I got the chance today to speak with Las Vegas Raiders second-year wide receiver Henry Ruggs III as part of Panini America’s virtual Super Bowl radio row experience on Thursday and, of course, his much-talked about tweet last week was addressed.
Here is the tweet as a reminder, which features critical words about the Raiders’ rookie class from Las Vegas general manager Mike Mayock:
Ruggs is fully aware that many people had different thoughts about the tweet.
“I didn’t put my own caption on it and I didn’t respond to comments,” Ruggs said in a Zoom interview. “What he said is what I said — I have to get better.”
Ruggs made it clear that he wasn’t upset with Mayock and he has no hard feelings. Basically, Ruggs agrees he needs to improve from his rookie season.
The No. 12 overall pick and the first receiver taken last April, had 26 catches and averaged 17.4 yards a catch. Ruggs certainly had his moments, but he knows he needs to be more consistent in 2021 and he’s looking forward to it. One of his top goals for this season is to “break barriers” for himself in terms of production.
As for the Raiders as a team in 2021, Ruggs wants to see them make the “playoffs, at least.”
“I thought we should have made the playoffs last year,” Ruggs said.
Ruggs said spending this Super Bowl representing Panini America is great, but he is hungry to get to play in the Super Bowl and thinks it’s possible next year — watching the Kansas City Chiefs get ready to play Sunday gives him added motivation.
“Not only are they a division rival,” Ruggs said. “But they are a team we beat that no one expected us to.”
As far as his work with Panini America, Ruggs said it has been a great experience since he entered the league. He enjoys working with the unique card company and enjoys the chance to engage with fans, especially during the pandemic. Ruggs said he was fascinated with sports cards as a child, but didn’t always have time for them because the speedster joked he “was always on the move.”
That’s exactly what Raiders fans want to see from Ruggs the rest of his career.