With a new season on the horizon and new responsibilities distributed across the league, we will start to see game planning in it’s entirety. This weekends game should give us a glimpse into what the Raiders plan to do with the influx of talent we have acquired and how they will make an impact for weeks to come. Added depth throughout the roster has made the coaching staffs job of evaluating and allocating play time much harder than years past. Let’s take a look at some changes we should expect to see.
RECENT OUTBURSTS THAT TRANSLATES TO OPPORUNITIES :
By now we have all heard and read about the unfortunate lapse in judgment that one our fellow Raiders recently had, that being the veteran Chandler Jones. It’s not all bad though, as this allows for some of our young guns to take advantage of the opportunity and make a statement to open the season. Starting off with our prized 1st round pick in this years draft Tyree Wilson, who I feel will likely hit the 40-45 snap count and eventually 55-60 mark that was previously held by Chandler if he does not carry a role going forward. Then there is our 3rd rounder from the 2021 draft Maclolm Koonce, who will most likely see the field 20-25 times in the way Clelin Ferrell had done the last couple seasons. Now is the time for a youth movement and I am here for it!
JACOBS PITCH COUNT AND HOW THAT EFFECTS THE RUN GAME :
Everyone in the nation had the weight lifted from our shoulders when we finally brought workhorse RB Josh Jacobs back into the fold. However, according to McDaniels and some around the league, there is a possible “pitch count” set for this game to ease him back into action. Still, I believe Jacobs can eclipse 30+ snaps and get back to his 45+ in no time. Just don’t expect him to hit 66 snaps as he did in week 4 last season against this team with a 89.2% team share. Ideally we want him closer to the 51 and 82.3% share he had in week 11, allowing room for our other backs to contribute and carry some of the load. Which leads me to Zamir White who I see getting about 15+ to spell Jacobs and change the pace a bit. White had plenty of tread in the Preseason and should be ready for an expanded role going forward.
ALL EYES ON THE LB GROUP :
The eye sore of our roster which is the line-backing positions, could be better than expected considering how the recent additions have already made an impact. Robert Spillane being voted a team captain should excite the fan base as he was widely viewed as a depth piece signing in FA. However, combining that and his ability to diagnose and sniff out opposing offenses in the run game, he should see 50-60 snaps as our sure tackler replacing what Denzel Perryman was the last couple seasons. Next up is our new “green dot” and QB of the defense Divine Deablo, who had his struggles with the transition to LB from the Safety position. But if last season was any indication, he should be serviceable at the very least. Looking back at last season where he was flying around the field and led the team in tackles prior to injury, he paced 60+ snaps per game routinely and will most likely do the same this season barring any setbacks. These two will hold down the fort for a majority of our defensive plays this season.
NEW LOOK RECEIVING CORE:
Outside of Davante Adams who will likely be on the field for most, if not all of our offensive snaps, the rest of the receiving core will blend in and be utilized for their strengths in varying situations. Newcomer Jacoby Meyers who is seen as a slot receiver, will play predominantly on the outside, but may kick inside for 10-12 plays out of the 45-50 total I expect him to have. Giving way to Hunter Renfrow who will continue to dominate the slot with 30+ touches and may see 5-10 lined up outside for mismatches that work to our advantage. Both these guys have proven to be capable inside or out which gives us a nice opportunity to utilize their skill sets as the coaching staff sees fit.
OVERALL SNAPS FOR FRINGE PLAYERS :
Some other players who will sprinkle in for a few plays should be our 3rd round pick that was acquired in the Darren Waller trade, Tre Tucker. I anticipate Tucker will see about 7-10 snaps as a “gadget” player and our WR screen go to guy with his blazing 4.40 speed. Likewise our change of pace and receiving RB veteran Ameer Abdullah, that simply won’t give touches away easily should get 7-10 snaps as well, catching check down passes out of the backfield when Jimmy G can’t take shots down field.
SNAP COUNT PROJECTIONS IN TOTAL:
All in all this is the time of the year where anyone can make an impression on the team and vouch for more playing time going forward, but for now the snap distribution for this week in my opinion and based off of recent history is as follows:
Tyree Wilson : 40-45
Malcolm Koonce : 20-25
Josh Jacobs : 30+
Zamir White : 15+
Robert Spillane : 50-60
Divine Deablo : 60+
Jacoby Meyers : 45-50
Hunter Renfrow : 30-40
Tre Tucker : 7-10
Ameer Abdullah : 7-10