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NFL: It's Time to Rebuild the Oakland Raiders Offense
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8 Jan 2019 07:09 PM EST

-by Bo Marchionte, Contributing Writer; Image: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. (Image Source: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh, PA—It’s a full-fledged rebuild for the Oakland Raiders as Year 2 of the Jon Gruden gets under way.

The head coach has made waves since he left Monday Night Football to make his return to coaching. Gruden may have been a beloved figure from the television booth, but he was on an alienating spree, almost as if he was trying to incur the wrath of everyone associated with or who loves the Oakland Raiders.

Gruden has often been portrayed as a quarterback guru, especially with his regular episode’s on EPSN which features him talking with soon to be rookie quarterbacks.

But let’s not forget as a coach, his forte and often his passion has been running the football. He loved to pound the rock as head man of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Remember the likes of Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, and Michael Pittman?

This past season, the Raiders ranked 25th in the league overall in rushing yards per game. Not the balanced offense Gruden desires in Oakland. Veteran Marshawn Lynch was placed in IR early in the season and likely will not be brought back.

Because of their maneuvering, the Raiders are the proud owners of three first-round selections in next April’s draft, so they have plenty of ammunition to move up and down the draft board. As well as address their many needs, one of which is running back.

Alabama product Damien Harris is one runner who matches the style that Gruden may like to have when running the football. Harris runs angry with violent legs. He is the type of running back that can demoralize defenses with his hardnosed running style.

What else do the Raiders need? A better question is what doesn’t this team need?

Amazing to think this team looked poised to possibly rule the roost in the AFC West a couple years ago and then this season they often played like one of the worst teams we’ve seen in the league in recent years.

The Raiders are armed with three No.1 picks next season, that includes their own, the Chicago Bears pick and the first-round selection of the Dallas Cowboys. Pass rusher Khalil Mack was sent to Chicago while their top wide out Amari Cooper was traded to Dallas.

With no running game and a quarterback with no lethal receiver, it puts the Raiders in prime position to select a receiver early if not often in this year’s draft.

Oakland cannot afford to miss out on adding offensive targets for Derek Carr or whomever is at quarterback when Gruden land in Las Vegas. In addition to a running back, they must replace Cooper and land a legitimate No. 1-type pass catcher if Gruden is going to find success the second time around with the Silver & Black.

To read more from Bo Marchionte at College2Pro.com, click here.

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