New Raiders coach Jon Gruden has dramatically changed the wide receiver position in Oakland, and he likes what he expects to see in training camp.
Gone are last year’s leading receiver, Michael Crabtree, as well as last year’s No. 4 wide receiver, Cordarrelle Patterson. Jordy Nelson arrived in free agency, while the Raiders traded for Martavis Bryant and Ryan Switzer.
“We’ve got a competitive situation here at wide receiver,” Gruden said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “So I like that.”
Gruden said the trade for Bryant gives Oakland a big-play threat.
“Let me tell you, he brings a different dynamic,’ Gruden said.” He’s 6-foot-4 and he plays it. He’s 4.4- fast and he plays it. We just have to get him wired into the offense and Jordy Nelson’s experience and versatility has really been impressive that it’s allowed us to do some things in just a few days that is pretty cool. We like our receivers, and we think Martavis will make you think twice about doing some things.”
Switzer can help the offense and the special teams, and Gruden joked about the way his brother’s team got burned by Switzer.
“I liked Switzer a lot at North Carolina,” Gruden said. “He’s a fourth-round draft choice. He was Mitch Trubisky’s go-to guy. My brother doesn’t like Switzer. He took an 83-yard punt home against him last year. That’s what he can do.”
Amari Cooper‘s production declined significantly last year, with just 48 catches for 680 yards. The Raiders hope that Cooper can get back on track, and three new arrivals can give them one of the best wide receiver groups in football.