Henry Ruggs III knows his rookie season with the Las Vegas Raiders was a disappointment.
He knows he wasn’t good enough and improvement is needed. Wednesday, the Alabama product told reporters, in quotes distributed from the team’s great PR staff, that he is ready to take the next step.
“I’m ready to assume a bigger role,” Ruggs said. “Last year, for me to describe it, it was a start. That’s pretty much the best way I can describe it. Something to build on, it was a starting point and we’re going to build from there. And of course, like I said, I’m ready to take on a bigger role and help my team in a bigger way.”
Ruggs was the No. 12 overall draft pick, and the first receiver taken. He had just 26 catches. He did make an impact in a few games and he averaged 17.4 yards a catch. So, there is potential that the speedster can make instant strides in 2021.
Ruggs, who was listed at 5’11, 188 pounds last season, said he has added some weight and is hopeful that is part of his development.
“I can always develop in all areas: adding strength, adding versatility, moving around in different positions, running different routes, expanding my route tree,” Ruggs said. “Doing different things, finding different ways to try and help the team out, that’s pretty much me. I’m open to all of it and I’m excited going forward to learn and do new things for the team.”
Fellow Las Vegas receiver Hunter Renfrow believes Ruggs changed the Raiders’ offense with his speed and this tweet backs that up:
“I think Henry is a great player. I thought that last year. Y’all didn’t get to see all the things that he did for everyone else, opening up the field for everyone else,” Renfrow said. “What he’s doing, you can’t put a stat on. And what he did last year, you can’t put a stat on. And that’s kind of how we are trying to be as an offense. It doesn’t matter who has the yards, who has the catches, who has the touchdowns. We’re one unit and the best teams I’ve been on are exactly that. You hear outside noise and that sort of deal. Get to Week 8 and you don’t have that many yards, that many catches. But the good teams and great teams I’ve been on it doesn’t matter because you’re all going for the same goal. But Henry’s been good, and people ask me this offseason how Henry has been and things like that. Honestly, he’s a great player in practice. And it’s not one thing where he’s out there goofing around in practice and kind of not getting better, but he really is getting better every single day. And I see it every day, same with Bryan [Edwards]. So, I’m excited about watching them two this year and win a bunch of games.”