [Murray], Marshawn [Lynch], Doug [Martin], and that’s just the guys that’ve carried most of the footballs. I’ve played with a lot of good backs. Watching his vision was really impressive because I have the best seat in the house. I’m sitting back there playing Madden tell him to cut back and trying to run for him. He’s right up there with those guys. For him to do that, especially in his first game. I think the thing that rubbed off on me the most about Josh was his want to.
Carr continued, “It wasn’t like, ‘Oh man this is my first game.’ None of that. He was out there just trying to bully people. He was out there trying to run hard. He didn’t care that he’s a rookie. He’s trying to prove that he’s the best back in the NFL. That’s his mindset. Really impressed. Obviously the runs and all of that, the offensive line did a great job, but more so impressed with his demeanor and mentality.”
Hopefully, Carr’s bold comparisons ring true. With Jacobs power offense, he does fit the playstyle of many previous Raiders running backs, particularly Marshawn Lynch.
Of course, Lynch spent very limited time with Carr after injuries plagued their last two seasons, but perhaps Jacobs will be able to pick up where he left off. Additionally, Doug Martin, who sits on the NFL’s all-time rushing leaderboard at 117, is still on the Raiders roster. He definitely could show Jacobs a thing or two about how to handle himself in the backfield.
What stands out most of all is that Carr finds Jacob’s mindset similar to those players. If Jacobs can maintain that throughout his rookie season, he may become one of the most impactful rookies in the NFL.