The contributions of Jacoby Ford have been few in the Raiders' offense this season. He was supposed to be a big part of the offense coming back from the foot injury that placed him on injured reserve for the entire 2012 season. Thus far in the season, we have not seen few of those contributions in the offensive game.
His primary duties have been on kick returns where he has averaged 23 yards per return on 11 returns. Even still, he was expected to see a good amount of playing time as the team's slot receiver. Through six games, Ford has touched the ball just ten times (8 catches, 2 runs) on offense. Greg Olson explained why that is.
"He hasn't been healthy," Olson said Thursday. "About three weeks ago I just felt like I started to see the explosive Jacoby that maybe some of you had seen, so we're continuing on trying to keep him involved in certain packages."
The prognosis from the offensive coordinator is of the utmost importance to whether Ford is a significant part of the offensive game plan. And though Olson said Ford has been healthy over the past three weeks, his part in the offense remains unchanged.
The interesting part is Jacoby Ford claims he has been back to full health the entire season.
"Felt good pretty much since like the beginning of the season," said Ford. "Just been a matter of trying to figure out different ways to get the ball in my hands and on special teams. That's been something we've been exploring around with this week. I felt good ever since I've been back. I didn't really see a change or anything."
Not only does Ford claim to have been healthy all season, but he feels like he's a new and improved version of his former self.
"I feel even better since the foot injury. Definitely got a lot wiser, got a lot stronger and I'm just ready to get out there and play."
These are two very different versions as to why Ford has not seen the ball that much. Far be it from me to speculate as to who's right, who's wrong, and why. But the discrepancy does seem a bit strange.
With Ford having missed the entire first season of the new regime, they are not as familiar with what he brings to the table as previous coaches such as Hue Jackson and Tom Cable. Greg Olson in particular wasn't here last season either. Now Ford must prove himself all over again.
"Definitely a new coaching staff," said Ford. "They saw what I did in the past but now it's time to go and show what you can do now. That's what I try to do whenever I get the ball in my hands, I just try to make a positive play every time so the ball just keeps finding my hands more and more."
Now that Jacoby Ford and Greg Olson are at least on the same page as to his health at this moment, it sounds as if we can expect Ford to be a bigger part of the offense from here on out. He is absolutely a great weapon to have so long as everyone's now in agreement as to his current status.